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Ferrum College News

Ferrum College announces the addition of Women’s Flag Football for 2025-26

FERRUM, Va. – Conference Carolinas announced today the addition of women’s flag football as a conference-sponsored sport starting in 2025-26 and Ferrum College will joining the league as one of the six institutions in the inaugural season.

Conference Carolinas is the first NCAA Division I or II conference to sponsor women’s flag football, and second NCAA conference, joining Division III’s Atlantic East.

2025-26 | Women's Flag Football | Chowan, Emmanuel, Ferrum, King, Lees-Mcrae, and Mount Olive banner flags with logos on them | Conference Carolinas logo (Champions of Body, Mind, Soul) graphic.

Conference member Emmanuel University, who has already announced the addition of women’s flag football, will be joined by Chowan, new member Ferrum, King, Lees-McRae and Mount Olive. Inaugural competition will take place in the spring of 2026.

“Conference Carolinas is excited to lead the way and become the first NCAA Division II conference to sponsor women’s flag football,” Conference Carolinas Commissioner Chris Colvin said. “With significant support from the National Football League (NFL), the sport is growing at the youth, high school, and collegiate levels. We are excited to be on the front lines of giving females across the country another phenomenal competitive opportunity.”

The conference’s addition of women’s flag football has been coordinated with the National Football League (NFL) and RCX Sports.

“This is a pivotal moment in women’s college flag football,” said Stephanie Kwok, NFL Vice President of Flag Football. “As the first NCAA Division II conference to sponsor women’s flag football, Conference Carolina is demonstrating the popularity of this fast-growing sport and playing a key role in expanding the pathways for women to play at an elite level.”

“At RCX Sports, we’re committed to breaking down barriers and making sports available for everyone, regardless of gender, economic background or geographic positioning,” said RCX Sports CEO Izell Reese. “The addition of female flag football to the Conference Carolinas athletic schedule is another major step forward for female athletes to continue chasing their dreams. RCX sports is proud to support Conference Carolinas in bringing this game to the Division II level.”

In 2024-25, it is anticipated that 10 NCAA institutions will be competing across all three divisions. At the NAIA level, there are 24 institutions currently participating women’s flag football and seven at the NJCAA level.

At the high school level, 11 states currently sanction women’s flag football, including Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia and Florida while North Carolina has pilot programs and South Carolina has shown interest. Over the last five years, participation in high school girls flag football has grown by nearly 15 percent and nearly 18 percent for ages 6-17.

Women’s flag football is expected to be considered by the NCAA as an emerging sport in the next year.

The average roster size is around 25 players that will play 7-on-7. A contest will consist of four 12-minute quarters on a field that is 80×40 yards. The offense has four downs to cross each 20-yard line for a first down with an option to punt at third down. If unsuccessful, teams surrender possession to their opponent.

Teams score six points for a touchdown and can gain an extra one or two points for a set play from the five- or 10-yard lines. Players will wear tightly fixed flag belts with sockets and two pop flags on either side of their hips.

The NFL is a huge supporter of the growth of flag football. Numerous NFL facilities and stadiums have been utilized for competitions and clinics while several players have attended and engaged with athletes to grow the sport.  Across the country this past year, more than 700,000 youth took part in NFL FLAG leagues, with nearly 500,000 of those athletes being female, and 11 states have now sanctioned girls flag football as championship sports, thanks to the work of the NFL and RCX Sports, the official operator of NFL FLAG.

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT FLAG FOOTBALL

Cleive Adams, Ferrum College, Director of Athletics
“We are excited about the opportunity to be a part of an emerging sport that is going to add another layer to the great athletic tradition we have here at Ferrum College. Being a part of one the first official Division II leagues that sponsor Women’s Flag and the first of its kind in the state of Virginia will provide Ferrum College with an opportunity to tap into a sport population that is growing rapidly in our hope state as well as neighboring states along the east coast.”

Conference Carolinas Women’s Flag Football Charter Members

Emmanuel University
Location: Franklin Springs, Georgia
Nickname: Lions

Chowan University
Location: Murfreesboro, North Carolina
Nickname: Hawks

Ferrum College
Location: Ferrum, Virginia
Nickname: Panthers

King University
Location: Bristol, Tennessee
Nickname: Tornado

Lees-McRae College
Location: Banner Elk, North Carolina
Nickname: Bobcats

University of Mount Olive
Location: Mount Olive, North Carolina
Nickname: Trojans