Never Miss Another Flag Pull Again – and Win More Flag Football Games

1 10 2010
Flag Football Tips: How to Pull Flag Football Flags

Pulling Flags the Right Way

It doesn’t take playing too many seasons of flag football to be able to count up the wins earned and losses given away because of missed flag pulls. But with practice, your team can greatly improve its flag pulling ability and start winning more of those close games.

Practice. Many teams don’t practice at all, but those that do practice route running, catching, throwing, running live plays and occasionally the stray defensive set. But almost never do you see a team practice flag pulling, even though it s a crucial part of the game (that happens nearly every play).

Technique. Aside from practice, the defense needs to have good technique. Too many players stop running and swat at the flag, which is fluttering and flapping. The likelihood of grabbing a flag with the swat method is lower than by using many other techniques. What’s worse, if you swat at a flag and miss, you’ve probably lost your ability to make a play on the runner because he’s still moving full speed and you’ve stopped to swat. Instead, use these three techniques from the Ninja’s Ultimate Strategy Guide, to improve your game:

  1. First, don’t swat and don’t stop your feet. Keep up with the runner and instead of swatting across at the flag, with one hand rip down the runner’s body (assuming your league uses tear-away belts rather than velcro flags) and rip the belt off and with the other hand you can take a swipe at the flag.
  2. Second, slow the momentum of the runner.  Most leagues allow some contact without a penalty, so wrap up the runner completely for a split second and then in one motion rip the flag.  If your referees are especially sensitive to this kind of thing, just put your body in front of the runner.  It will make him stop his forward progress and make a cut.  The result is a much easier target and more success.
  3. Finally, get your team in the habit of pursuing the runner from anywhere on the field.  This is the best defense against pitches and will save you from missed flag debacles.  Swarm the ball!

Here’s a Good Drill:

Form a line of flag pullers about 10-12 yards off the line of scrimmage, centered on the field and facing the line like a defensive back. On the line, have three lines spread out (wide right receiver, wide left receiver and center). Coach/QB will release one receiver from the center, right or left position and throw a quick pass (to work on other mechanics). As soon as the ball is caught, the flag puller releases and pursues the receiver. One point for the offense if he misses the flag, one point for the defense if he pulls it.

The Ninja.

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