While the host teams weren’t among the medalists at the seventh annual B.C. flag football championships, the Kelowna Minor Football Association is expected to be the big winner later this fall.
A record 116 teams and about 1,200 players competed in 505 games during a 29-hour period at the Mission Sport Fields recently. And Jeff Koltun, president of the KMFA, sees those numbers making an impact on the upcoming tackle football season.
“We plan to use the momentum and fun factor of the provincials to boost our fall tackle program,” said Koltun, who was quick to point out that registration is now open at kmfa.ca. “The provincial flag tournament was a great showcase for the game of football and showed how the flag can be a stepping stone to tackle.”
The KMFA flag season this spring included 300 players, with 27 of the 32 Kelowna teams taking part at the provincials where each team played a minimum of 10 games.
“We played 25-minute games in pool play and that allowed teams to play more games and gain more experience,” said Koltun.
Koltun said the growth in the sport is due in part to being inclusive, affordable and accessible.
“The teams are small, all kids get playing time and there’s very little cost involved. We supply all the equipment,” said Koltun. “With only five players on the field at one time, it’s easy to rotate kids in and out, so they all get a chance to play and develop their skills. It’s a very simple sport for parents to get their kids involved in.”
The under-10 provincial championship was won by the North Surrey Thunderbirds, while the North Delta Longhorns (Black) won the U-12 title. The Royal City Hyacks (Orange) finished first in the U-14 division and the North Delta Broncos took the U-16 championship. The first-ever provincial U-19 title went to the North Surrey Ravens.
The top finish among KMFA teams was turned in by the U-10 Kelowna Vipers, who placed eighth among 20 teams.
“Our teams are up against some pretty stiff competition,” noted Kolton. “While our teams are set up to spread out the talent evenly, many of the visiting teams are tiered. But our kids still enjoyed the challenge and just did the best they could.”
For more information on the Kelowna Minor Football Association go to http://www.kmfa.ca