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Ravens, Under Armour Expand Girls' Flag Football in Maryland

Girls' Flag Football
Girls' Flag Football

The Baltimore Ravens and Under Armour have partnered with Baltimore City Public Schools (City Schools), Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) and Washington County Public Schools (WCPS) to provide grant funding and uniforms for the development of high school girls' flag football programs in the fall of 2024. The announcement follows a successful pilot year of girls' flag football in Frederick County Public Schools (FCPS).

For 2024, the Ravens have committed grant funding to 10 public high schools in Baltimore City, all 25 public high schools in Montgomery County and six public high schools in Washington County, while continuing to support the 10 Frederick County high schools entering Year Two of the program. All participating schools will play competitively in a fall calendar that mirrors other seasonal athletics facilitated by their respective districts.

"Since successfully implementing this initiative last year, our key focus has been to expand the reach of girls' flag football," Ravens senior vice president of marketing Brad Downs stated. "The participating schools are pioneering meaningful programs that shape a more inclusive version of our sport and have helped enrich the lives of many female student-athletes. The interest in and advancement of girls' flag football brings us tremendous pride, and we feel a great deal of responsibility to continue growing this program throughout the state of Maryland."

Under Armour – a leading inventor, marketer and distributor of branded athletic performance apparel, footwear and accessories – will continue to outfit custom uniforms for each team.

"We're thrilled to expand our partnership and help female student-athletes find the confidence needed to compete at the highest level, while also expanding our brand's commitment to women and access to sport," Trey Evans, director of team sports marketing at Under Armour stated. "Sports play a crucial role in helping young women develop into future leaders, emboldening them to approach life's challenges head-on."

In 2023, 280 student-athletes across 10 Frederick County Public Schools participated in the inaugural season of Maryland girls' flag football. They competed in an eight-week season that commenced with the "Kick-Off Classic" and concluded with a championship event, where Middletown defeated Urbana in triple overtime to capture the title.

The Ravens continue to support the development of innovative athletic activities that benefit the physical, social and emotional well-being of female student-athletes. With 51 participating high schools in 2024, this girls' flag initiative is rapidly advancing towards the ultimate goal of becoming a state-sanctioned sport and allowing female student-athletes in every Maryland county to receive these same opportunities well into the future.

Girls' flag football has seen steady growth beyond the state of Maryland in recent years. Highlighted by numerous NFL endorsements and partnerships, the sport has become an emerging offering for girls and women nationwide and across the globe. The International Olympic Committee announced in October 2023 the addition of women's flag football to the 2028 Los Angeles Olympic Games.

Please find below key quotes from leaders representing those participating in the program:

Tiffany Byrd – Baltimore City Public Schools Director of Athletics

"Through the generous grant funding from the Baltimore Ravens and the provision of uniforms by Under Armour, we are empowering girls in our community to excel in flag football. This support not only equips our student-athletes with the necessary resources, but also signifies a commitment to gender equality in sports, fostering teamwork, leadership and love for the game."

Kevin Kendro – Frederick County Public Schools Supervisor of Athletics & Extracurricular Activities

"Following the historic inaugural season, Frederick County Public Schools could not be more excited for the second year of high school girls' flag football. With Baltimore City and Montgomery and Washington counties joining FCPS in adding girls' flag programs, we're optimistic that the sport will continue to grow across the state of Maryland."

Eric Michael – Washington County Public Schools Supervisor of Athletics, Health & Physical Education

"After watching the success of girls' flag football with our neighbors in Frederick County last fall, Washington County Public Schools is excited to be at the forefront of this program's expansion throughout the state of Maryland. This partnership with the Baltimore Ravens and Under Armour will positively impact our WCPS community by allowing expanded athletic opportunities for our girls. By introducing girls' flag football to the community, we're not only shaping athletes, but also building a more equitable and supportive community where every girl knows she can excel both on and off the field."

Dr. Jeff Sullivan – Montgomery County Public Schools Director of Systemwide Athletics

"As we strive to provide additional participation opportunities for our student-athletes, we are excited to be part of the expansion of girls' flag football in Maryland. Girls' flag continues to thrive across the country, and we look forward to partnering with the Baltimore Ravens and Under Armour to bring this excitement to our 25 high schools in Montgomery County. This initiative is directly aligned with our core values of equity, access and spirited competition, and it will provide a springboard of success for girls' flag across our county."

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