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Message from the Commissioner
What a year it’s been! We have just completed our largest spring and fall seasons to date with over 530 players! It’s my last year as commissioner and it’s so empowering to take a moment and reflect upon the pluralistic vibrant and close-knit community we have grown together. Our league is a community, one that fosters love for one another, and for the communities around us. In 2016, we tried more than ever to increase our inclusivity, impact and innovation. Whether making every player a starter on the field, launching a second annual youth scholarship, or shattering our fundraising and volunteer hour totals, we aim to build on our accomplishments together, year after year. To help us do even more in 2017, I hope that you will join me in making a tax-deductible contribution…$10…$25…$50…$100—whatever you can afford—to FLAG Flag Football.
This year, we have a special announcement. For the first time, your donation will be matched! Due to the generosity of former league Commissioner Richard Moore, and his husband Matthew Lafond, FLAG Flag Football is forming its first-ever Moore & Lafond Endowment fund to support LGBTQ advocacy activities. Richard and Matt have pledged to match any and all gifts up to $25,000 made to our league before December 31, 2016. That means, with your support, our annual LGBTQ High School Scholarship, Camp Lightbulb Scholarship, Youth Field Day, and future advocacy efforts will be endowed in perpetuity. Thank you Richard and Matt!
DOUBLE THE POWER OF YOUR DONATION
$50 becomes $100 | $100 becomes $200 | $150 becomes $300
With more interest than ever before, FLAG Flag Football is truly living its organizational vision: tackling stereotypes, building community, and transforming lives through sport for the LGBTQ and ally community.
There is more work to be done in affirming the LGBTQ and ally journeys, showing everyone that all people have a valued place on our team. These include:
- Endowing and expanding our scholarship programs
- Growing our association with LGBTQ youth in Mass. through additional Youth Field Days
- Increasing the quantity of volunteer opportunities and participant involvement
We are so proud of the thousands of lives we have touched, while keeping fees to a minimum in comparison to comparable sports leagues. With your generosity, we can continue to positively impact the lives of our players and members of our extended community. With your support, we will ensure that our organization, and our way of giving back, is here to stay, forever.
Thank you for your support.
PS: As FLAG Flag Football is a recognized 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, donations are fully tax deductible.
As the 2016 Fall Season comes to a close, we are asking all participants—players and referees— to provide us with feedback on the past season. The 2017 Board of Directors will rely on your responses and input to shape the decisions we make as a league for the upcoming seasons. In an effort to make this league as best as possible for everyone, please let us know what we do well and where we can improve! Thanks in advance for taking the time.
Congratulation to the Royal Family Jewels – our 2016 Super Fabulous Bowl Champs!
Super Fabulous Bowl Weekend
Walsh Playground and Dorchester Park | Games start at 7:45 am
Join us this weekend for our day-long tournament and find out which team will walk away the championship!
There are only THREE DAYS left to order FLAG Flag Football t-shirts and sweatshirts in this season’s color combinations. Orders must be placed by 6pm on Wednesday, November 2 and will be distributed Super Fabulous Bowl weekend. Visit The Locker and place your order today!
Please note: the heather navy and dark heather t-shirts are now available in XL. If you would like to update an existing order, please email email@example.com.
Our Online Auction is now closed.
As part of our annual event, our fundraising committee has secured over $13,000 in unique experiences, entertainment and sports tickets, spa and beauty services, and much more! Thank you to everyone who bid on prizes and congratulations to all the winners.
Friday, October 21 at 7:30-10:00pm | Muse Paintbar – Assembly Row
Come join your FLAG Flag Football friends and teammates, meet other players in our league, and unleash your inner artist!
No prior paining experience is needed — even if you can’t sketch a stick figure, for $40, you’ll go home with a masterpiece! Wine, beer, and appetizers will be available for purchase.
Unfortunately, due to space limitations, only the first 50 who register will be able to paint.
Saturday, October 15 | 8:30am-2:00pm
Walsh Playground and Dorchester Park
Have your friends and family members ever said, “I’d love to come to one of your games,” or “I really want to come see you play”? If so — and even if not — this is the IDEAL DAY for them to attend!
The team with the most fans in attendance throughout the day will win a PIZZA PARTY for their team later in the season. To track attendance, friends and family members who come to the games should take a picture of themselves at the fields — ideally with the player they’re there to support — and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org; the subject line should be the name or color of the team to whom their attendance should be credited.
Please note the modified schedule that day:
Thank you everyone who came out last night for FLAG Flag Football’s exDRAGvaganza! The evening was a smashing success and, with your support, we raised well over $2,000 to help cover tournament expenses for the Boston Hancocks, Bulldogs, and Longfellows.
Special thanks to our guests Kris Knevil and Destiny, our host Club Café, and all of our performers and pit crew.
Thursday, September 29 | Doors open at 7pm | Club Café
|You’ve seen them get in formation on the fields, now watch them SLAY on stage! Join us on Thursday, September 29th at Club Café for a one night only Drag Extravaganza event brought to you by our own FLAG Flag Football travel teams — the Hancocks, Bulldogs and Longfellows. All proceeds from this event will benefit the travel teams as they represent Boston at this year’s Gay Bowl!
Their charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and talent will be on full display for your enjoyment. Be electrified as they lip-sync for their lives in a night full of laughs, a Pit Crew that’ll make RuPaul melt, and performances you’ll never forget.
We are also thrilled to announce that there will be special guest performances by Boston’s beloved Kris Knievil and Destiny! You aren’t going to want to miss this!
Tickets will be on sale at the door. Come early before we sell out!
Meet Your Team Party
Sunday, September 11th
Thanks to everyone who came out to Open Play and the Meet Your Team Party this weekend! We hope you are just as pumped for this season as we are. If you were unable to attend the Meet Your Team event (or are just curious to see who is on whose team), check out the full roster under Players > Roster.
Another great draft is over! Looking forward to seeing everyone at the Meet Your Team Party at 2!
Open Play / Clinic Day
Saturday, September 10th @ Walsh Playground (967 Washington Street, Dorchester) from 9am to 12:00pm.
This day is MANDATORY for all players who are NEW to the league. We also strongly encourage returning players to join the fun! This will be your opportunity to come out and learn about the game, including basic rules and skills, and meet our captains and board. Check-in will start at 9:00am, clinics will begin by 9:30am, and scrimmages will be held from 10:30am to 12:00pm. If you are NEW and cannot attend Open Play, please email email@example.com ASAP for an alternative date. Please note, if you are currently on the the wait list, your participation at Open Play will prioritize your spot on the list.
We invite everyone to head over to The Blarney Stone, one of our league’s sponsors, at 1505 Dorchester Avenue to continue the fun!
Please join us for the 6th Annual #SummerSportsTeaDanceat dbar from 4-8pm on Sunday, August 28 for drinks, dancing, fun, and friends!
SPORT A WIG FOR VICTORY! Wear your sports gear and best wig to be a part of the #WigFun4Victory photo contest! We’re looking forward to a fun-filled event with YOU and the LGBT sports community!
All proceeds from this afternoon of music, dancing, and fun, including an awesome raffle, will benefit Victory Programs and the 2,300 men, women, and children they provide hope, health and housing for each year. For more information about Victory Programs and #WigFun4Victory, please visit www.vpi.org.
Registration for the 2016 Fall Season is now closed.
The season starts with our Open Play/Clinic Day on Saturday, September 10 and ends with the SuperFabulous Bowl on Saturday, November 19. There will be no games scheduled on October 8 (Columbus Day Weekend). The Meet Your Team Party will be on Sunday, September 11 (details to follow).
All games will be played at Walsh Playground and Dorchester Park. However, based on player feedback, we will no longer be using Field 6.
In order to keep the league at 22 teams, we have added a time slot. Games will be scheduled at 8:30am, 9:30am, 10:30am, 11:30am, and 12:30pm with 25-minute halves. Teams will play 2-3 games each week.
Each team comprises 14 players. Adding one additional player to each team will allow us to include 22 more amazing people in our league. We are also maintaining “everyone is a starter,” where each player, regardless of experience and playing ability, will start on one side of the ball. Both of these changes were tested this spring season and recieved positive feedback.
We are thrilled to introduce our 19 returning and 3 first-time* captains for the upcoming season:
We’d like to thank them all for their enthusiasm and dedication to our league and mission. Together, we will be planning the best fall season ever!
Come join your fellow flag footballers at Ogunquit Beach on Saturday, August 6th for the Annual FLAG Flag Football Beach Bowl!
We will begin playing games at 10am and will stay to hang out and enjoy the beach together as a league into the early afternoon. Whether you intend to participate in beach football or just want to join us on the beach to tan, swim, or hang out, all of our players (both former and present), as well as their friends and families, are encouraged to attend!
From the beach, we will migrate over to MaineStreet, where we have the front deck and bar reserved for our very own FLAG Flag Football Post-Beach Bowl Tea Dancefrom 3-8pm! We have also encouraged the Ogunquit LGBTQA community to join us there!
Many people make a weekend of it and head down Friday evening and stay until Sunday. Others join us for Saturday and then spend the night in town, and some just come for the day or the tea dance. No matter what your plans are, we hope to see you in Ogunquit on August 6!
Please note that this is also Sinner’s Ball Weekend in Ogunquit and accommodations may no longer be available.
Calling All Potential Fall Captains
“A coach’s greatest asset is his sense of responsibility.” – Knute Rockne
Do you have a strong desire to step up and lead others both on and off the field? Do you want to influence your 2016 spring team? Do you think you can show more poise in the draft room than Bill Belichick or the Kevin Costner character from Draft Day? If you answered ‘yes’ to these questions, then why not step up and be a captain this fall.
Please email Ken at firstname.lastname@example.org by MONDAY, JULY, 18TH if you are interested.
Once all names have been submitted, the board will select new captains based on the following criteria:
- Demonstrated ability to represent and promote FLAG Flag Football in a positive manner at all times;
- Demonstrated ability to communicate well with others both on and off the field;
- Demonstrated ability to lead by example including — but not limited to –good sportsmanship, character, and the ability to place league values of inclusion, interleague community, participation, and fairness above winning;
- Demonstrated ability and willingness to promote and attend a majority of league-sponsored events, including games during the season;
- Familiarity with league rules and a general understanding of the game of football; and
- Demonstrated ability to inspire, motivate and raise team morale.
You do NOT need to be an “expert”. Football is a team sport! If you have any questions about the qualifications, or if you are wondering if being a captain is right for you, don’t hesitate to email Ken at email@example.com.
Boston takes over Chicago
Good luck to all of our players and refs participating at this year’s Pride Bowl in Chicago! We are thrilled to have our largest presence at the tournament with four teams competing—the Hancocks, Longfellows, Minutemen, and Banshees.
Happy Pride, Boston!
Congratulations to the Baby Beluga Homosexuwhales—our 2016 Rosie Bowl Champions!
Join us this weekend for the 5th Annual Rosie Bowl and find out who will take home the spring championship!
Boston will host Gay Bowl XVII in 2017
It is with incredible pride and joy that we get to share with the Boston FLAG Flag Football community that OUR CITY has officially been chosen to host Gay Bowl XVII in 2017!!! We are humbled to report that city leaders from across the country voted Boston as their top choice among two other deserving cities. We are thrilled that we won the bid and promise to not disappoint and show over 500+ footballers from around the country a wicked good time! Stay tuned for updates!
Show Your PRIDE!
This year we are selling Pride tanks and t-shirts for $20. Sign up by May 24 to march with the league in this year’s Pride Parade and pay half-price!
To sign up to march or to just purchase a shirt, visit The Locker. After you select the navy tank or t-shirt, just indicate your size and if you will be marching with us!
T-shirts are available in Youth X-Small to Adult XXXL. Tanks are only available in adult sizes.
Last chance to order spring shirts from The Locker!
Visit The Locker, our online store, and stock up on FLAG Flag Football gear. We are currently selling our spring collection of t-shirts available in kiwi, cornsilk, sports grey, and heather orange…sorry, no cerulean. These color combinations will only be available this season. Don’t miss out!
We will be accepting orders until midnight on Friday, May 6th and distributing items on Saturday, May 21st at the fields. If you have any questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Congratulations to the FLAG Flag Football league for being named the Outstanding Volunteer Group Award recipient from Community Servings!
Volunteer of the Quarter
We are pleased to announce that Adam Vavrek is our Volunteer of the Quarter (Q1). Great work, Adam. Thank you for all of your service to the community on behalf of FLAG Flag Football!
Boston’s FLAG Flag Football League is honored to award its fourth-annual $2,500 youth scholarship to Phil Batler from Newton South High School.
Phil is one of the fastest high school sprinters in the country, having won the 300 meter dash at both the Dual County League and Massachusetts Division I State Championships. During the summer of 2013, Phil won the New England Junior Olympic title in the 100m dash. At the New England Championships his junior year, Phil placed second and qualified for nationals. As a senior, Phil led his team to their first league title in three years. During his four years running varsity indoor and outdoor track in Newton, Phil set school records at five different distances
Phil came out as an openly gay student during his junior year. “I stopped trying to blend into the straight crowd and wanted people to see that athleticism and sexuality are unrelated,” he said. “I made my sexuality unapologetically apparent in the hopes that just one person on the team looked up to me as an athletic role model who is proud of their differences.” To do this, Phil began to compete wearing a pride rainbow-patterned sweatband “to show that my queer identity was present with me in the hyper-masculine world of sports.” He admits to still being nervous at times when he wears it, unsure of how people will respond and what they’ll think of him, “but every time I cross the finish line in first, pumping my fist with a pride flag, I know I’ve made the right choice.”
Off the track, Phil has taken numerous initiatives to make sports at Newton South safer for and more inclusive of LGBT students. Using his platform as president of his school’s GSA (Gender and Sexuality Awareness Club, which he wanted changed from Gay/Straight Alliance in order to be more inclusive), Phil addressed 130 fellow students, speaking about his own experiences as an openly gay athlete and also about stereotypes faced by members of the LGBT community. In order to combat the homophobic bullying in the locker room, Phil worked with his GSA and school newspaper to encourage queer athletes to share their stories in the paper, as he did with his own. “During my time at South,” he reflects, “I have definitely noticed a shift in locker room slang.”
Phil’s school counselor, James Medeiros, describes these efforts with the school newspaper as “one of [Phil’s] most outstanding examples of making the community safer for LGBTQ student athletes. In his own quiet, confident way, Phil teaches us all to accept ourselves for who we are and to always remain positive. He is an outstanding role model for all students, no matter why they are.” Medeiros explains that Phil “goes about his business without a lot of fanfare. Quietly confident about his many achievements, he possesses an enviable and careful work ethic that has enabled him to develop a profound capacity for knowledge, observation, and leadership.”
Bob Parlin, a Newton South history and social science teacher who co-founded his school’s GSA in 1991, describes Phil as “a superb activist,” and “one of the most eager student GSA leaders we have ever had.” He explains that “whether he is putting together a plan of action for the GSA to talk with middle school students about LGBT issues or fighting for a gender-neutral bathroom for our transgender students, Phil has been the leader who oversaw all of the GSA’s initiatives of the past year.” In addition to being the GSA advisor, Parlin has taught Phil in both his freshman and senior years and describes him as a “curious, diligent, and independent student who is capable of tremendous insight. His outstanding achievement in the class speaks volumes to what he is capable of as a bright scholar, a dedicated citizen, and an advocate for social justice.”
Phil speaks powerfully about the importance of being out and living authentically. “You can lecture people for hours about ending homophobia, but it is the presence of a queer person, on the team and in the locker room, that truly encourages acceptance. I hope that because of my actions there is an athlete somewhere inspired by my success and pride to be comfortable with their own identity.”
Phil plans to attend Brown University in the fall and major in Gender and Sexuality with hopes of becoming a civil rights attorney. All of us in FLAG Flag Football are thrilled to support the education of such an outstanding young man.
FLAG Flag Football bids Gay Bowl XVII in 2017
Why do we think we will be the best, you ask? Let’s be real—Boston is one of the all-time coolest cities in the country. Paul Revere. The Patriots. Aerosmith. The Boston Marathon. Walhburgers…Enough said.
Besides being rooted in an epic history of incredible sports teams, and you know that whole legalizing gay marriage first thing, Boston is a beautiful fall destination that will offer the complete Gay Bowl experience—fun city, great fields, and a ton of hot spots for partying.
With a community of over 300 players and three national teams, Boston’s FLAG Flag Football league is ready to step up to the challenge and promises to deliver a wicked good time!
Click the image below to view the complete bid.
Spring Season Updates!
- Online registration will open on Monday, March 7th at 7pm. There will not be an early registration period for returning players.
- Players will be allowed to register as individuals or with up to 2 friends (for a total of 3). Please note: All players registering in a group must register individually, and all registration forms must match in order to guarantee that players will be put on the same team. Also, each player must register in time and be among those who qualify, based on their time of registration, to play.
- The dates for this year’s spring season will be Saturday, April16th to Saturday, May 21st. Traditionally, the 6-week season has begun earlier in April. However, we have decided to delay the start of the season, because we are anticipating a tough winter with potential weather issues and/or field damage. We have also factored in scheduling conflicts with the end of the basketball season. Our spring season will still end before Memorial Day.
- Softball conflicts: The Boards for the two leagues have been in contact and will be working together to accommodate scheduling needs to the best of our abilities, so participation in both leagues is possible. Football players will be asked on the registration form if they will also be playing softball and, if so, for what team.
- NEW! Based on feedback collected from the year-end survey, the formation of spring teams will be formed through a draft involving all captains — rather than the Board solely creating the teams. Details TBA.
- We plan to have an Open Play/Meet Your Team event on Saturday, April 9th. Details on time and location TBA closer to the date!
14th Annual Snow Bowl
Sunday, February 7, 2016 | 10am-12pm
Roberts Playground, 9 Peacevale Rd., Dorchester
Now that we know the Patriots will not be playing in this year’s Super Bowl, it’s time to focus our attention on what is now the most important football event of the day!
Join us for our annual winter rivalry between our younger and more seasoned players. We’ll begin play at 10am, and with enough players to field four teams, teams will advance to a championship contest that will give half of our age spectrum bragging rights for another year!
We welcome new players to participate! Whether you were on the waitlist last fall and/or are planning on signing up for the first time this spring, this is the perfect opportunity to get involved in the league.
Parking is available in the TechBoston Academy parking lot adjacent to the field.
Following our games, we’ll head over to The Blarney Stone to continue festivities.
We hope to see you there!
About the ScholarshipIn November 2017, FLAG Flag Football’s annual youth scholarship was renamed the Marc E. Lewis Youth Scholarship. Marc was notified with this news when he announced his retirement from our Board at the Fall 2017 season-end celebration. We cannot think of a more meaningful way to honor Marc and recognize his ten years of service on our Board.
The Marc E. Lewis Youth Scholarship is presented annually to a graduating high school student who has made school and/or community sports programs safer for, and more inclusive of, LGBTQ student-athletes, as either a role model or ally. In line with the mission of our organization, students of all athletic skill levels, achievement, and contributions are encouraged to apply. Marc first envisioned this scholarship five years ago, and, under his leadership, we have been proud to award this $5,000 scholarship ever since.
Marc, as an educator and advocate for LGBTQ+ youth, has brought this passion to FLAG Flag Football, and, as the longest serving Board member in our history, transformed our organization.
In addition to our scholarship, Marc has envisioned and led multiple other youth initiatives over the years. Our LGBTQ Youth Field Day, first organized by Marc in 2011 as the first-of-its-kind event, in which teens throughout the state were invited to join other LGBTQ high school students for an afternoon of games, food, music, and networking, has blossomed into a partnership with the Safe Schools Program for LGBTQ Students, an anti-bullying initiative of the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and the Massachusetts Commission on LGBTQ Youth. We are so proud of this collaboration and annual tradition.
In June 2017, FLAG Flag Football, under Marc’s leadership, replicated this field day at Camp Lightbulb, a weeklong summer camp in Provincetown, Massachusetts for LGBTQ young people between ages 14 and 18. Marc encouraged us to go one step further and we presented our first annual “campership,” funding a young person’s camp experience. We provided a second campership the following summer.
We hope that this scholarship will forever honor a leader and friend who has dedicated his professional life to education and personal service to improving the lives of others. A public school social studies teacher for nearly 20 years, Marc led his local teacher’s union for a decade, and prior to that, was the president of GLSEN Boston, the founding chapter of the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network, an organization dedicated to ensuring safe and affirming schools for LGBTQ students.
This scholarship, we believe, best honors Marc’s passion, commitment, and service — to his students, our league, and community.