Baltimore Ravens and Under Armour partnership brings Girl’s Flag Football to MCPS, two other Maryland counties

Beginning in Fall 2024, MCPS will offer Girl’s Flag Football as part of their Fall Sports season.  The partnership implemented by Under Armour and the Baltimore Ravens will provide each of them with funding for custom Under Armour uniforms and equipment.  All 25 MCPS schools will be involved in the pilot season, along with ten schools from Baltimore City and six from Washington County.  The MCPS schools will play an eight-game season followed by a currently unreleased postseason schedule.

Early in the introductory process, the Director of the MCPS Athletic Department, Dr. Jeffrey Sullivan, has placed a high value on the fluidity of conversation between all parties, and a standard of consistent public updates has been set.

“[the MCPS Athletic Board] has been having bi-weekly standing meetings with representatives from the Ravens and [the two other] counties,” Sullivan said.  “The goal remains the inclusion of everyone involved and a [pilot] season that interests both current student-athletes and new ones.”

The Ravens will host a three-day skills clinic for interested student-athletes from June 4th to June 7th, with a different host school for the three days and a third of the county’s schools participating each day.  

Sullivan has also emphasized the importance of securing quality coaches for all involved schools, with physical action in the form of informational meetings in May and staff-wide emails and messages from Athletic Directors to find early coaching candidates.  Sullivan and the Athletics Department have publicly maintained a late May timeframe target to confirm most if not all of the 25 coaching availabilities are filled before the skills clinic commences.

The 2024 advent of Girl’s Flag will be Maryland’s second installation of the sport, which initially arrived in 2023, with ten Frederick County schools and 280 total student-athletes playing an eight-week season that began with the “Kick-Off Classic,” a celebration for the inaugural game and a county championship at the regular season’s conclusion.  

“Flag football is a great opportunity for girls to branch out and show off their athletic potential,” junior, JoLee Cowger said.

The sport’s long-term goals have been outlined, with Sullivan attributing its entrance to the growing popularity of the RAISE program and Ravens’ senior vice president of marketing Brad Downs saying the objective is to make Girl’s Flag Football available at every Maryland high school.

The increase in efforts to expand the high school sports opportunities with Girl’s Flag comes when the regard for the sport is rapidly growing nationwide.  In 2023, nearly half a million girls between ages 6 and 17 played flag football, a 63% increase since 2019, and the International Olympic Committee announced in Oct. 2023 that Flag Football will be an official sport in the 2028 Olympics.  

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