Hollister High School will add girls flag football as an official varsity sport starting this fall. California’s governing bodies for high school athletics—the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) and the Central Coast Section (CCS)—of which Hollister High School is a member, approved girls flag football as a CIF sport in early spring 2023, says a press release from the San Benito County High School District.
Baler girls flag football will launch its inaugural season on Aug. 21, the approved start date as per the CCS. The CCS and the Pacific Coast Athletic League (PCAL), the school’s affiliated league, are working with member schools to get teams started and games scheduled.
For the inaugural season, scheduling will be on a school-by-school basis once schools are identified as fielding varsity teams.
Girls flag football is a 7 vs. 7 format, with all offensive players eligible to catch a forward pass, says the press release. The game is very similar to 7-on-7 summer football, which is a popular ancillary sport to traditional 11-man football. The flag football games will be played in a 20-minute-per-half format.
Hollister High School Athletic Director Tod Thatcher said the games should be “fast-paced and exciting for players and spectators alike.”
Hollister High’s Athletics Department added lacrosse as a sport in the spring of 2015; girls field hockey in the fall of 2015; and girls wrestling in 2018. Girls flag football is the 27th athletic program offered at Hollister High School.
Last spring, the school conducted a survey regarding girls flag football, which resulted in more than 70 female student-athletes expressing interest in participating in the fall season, the press release continues. Hollister High’s current fall sports offerings for girls are cross country, golf, tennis, volleyball and water polo. Student-athletes are allowed to participate in one sport per season.
“Hollister High School and San Benito High School District are excited to provide another opportunity for our students to have a positive, healthy and competitive experience,” said Thatcher, who noted that extracurricular activities provide students with additional opportunities to develop skills outside the classroom.
All student-athletes interested in trying out for the 2023 girls flag football team must be cleared for athletic participation before the Aug. 21 start date. They are asked to contact Activities Clerk Becky Doty in the ASB/Athletics office at 831.637.5831 ext. 340 for athletic clearance information or visit the school’s athletics webpage at www.hhs.sbhsd.org/haybaler-athletics/ for access to the online athlete registration platform, Magnus Health.
Students can also email Doty for more information at [email protected].