What is the Providence Gay Flag Football League?
Providence Gay Flag Football League (PVDGFFL) is a registered 501(c)(3) charitable organization, serving the Rhode Island LGBTQIA+ community. Founded in 2018, the organization's goal is to create a safe and inclusive environment where people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, can participate in a competitive and friendly team sport, develop a social support system, and build lifelong friendships. In addition to football, the league has partnered with other area non-profit organizations to donate time and resources to improve the lives of LGBTQIA+ people in Rhode Island.
Football!? No way! Won’t I get hurt?
The PVDGFFL is a flag football league with no tackling whatsoever. Every player wears a belt with 3 flags; to ‘tackle’ another player one simply pulls on a flag to remove the belt. While there is still contact in this format of play, and sports of any kind come with inherent risk of injury, the flag football format removes the most significant cause of football injuries (tackling), so the risk of injury is much lower than in tackle football.
I’ve never played football before. What if I’m really bad?
We welcome players of all ability levels —and we mean ALL LEVELS. Never played competitive football before? No problem! Most members of the league begin with little or no competitive football experience. Each team is put together with an intentional mix of abilities and experience, so you'll always be with players at your level and others who can help you improve. All new players attend an orientation where we'll teach you the game and our league rules. Your captain and assistant captain will also help teach you throughout the season and we also offer player development clinics if you're interested in learning more and improving your skillset.
Do I need to specify which positions I can play to be added to a team?
The simple answer is no. We'll ask which positions you have experience playing (if any), and which positions you may be interested in trying out, but it's perfectly fine if you're not sure. Our captains will rotate players into positions they want to try or are comfortable playing. The position you play in each game may change, but it will always be a collaborative decision between you and your captain based on your preference and the needs of the team.
Will I have to buy any expensive equipment?
No. Jerseys and flags are provided for all players and new players also receive a pair of shorts. You’ll need to invest in a good pair of cleats (no metal spikes) and then you're all set. We recommend football gloves, but they're not required. The only requirements for shorts/pants is that they can't have pockets or belt loops. Most teams will elect to purchase matching socks based on their jersey color and name, but this is optional.
Do I sign up individually or do I need to form a team?
You will register as an individual. Each season, the board selects captains who, in turn, will select team members though an NFL-style draft system. Each season, we hold a kickoff party where you'll meet your captain and teammates.
Where and when will games be played?
Games are played on Saturdays in Warwick, RI. Teams will play two 1-hour games each week (depending on the number of teams in the season, some teams may have a bye and only play one game on a given week). You may play two consecutive games, or have a break between games. Game slots start around 8:30 am and end around 1:30 pm. For directions to the fields visit the Field page of our website.
Am I guaranteed a spot on a team if I sign up, or do I have to try out?
There are no tryouts. Once your registration is accepted and you submit payment on time, you go into the eligible player pool and will be added to a team during our draft. However, if it's your first time playing flag football in our league, you're required to attend the New Player Orientation.
I'm joining the league with my significant other/best friend. Can we be on the same team?
The draft system is designed to create parity between teams. Because of this, it's not possible to ensure players who wish to play together a spot on the same team. But join anyway! Our league is about meeting new people and stepping outside of your personal boundaries. Your friend/significant other can come to your games to support you and meet you at a social event afterward. You might even face them head-to-head in a game.
How can I become a team captain?
The board will accept applications for league captains prior to registration. The board will select captains using the criteria outlined in the application.
What about practices?
Most team captains limit practices to game day an hour or two before the game starts; however, a handful of captains may ask you to attend an occasional practice on a non-game day. These practices are not mandatory and inability to attend will not affect your playing time or standing in the league.
I frequently work or travel on weekends. Is it ok if I miss games?
Many players miss 1 or 2 games in a season and they're still able to have a rewarding experience. Each player should, however, be available for at least half the regular season games.
Will I make new friends?
Yes! Aside from the rewarding experience that you're sure to have on the field with your own team, there will be weekly social events that will allow you to get to know other league members in fun, social settings. We'll also plan other fun activities to ensure that your football experience is much more than action on the field!
How can I receive regular league updates?
We provide regular updates through our Facebook group page, and email. You can sign up for our email list on the homepage of our website.
I have another question. Who can I contact?
Please contact the league at firstname.lastname@example.org for any other questions. You may also post questions and comments to our Facebook group page.