Neumann University Pioneers Female Flag Football Team

The launch of Neumann University's first-ever female flag football team is an important milestone for the school's athletics program and a major step towards improving diversity and gender equality in collegiate athletics.  

The team will lace up their cleats for the first time to compete in a one-day tournament on Saturday, April 13 at 2:30 p.m. against Immaculata University at the Mighty Macs stadium. 

The season will officially kick off in the fall of 2024. The team will be labeled as a club sport and compete in the Atlantic East Conference. 

Matt Lawson, Neumann University's Director of Club & Intramural Sports, is at the head of this innovative effort, and his vision and passion have been fundamental in its continued success. 

“We're looking forward to giving these young ladies an opportunity to participate in the sport and to have hopefully great success within the football realm,” said Lawson. 

Initially, the NFL was searching for ways to expand its audience and bring more women into the sport.  

This effort was through flag football. So, they looked for some colleges to get the initiative going. The Atlantic East conference, including Neumann, were all in with supporting the initiative. 

When approached by the NFL with the goal of increasing opportunities for women in football, Neumann University enthusiastically embraced the challenge.  

Lawson included, “Neumann put our hands up and said, hey we think this is great, we're all on board, so that's what got the ball rolling.” 

The partnership between the NFL and the Atlantic East Conference, of which Neumann is a part, has paved the way for the introduction of female flag football as the newest club sport on campus. 

Having worked in sports and entertainment management before, Lawson saw how this program could help and expand the opportunity in the world of women's sports.  

"We think this is great," Lawson remarks, showing the university's dedication to backing programs that promote progress in women's sports. 

Despite having no prior experience in female flag football, Neumann University is ready to leave its mark on the sport. 

The university is laying the foundation for a strong and diverse athletic program with goals to eventually move the sport up to Division III within the Atlantic East Conference. 

The team is starting out as a Neumann Club team for the first year. After that, the school will then look to change it to a NCAA Division three sport.  

Operating under the same rules as NCAA sports, the female flag football team at Neumann University will receive full support and resources, including league and tournament participation as well as access to athletic training staff and facilities. 

As Neumann University prepares for its debut season, recruiting efforts are on developing a talented and diverse team of athletes.  

With a commitment to diversity, the club hopes to accommodate a minimum of twelve players, in a 7V7 league, allowing plenty of possibilities for participation and rotation throughout games. 

"Neumann was founded as an all-girl school, and it's only fitting that our first-ever football team is a female football team." This remark by Lawson demonstrates the university's commitment to preserving its past while welcoming growth and change. 

Lawson added, "We're really looking forward to giving these young ladies an opportunity to participate in the sport."  

With excitement and determination, Neumann University is set to lead the way in improving women's sports on and off campus.