Opinion: Flag football has been introduced as a CIF sport starting in 2023. What about Foothill Tech?


Alivia Baker

Football as a sport has been and still is a sport that has more men than women. However, in our very own Ventura County, girls’ flag football has been introduced as a CIF sport. So why isn’t this opportunity available to Foothill Tech athletes? Learn more in the article below.

Nisha Reddy and Claire Hadley

Ventura Unified School District (VUSD) has recently announced the release of a new California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) sport for female high school students: flag football.

California, along with several others states such as Nevada and Alabama, are adding flag football as an official CIF sport for high school girls in the 2023-2024 school year. This change is exciting for local Channel League Athletic Conference schools, including Buena High School (BHS), Ventura High School (VHS), Pacifica High School (PHS), Dos Pueblos High School (DPHS), Oxnard High School (OHS), San Marcos High School (SMHS) and Santa Barbara High School (SBHS).

The notion of adding flag football as CIF sport in California has sparked support from the professional level. Flag football is “no longer just a backyard sport for girls’ pickup games during family holiday gatherings” emphasizes Troy Vincent, the National Football League’s (NFL’s) executive vice president of football operations in an interview with the Sacramento Bee. The new movement also received publicity from professional sports teams, one of them being the San Francisco 49ers. “We are thrilled with the results of the CIF vote, sanctioning girls flag football as a Varsity sport in California. This will further the opportunities for girls, both on and off the field,” expressed Al Guido, president of the San Francisco 49ers. 

Tackle football is known as an aggressive sport, as it includes many injuries and head to head contact, which is why the alternative of flag football has been sparking interest in girls at the high school level. It requires all of the skills of tackle football, besides the aggressive contact. 

The new addition of flag football has excited Leilah Carovano ‘26 of Foothill Technology High School (Foothill Tech). Carovano expresses her thoughts on the positives of adding flag football as a women’s CIF sport, “I always wondered why girls were never really on a football team but now it’s great that we have flag football. I think it’s important that both genders are able to participate in the same sport, I don’t think boys’ and girls’ sports are really a thing.”

Another one of many female students that are ecstatic for the new changes is VHS student Lily Hadley ‘24, an avid football fan who spent this past NFL season in a fantasy football league.

“I’ve always wanted to play powerpuffs for my junior and senior year of high school but a new CIF league will be a true step up. Ever since I heard that there was going to be a girls’ flag football team, I knew that I wanted to play, I’ve been trying to convince my friends to come try out with me,” exclaims Hadley. 

Flag football is a CIF sport and is available to high school girls all around, but what about at Foothill Tech?

With excitement at VHS, comes disappointment at Foothill Tech. Many female students are left wondering why flag football has not been added on as a school sport.

Foothill Tech is stripping female football fans of the ability to play the sport that they love watching on television screens. It is time to end restrictions on sports that are primarily male and embrace the fact that women are able to play sports that have been historically unavailable to them. 

Foothill Tech is notorious for being a small school with little sports facilities. Most of the sports teams use Ventura College (VC) as their facility for practices and games, which could be a factor in the absence of flag football. Most of the coaches at Foothill Tech are also teachers, which makes it harder to search for a coach to organize, recruit players and put in time to coach high school girls’ flag football.

Alexa Taylor ’24 brings up her concerns on Foothill Tech not having flag football, “It’s saddening to hear, especially because I know a lot of people that would’ve participated and found it to be an exciting new sport to have available. It’s a step forward for female high school athletes, and it’s a great thing to have for future generations.”

Even though Foothill Tech is a small school without sports facilities, why should flag football not be an option? Soccer and track teams have organized a schedule and found a way to work over at VC’s facilities, so flag football can too. The school can’t suppress the love of football from high school girls, because they don’t need to if real effort and change is put in.

Another question has come up on whether Foothill Tech students can play flag football for VHS or BHS. In the past, athletes from Foothill Tech have played on VHS and BHS teams before efforts were made to begin teams on campus. Foothill Tech alumnus Niyam Reddy practiced and competed with the VHS wrestling team during his time in high school. Based on this fact, it can be possible and if this is allowed, the new excitement of flag football for high school girls all around Ventura County can be available and satisfaction will be met.

What do you think?