In a world where sports transcend borders, the National Football League (NFL) has always been a global phenomenon. Now, its outreach extends to the youth community with an initiative to bring more flag football leagues to China.

At RCX Sports, we’re beyond excited to spread the passion for this game abroad, and our Director of Officiating, Tom LaNeve, and Event Manager, Sara Bailes, were integral parts of this initiative and recently shared insights from the summit hosted there.

“The goal of the summit was to facilitate a seamless integration of flag football into the Chinese sports landscape,” said LaNeve, whose role was to train officials on the rules, mechanics, and interpretations of the game. “We were able to lay a lot of good groundwork, and I was impressed with the team there. In a matter of days, they had taken all this information and applied it correctly on the field.”

One of the key highlights of the initiative was the cross-cultural exchange facilitated by NFL FLAG. With officials from diverse regions such as Hong Kong, Japan, Thailand, and Taiwan in attendance, the event served as a melting pot of ideas and experiences. By providing Mandarin-translated presentations and fostering an inclusive learning environment, NFL FLAG demonstrated its dedication to making the sport accessible to all.

Sara, who contributed significantly to tournament operations, emphasized the importance of inclusive growth: “Our goal isn’t just to introduce the sport, but to create a sustainable platform where everyone, regardless of background, can participate and thrive,” she said.

As NFL FLAG China prepares to send a team to the NFL FLAG Championships in Canton, Ohio, this summer, the momentum behind flag football in China continues to build. With a goal of reaching 5 million flag football players in China by 2030, NFL FLAG remains steadfast in its mission to grow the game and inspire the next generation of athletes.

By bridging cultures and harnessing the universal appeal of football, NFL FLAG is writing a new chapter in the global sports narrative—one touchdown at a time.