The Case for Flag Football As an Olympic Sport

The Olympics are unlike any other sporting competition on the planet. For 16 days, over 300 events representing 35 sports and every country on the planet compete to take home their prized medals, and I have looked forward to watching the Summer Olympics every 4 years since as far back as I can remember. But there’s always been something missing. One of the United States most popular sports, and a top 10 sport throughout the world, it looks as though tackle and flag football could be Olympic sports by the year 2024, but issue obstacles still remain for that to become a reality. First we’ll walk through some reasons why the road to getting American Football included into the Olympics has not been an easy journey, followed by why we believe flag football to be the logical solution and choice as a future Olympic sport.

WHY ISN’T AMERICAN FOOTBALL ALREADY AN OLYMPIC SPORT?
According to an article by NFL.com, the biggest logistical problems facing the sport of American Football being included in the Olympics are very similar to that of Rugby. With the large numbers of participants on each team, the “gender equality” formats where both men and women participate in every sport, and the compressed 3 week schedule that would be tough with a more physical game like football and rugby. Furthermore for American Football, the barrier to entry is high due to it’s cost to equip all players with pads and gear, and therefor has also been slow to adopt in many foreign countries, especially of the poorer variety.

Knowing all this, it’s hard to see how either sport would be a good fit for the Summer Olympics. Rugby is a lot like Soccer in that very little is needed to play the sport in terms of gear and practice at it’s base level, and has a much larger international following. This among other reasons has recently allowed Rugby to be cleared for the Olympics starting in 2016 by changing the traditional style to a less traditional “sevens” format which is faster paced with less people, which could help carve a similar path for American Football, or flag football more specifically.

TACKLE SAFETY CONCERNS
Even more and more high school, college and pro teams are starting to reduce the number of contact practices, still sporting the likes of soft-padded headgear and shoulder pads for added protection. But what if we could limit the contact players see before high school and middle school while also addressing some of the concerns for the sport related to it being fully accepted into the Olympics?There’s a lot of talk recently revolving around the safety of tackle football, and not just in the NFL where concussions are a major concern. Starting as far back as the youth football level, recent evidence has surfaced supporting the idea that even short of a concussion, repeated head impacts and collision can manifest in similar brain injuries later in life for kids tested between the ages of 8-13. Many researchers are suggesting kids shouldn’t be playing football at all, suggesting that kids’ heads are “a larger part of their body, and their necks are not as strong as adults’ necks. So kids may be at a greater risk of head and brain injuries than adults.”

DREW BREES BELIEVES FLAG FOOTBALL CAN SAVE FOOTBALL
As of 2015, studies show that flag football is the fastest growing youth sport in the United States, greatly outpacing the growth of traditional tackle football. Many individual high schools are making the switch to flag football over tackle, getting other schools in their regions to follow suit creating organized leagues and divisions. It’s even an officially recognized varsity sport in many states, and with women especially flag football is a way to allow easier participation versus the physical nature of tackle.And he’s not the only one. Recently Drew Brees was interviewed by Peter King for NBC’s pregame show and had some strong words on why he believes flag football is the answer. “I feel like flag football can save football,” Brees said. Brees coaches his son’s flag football team, and played flag football himself through junior high, never playing tackle football until high school. “I feel like (flag football) is a great introductory method for a lot of kids into football,” Brees mentioned. “Otherwise I feel it’s very easy to go in and have a bad experience early on and then not want to ever play it again. I feel like once you put the pads on there are just so many other elements to the game, and you’re at the mercy of the coach in a lot of cases too. And to be honest, I don’t think enough coaches are well-versed enough in regards to the true fundamentals of the game especially when the pads go on at the youth level.” Many other pro athletes and coaches have expressed similar sentiments as well, singing praises for the sport of flag football, and the rise in popularity of the sport echoes that.

Flag football isn’t a fluke or just a recreational development tool that feeds into tackle football, it’s a full-fledged movement that has it’s own identity and purpose and it’s time we recognized that distinction.

Internationally it is gaining popularity as well, much faster it seems than traditional American football where the barrier to entry is much higher with the need for full pads and gear. In Mexico for instance, flag football is booming in popularity, where most consider it to be the #2 sport to soccer and closing fast, with and estimated 2.5 million kids participating just at the elementary school level. International teams are starting to make the trip to some of the more popular American flag football tournaments, with representation from Panama, Indonesia, Bahamas, Mexico, Canada and more a common occurrence.

Everywhere you look, participation and interest in the sport flag football is exploding.

At an adult level, it was a record year for the sport of flag football. New major tournaments are popping up across the world, seeing thousands of teams competing across all age groups, formats and styles. Cash prizes have been at an all time high, expected to eclipse over $100,000 in team giveaways in the next calendar year. Sponsors have started taking notice as well, with the likes of EA Sports, Nerf, Hotels.com, Red Bull and other major brands seeing the value and growth from flag football as a way to effectively reach their target audience in large numbers. Women’s participation is at an all-time high as well, mirroring it’s popularity at the youth level, and is the preferred format of play for American football in most Central to South American countries.

So how does this all lead back to the Olympics and getting American football included as an official sport? First, let’s review a little history on where the sport stands today with the International Olympic Committee, or IOC.

Historically, In order to be included into the Olympic games as a demonstration sport, you have to have an International Federation and have held a World Championship competition. This must take place a minimum of 6 years before a scheduled Olympic games. The International Federation of American Football, primarily focused on tackle football but includes flag in it’s tournament lineup, met this standard and was approved in 2012, and gained provisional recognition in 2014. This could pave the

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Sports Arbitrage – A Path to Regular Risk Free Profits – Learn More

Sports arbitrage betting

Arbitrage sports betting is a proven way to get regular risk free profits from the massive online fixed odds betting market. In a way it’s like a swoop and scoop of regular small profits from pitting one fixed odds bookmaker against another.

Sports arbitrage betting takes it’s origins from arbitrage trading in financial markets. In financial markets an arbitrage trade exploits the difference in the price of a listed company on a stock market in different countries.

Sports arbitrage trading is where someone regularly trades price inconsistencies between fixed odds bookmakers on the same sporting event. After all bookmakers are only human and they make mistakes. These mistakes can be exploited by someone who wants to spot them.

In truth a lot of fixed odds bookmakers don’t want you to know this information….but sports arbitrage betting is legal and doesn’t harm the bookmakers business in any case. The returns you can expect from sports arbitrage trading are limited only by the fixed odds bookmakers who cap the stake size. The only investment needed with a ‘sport arb’ is your betting stake, which as you’ll learn is totally guaranteed.

What sort of budget should I start with for sports arbitrage trading?

Well, this is your decision. Depending on your level of experience we would suggest free sport arbitrage betting with the free bets available from online fixed odds bookmakers. You can increase your budget with your level of confidence. The winnings with sport arbitrage trading can be added to your bank. If you decided to invest a percentage of you bank each time your stake and you profit will increase accordingly.

How do bookmakers lose their money?

Sports arbitrage trading is all about spotting inconsistencies between different bookmakers’ prices that regularly exist. As a result of mistakes by fixed odds bookmakers an under round occurs. An under round forms the basis of a sports arbitrage bet. Simply the under round is when the total number of probabilities priced by the odds on that event are below 100%. A typical under round is where you would have to invest £96 to get the bookmaker to pay you £100. Using this example a sports arbitrage bet would give you a return of 4%. You can expect a return of around 4% for sports arbitrage bets. Sometimes you will get more than 4%.

Sports arbitrage bets win regardless of the outcome of the event without any need for expert knowledge of sports betting or sports. This is one of the reasons sports arbitrage betting has a popular following.

There are two sides to any fixed odds bet, back and lay. Sports arbitrage bets come as back / back bets or back / lay bets.

Lets have a look at how these sports arbitrage bets might look.

Back / back sports arbitrage

In the week of October 7th there were many arbs between 3% and up 9.17% for the European Championship Qualifiers played that week. Several of these sport arb opportunities lasted longer than normal because of the massive amount of interest in the games.

An example of one sport arb that week is given below: -

Poland Vs Latvia You could bet: – Latvia at 15.0 with Bet365 or Eurobet The Draw at 7.0 Luvbet Poland at 1.35 with several bookmakers including Unibet.com and Nordicbet.com. The odds have been converted to a percentage to make it easier to visualize.

By splitting your total stake Poland 77.951%, Draw 15.033% and Latvia 7.016% you would guarantee a profit of 5.23% regardless of the outcome of the match.

i.e.

Poland 77.951 x 1.35 = 105.23 Draw 15.033 x 7 = 105.23 Latvia 7.016 x 15 = 105.23

Why do these pricing inconsistencies or under round prices occur?

As bookmakers can now operate online, there are now hundreds of online fixed odds bookmakers. They are all competing with one another and are located in various countries and time zones. To be the person who actually prices a particular sportsbook you have to have a massive amount of knowledge of that sport. To compete, fixed odds bookmakers offer loads of sports in their sportsbook, but there isn’t the expertise to cover every sport. They may have the relevant stats but they can’t possibly know every participant and every event. In short mistakes can and do happen. Taking this into account and the difference in time zones you get hundreds of opportunities for sports arbitrage trading every week.

Take two examples.

When England play soccer most bets with UK bookmakers will be supporting England. Bookmakers may offer the opposition at an inflated price to create a balanced book.

A typical week with four golf tournaments and a couple of tennis events bookmakers may have to price up 800 or so outright odds plus over 400 matches just in these two sports alone. We only need two bookmakers from the many available to have a difference of opinion in one of these markets to create an opportunity.

Back / lay sports arbitrage betting

You can also find a sport arb between the back and lay price (win / lose) for the event. Back / lay sports arbitrage betting has been made easier due to betting exchanges like Betfair. A betting exchange allows members to lay an event (e.g. for a horse to lose). A back / lay sports arbitrage bet occurs when the price offered by a bookmaker is higher than the lay price available on a betting exchange for the same selection. The difference between the two represents your profit. Often a bookmaker can be slow to change the price on a favourite when something has happened to reduce the odds. As the price drops on the betting exchange you profit by laying low with the betting exchange and backing high with the bookmaker.

How do we find sports arbitrage bets?

Finding sports arbitrage bets can be time consuming. Spotting them is relatively easy. You just convert the opposing odds on an event to a percentage and see if they add up to less than 100%.

Instead of trawling odds comparison sites we recommend using one of the sports arbitrage services which are available. These companies use software to search for sports arbitrage bets for you.

What is the first step to successful sports arbitrage trading?

Sports arbitrage opportunities can spring up anywhere; a fixed odds bookmaker in the USA, UK, Europe or Australia. The first step is to open an account with a selection of online fixed odds bookmakers. There are some specific bookmakers who suit sports arbitrage betting because they allow a high stake size. As you’ll learn it is important to have a bookmaker who allows a high stake when you consider you are making around 4% on each sports arbitrage bet.

How do I set up a sports arbitrage bet once I have opened by fixed odds bookmaker account?

When you know which fixed odds bookmakers are presenting a sports arbitrage opport

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