Announcement

Announcement Module
Collapse
No announcement yet.

UK scouts want to try American Football

Page Title Module
Move Remove Collapse
X
Conversation Detail Module
Collapse
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • UK scouts want to try American Football

    So last night my PLs had a PLs council in advance of the summer term and among the various things they want to do one stood out as unusual.

    They would like to have a go at American Football. Apparently the pads look fun!

    So as it turns out their is a local club who I will be getting in contact with to see if they can help us out by giving the troop a bit of a taster session. But what I was after before that is to get some idea of the culture of the game, because to most in the UK it is completely alien. Most people think of it as "like rugby but they wear huge shoulder pads and helmets" and that's about all most of us know. (And that the Superbowl winners are crowned "World Champions". You'll have to forgive us for finding that funny. Sorry.)

    So tell me, what sort of age do kids start playing it? Is there a junior version of it? (We have "tag" rugby where you tackle by just tapping the opponants hips and they have to drop the ball) Is there a slimmed down version of it like we have 7 aside rugby and 5 aside football (soccer)? Do girls ever play it? Do scouts ever play it? What else should I know?

    Yours culturally out of his depth.

  • #2
    Welcome to the dark side! The real challenge about football -- especially for rugby and soccer fans -- is all the "starts and stops." Most of the game is spent between plays deciding what to do to that will best move your offense downfield (or stop the opponent's offense) on the next play.

    Most communities support pee-wee leagues that get gung-ho boys in pads as early as 5 years old!

    But kids (boys and girls) learn to play "two-hand-touch" or "flag" football in grade school. Instead of tackling, play stops when an opponent tags the guy with the ball by touching him with both hands or an pulls the flag (either loosely tucked or velcro on webbing) from his belt. Pick-up games usually play everyone who comes as long as the sides are even. (We'll even let one side have the extra player, if they get stuck with the Brit ) Many families and friends have a tradition around Thanksgiving of gathering that weekend to play a "Turkey Bowl". Fields are often quite cold and wet and players return a sodden mess. (I remember one year my buddy and I going out and having a riotous time playing with the town drunks!)

    Boys who play touch or flag regularly can usually walk on their high school and start varsity or junior varsity within season or two. Son #1 did this for his last year in school, and being an avid soccer player, he was coveted for his kick - which did decide a couple of close games. There are proper ways to tackle (in fact right now it's a huge controversy in the US pro football because the players are so fast and large, the concussions and other injuries are quite high) so youth are discouraged from playing tackle ball unless properly supervised.

    We get the occasional girl on a high school team -- usually the best kicker in the school. There are women's leagues. My wife's best friend played in one for a couple of years and thoroughly enjoyed it.

    Scouts do play it. I've seen them use their neckers for flags, tucked loosley in their belts. But typically they just play touch and will form a ball with a sweatshirt rope and duct tape!

    Basically, it's what we do when we are to lazy to find a stick for baseball!

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Cambridgeskip View Post
      So last night my PLs had a PLs council in advance of the summer term and among the various things they want to do one stood out as unusual.
      They would like to have a go at American Football. Apparently the pads look fun!
      So as it turns out their is a local club who I will be getting in contact with to see if they can help us out by giving the troop a bit of a taster session. But what I was after before that is to get some idea of the culture of the game, because to most in the UK it is completely alien. Most people think of it as "like rugby but they wear huge shoulder pads and helmets" and that's about all most of us know. (And that the Superbowl winners are crowned "World Champions". You'll have to forgive us for finding that funny. Sorry.)
      So tell me, what sort of age do kids start playing it? Is there a junior version of it? (We have "tag" rugby where you tackle by just tapping the opponants hips and they have to drop the ball) Is there a slimmed down version of it like we have 7 aside rugby and 5 aside football (soccer)? Do girls ever play it? Do scouts ever play it? What else should I know?
      Yours culturally out of his depth.
      There are a variety of ways to play football. The three major types are "touch," "flag" and "tackle" football. Each of those can be played differently. Touch football is the usual "pick up" game football, it can be played either high contact or low contact. Flag football is for a low contact organized version. Tackle football should be only played in an organized fashion with pads, etc, but as a youth and young adult, we would often play tackle football in yards without pads, etc.

      This is a decent intro to touch football, which I would suggest starting out with.

      http://voices.yahoo.com/how-play-tou...16.html?cat=25

      Comment


      • #4
        Ok...one thing to understand is that pads-on American Football is a collision sport, not a contact sport. :-)

        Flag Football or Touch Football is the way to go for a taster and fun. It's a bit more complicated than rugby with a forward pass added. Each "down" is planned by the offense and the defense tries to anticipate what they're going to do. Your club might teach them a few simple "plays" that they practice until they get it right.

        Having them try to throw a football will be fun on its own.

        BTW...one particularly enthusiastic American commentator proclaimed one superbowl winner "champions of the universe!" lol

        Comment


        • #5
          I agree with the above comments. A common way to play pick-up games is to eliminate the offensive and defensive lines. These are the big guys in the middle that protect the quarterback / try to get to the quarterback. Instead, one guy on defense has to count to 5 slowly and then can go after the quarterback. This gives the receivers some time to try to get open for a pass. You can start by practicing throwing and catching the ball that will be oddly shaped to you. A bit like a rugby ball but more pointy on the ends. i think you've got a great idea here - maybe we can give rugby a try!

          Comment


          • #6
            In Texas we have pee wee football (1st Grade) that is full contact sports...But due to BSA Rules we have Cub Scouts get upset because they Can not earn the "Football Belt Loop" because it is Full Contact not "Flag Football"

            Football can easily be learned without having to Full equipment..Learn the Basics of Passing and Catching first. School yard football consists of Dividing up the Team equally if Possible. Quarterbacks are given 10 Count to be able to pass Ball before being Rushed.

            Since BSA rules do not allow Football or Martial Arts I doubt they will allow Rugby due to the Physical aspect of the Game.

            Comment


            • #7
              Thanks for the pointers chaps. Flag football sounds like the way forward, particularly as the girls may not appreciate the contact nature of the game.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by PA Scoutmaster View Post
                i think you've got a great idea here - maybe we can give rugby a try!
                If you are going to try it it's important you have someone who knows what they are doing, particularly for teaching how to "scrum". This is the most dangerous part of the game. If it's done wrong it risks a broken neck. You are probably best starting with 7 aside rugby which has a 3 man scrum rather than the 8 men you see in the full 15 aside game. It's much less physical anyway and is probably the best place to start by a long way. Also just the right numbers for an inter patrol competition?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Don't discount the girls enjoying the game. Son #1's friends who gather for a game of touch during breaks from college are a mixed crowd.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Flag football, two hand touch, both good. But in my poor experience (I coached my daughter's soccer team, and watch college football alot), the injuries in world soccer vs american football (see Australian lately?) are very different, and almost entirely dependant on the COACHING and the REFFEREEing. If the coaches encourage hard, collision play, you will have injuries. see:

                    http://topics.nytimes.com/top/refere...head_injuries/


                    The problems come when the kids stop wanting to have fun and start wanting to be the pro-player.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      So I;ve been speaking to the Cambridgeshire Cats American Football club this evening and they are coming in on 8 May to run flag football with us plus give a bit of a demo with the pads and helmets. I'm looking forward to it as much as the kids are

                      I've always been keen on every now and then binning the standard programme and doing something completely different. This is certainly in that tradition!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Cambridgeskip View Post
                        So I;ve been speaking to the Cambridgeshire Cats American Football club this evening and they are coming in on 8 May to run flag football with us plus give a bit of a demo with the pads and helmets. I'm looking forward to it as much as the kids are

                        I've always been keen on every now and then binning the standard programme and doing something completely different. This is certainly in that tradition!
                        Great job putting something together for your scouts!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          OK so this post has made me sign up and quit lurking. There is something magical and equally disturbing about putting on an American Football helmet. When properly fitted; it makes you think that you can run into a brick wall and not get hurt. I would have the Cats go over the difference between a Rugby tackle and a Gridiron tackle. At a professional level the difference is very telling. If you are able to try on the helmet and shoulder pads, strap them on tight and try some very light contact. (a pounding on the top of the shoulder type thing) You will see instantly what I am talking about.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by tonkatim View Post
                            OK so this post has made me sign up and quit lurking. There is something magical and equally disturbing about putting on an American Football helmet. When properly fitted; it makes you think that you can run into a brick wall and not get hurt. I would have the Cats go over the difference between a Rugby tackle and a Gridiron tackle. At a professional level the difference is very telling. If you are able to try on the helmet and shoulder pads, strap them on tight and try some very light contact. (a pounding on the top of the shoulder type thing) You will see instantly what I am talking about.
                            Thanks, it certainly sounds like a unique experience. A couple of my scouts play rugby to quite a high level so it will be interesting to see what they make of the different techniques. And glad to have tempted someone out of the woodwork

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I'm surprised nobody has suggested American Wood Badge football: You eliminate the skills required to physically move your team 300 feet between goals, and instead play "The Game of Life" in the end zone.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X