Do Tackle Football and Flag Football Have Different Insurance Requirements?

More than 5 million people aged six and older participate in football programs around the United States. Nearly 3% of children play in local leagues and neighborhood teams, and more than 1 million teens play at the high school level.

Football is a popular sport, but watching young people run around on the field, deliberately running into each other at full speed and falling to the ground raises genuine concerns about the risk of injury. It only takes one bad hit to permanently change the life of a young player.

How Dangerous Is Tackle Football?

Surprisingly, children playing soccer, using a skateboard, and riding a bike are more likely to sustain an injury than those playing football in an organized league. Those who do get hurt while playing football usually have a minor injury. Bruises and ligament sprains account for half of the injuries that lead players to the emergency room or an urgent care visit, while concussions are rare.

This is good news, but it doesn’t mean the game is risk-free. Damage to the spinal cord, broken bones, and traumatic brain injury remain very real concerns for parents, players, and leagues. Without insurance, treating these injuries can be very costly.

Is Flag Football Safer?

Flag football first appeared on military bases in the early 1940s, where it gave military personnel something to do outside while they waited to go overseas. In this no-contact version of American football, players remove flags hanging from the opponent’s uniforms. No one hits another player at full speed, reducing the risk of concussion and spinal cord injuries that can be sustained during a tackle.

In fact, during tackle football games, players are 15 times more likely to suffer a head impact and 23 times more like to sustain a high-magnitude head impact. Flag football players may be at a lower likelihood of serious injury, but the game still features some risk. They still get injured during practice and at games and may deal with the following types of damage to their bodies:

  • This type of injury typically happens when players collide on the field and hit their heads as they attempt to take a flag or avoid losing one. These collisions may be less common than in tackle football, but flag football players generally don’t wear helmets and shoulder pads to protect their bodies.
  • Knee injuries. A knee injury like an anterior cruciate ligament tear happens frequently on a flag football field when players twist or hyperextend the knee when they change direction or run into another player. These injuries may require surgery to repair the damage or physical therapy to facilitate the healing process.
  • Lateral ankle sprains are the most common type of injury related to flag football because of the way players jump during plays, step on each other’s feet, and suddenly change direction while running. Many sprains are mild and can be treated at home, but the injured player may still need to visit the doctor to rule out more serious injuries.

Flag Football Team and League Insurance Needs

Flag football players may have a lower risk of serious injury on the field, but they’re not playing a risk-free sport. Since no one can predict when and where a player will get hurt, teams and leagues should always have football insurance in place. Insurance policies help protect players, teams, and leagues from the costly expense of treating injuries sustained during practice and games.

  • General Liability: Provides comprehensive coverage to protect players, coaches, and volunteers from third-party claims of bodily injury, personal or property damage, and abuse.
  • Secondary Accident Medical: Medical insurance to pay for injuries and accidents not covered by primary medical insurance, including accidental death and dismemberment.
  • Catastrophic Secondary Accident Medical Excess Coverage: Includes up to $1 million of secondary medical, accidental death, and dismemberment insurance.
  • Inland Marine: Coverage for team-related equipment damaged during game play or practice as well as during transport and off-season storage.
  • Crime Protection: Protects against damages resulting from theft of league funds.
  • Directors and Officers: Protects the league against wrongful acts, omissions, misleading statements, and mismanagement from the team or league’s directors and officers. Coverage extends to failure to provide services and cyber liability.

Get the Protection You Need and the Coverage You Want

Whether you operate a flag football league or sports camp, getting the insurance protection you need is essential. The team of professionals at ESP Specialty can help you secure the type of coverage that best meets your needs. Reach out today to discuss your insurance needs and how we can help you protect the people you serve.



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