Professional football is America’s favorite televised sport. We love to play football in the yard with family and friends, but few can afford the expensive helmets and padding worn by the pros to protect against injuries.
A safer alternative, flag football has been around since the 1940s and is growing in popularity. It gives adults and children the chance to play football with all its strategy and fun but eliminates the risk of full-contact injuries. Each player wears a belt with a flag attached. When a player has the ball, that flag can be pulled when they are within a defender’s reach. The disconnected flag signifies a tackle, and the ball is placed at that spot. Appealing to all ages, the Trained 10-Man Flag Football Set is the best flag football set.
Flag football sets come with 10, 12 and 20 belts and accompanying flags. Some casual games may be made up of odd numbers on the teams, but organized leagues typically will play 5-on-5, 6-on-6 or 10-on-10, depending on the size of the field. Make sure your set has enough gear for each individual player.
Each flag football game has its own level of intensity. Adult leagues and pickup games can be rugged despite the lack of tackling. Youth leagues and beginning players are more focused on the fundamentals. The wear and tear on your flag football equipment are often decided by the size and intensity of the players. Bigger players should look for more rugged belts and flags that will stand up to greater force.
There are flags that are attached with Velcro or snaps. There also are flags used in Flag-a-Tag games that release a loud popping sound when the flag is pulled off. This sound helps identify when a play is over.
Most flags are made from nylon which is weather-resistant and durable. Nylon doesn’t last forever, though. Be prepared to replace belts and flags over time with heavy use. Some premium sets have thicker flags made from canvas or heavier material that should last longer.
Medium-priced flag football sets come with pylons or field markers that help set the parameters of the field to identify sidelines and end zones. If you are consistently changing where you play, this is a helpful accessory to ensure a field can always be set up quickly.
Travel bags offer an easy way to carry all your gear to the field. It keeps flags and belts from falling out in your car or along the way to the game. You also have room to store rule books, scoreboards and other game-day items.
Many flag football sets come with a satisfaction guarantee. If you are missing parts or disappointed with the quality of the belts or flags, you can often get replacement parts within a certain time period. Look at the manufacturer’s information for details.
Inexpensive sets run between $19-$29. They usually include 10-12 sets of belts and flags made from nylon or other synthetic fabric. Midlevel sets are priced between $30-$49. These can include as many as 20 individual belts and accompanying flags; they often include field markers and a travel bag to carry everything you need. Expensive sets are priced at $50 and over. They feature the most sets of belts and flags and are made with premium materials.
A. Yes, the standard flag football field is 30 yards wide and 70 yards long, with 10-yard end zones at each end. Not every field allows this setup. Players must be creative using the field markers to set up the closest version they can as the land allows.
A. The official rules say there is no contact at all in flag football. There is no tackling, blocking, screening or diving. The goal is to eliminate contact and prevent injuries while still enjoying the game. Some leagues and players stretch these rules, but that is based on accepted local play.
What you need to know: Designed for adults and children, this full set includes a full satisfaction guarantee.
What you’ll love: Made from nylon, this set is durable for long-term play. It features 46 pieces for 5-on-5 play for two full teams. An e-book is available via mail from the manufacturer.
What you should consider: Hooks and loops are glued on instead of sewn, which can lead to premature tearing.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
What you need to know: This complete set is designed for everyone over age 7 and comes with all the necessary equipment plus goal line cones.
What you’ll love: The set includes 10 belts and flags, goal-line cones and a carrying bag. Made from nylon, the flags use a D-ring closure for extended use. A set of flag football rules is included. A money-back guarantee is offered.
What you should consider: Over time, the set may not hold up to rough play with older children and adults.
What you need to know: This premium set features a 4-on-4 set that shows off the colors and logo of your favorite National Football League team.
What you’ll love: The set comes with eight belts for two teams. The break-away flags are durable and built for children and adults. The belts are adjustable up to 36-inch waists. All 32 NFL teams are available.
What you should consider: The team paint can peel over time.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Steve Ganger writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.