Flagging New Year 2018 – You’re Invited!

We have some exciting news from FFW HQ as we’re delighted to announce that we’re partnering up with the organisers of Flagging New Year (FNY) to bring you all the exclusive coverage and build up to the third edition of the tournaments! We’ll be providing extensive previews of teams taking part, as well as comprehensive reviews of the contests once the dust has settled. That’s not all, as we’ll be hosting the platform to apply for a spot in one of the UK’s most competitive tournaments.

Last year’s FNY saw international teams from Sweden, the Netherlands and Germany take part, and the field will be as strong as ever. After their triumph in 2017, we spoke to Baker Street Buttonhookers QB Vince Machi about his experience at FNY!

You frequently compete in some of Europe’s most prestigious tournaments. What attracted you to this competition?

Any reason to get out of London, find some sun, and drink beers with your closest friends is a great one. Football-wise, it’s tons of fun to play and compete with teams from all over the world that you wouldn’t have the opportunity to otherwise. I’ve discovered over the past year that the niche flag football community in Europe is special and the camaraderie between teams is outstanding. Also it’s fun to see the competitive spirit from other cultures and then to see how they react when we wind them up.

How did the playing level at Flagging New Year compare to other tournaments you participate in?

Overall I found it similar to Big Bowl and Pink Bowl. Waldorf and Dutch Lions are some of the household names in European Flag so it was great to have them out there. You also had three of the top four finishers from last year’s BAFA league as well as Team Sweden and strong Carluke and Broncos squads.

2017 Champion Buttonhookers, Credit: James Brewerton

Without further ado, here’s all the details you need to know about the 2018 Tournaments, that’s right tournaments plural as there will be a Flagging New Year Women’s in 2018 also on a separate weekend:

  • There’ll be 24 teams taking part, with the top 5 squads from last year being invited first to give them every opportunity to improve on last year, or defend their crowd!
  • Initially the tournaments will be open to 16 teams hailing from the UK, while 8 spots are reserved for Non-UK squads
  • Registration opens mid-June (keep your eyes on FFW for more info)!
  • Entry costs £100 per team, and there’s no limit to the number of players available, however you can only play for one team on the weekend as a player.
  • Only one team per organisation or set-up will be accepted. Bring your best!
  • The Men’s (Mixed) tournament is due to take place on 20th and 21st of January, with the first games kicking off at 9am on each day.
  • The Women’s tournament will take place on Superbowl Weekend of the 3rd and 4th of February.
  • The facility will be the excellent Toryglen Regional Football Centre. The surface is 3G and (thankfully given the Scottish weather) it’s an indoor complex!
  • For teams deciding to stay overnight, we’ll be organising a venue for both Saturday and Sunday night on both weekend for participants to unwind with a few drinks and watch some NFL Championship action, as the AFC and NFC champions are crowned at the mixed tournament and the Superbowl Champs are crowned on the weekend of the Women’s event.
  • T-shirts can be pre-ordered for a reduced price or bought on the day! There’ll be Red, Orange, Purple, Yellow or Green available, ranging from sizes S to XXXL. If your ordering on the day it’ll be Purple T-shirts only, so if Purple’s not your colour make sure you pre-order.
2016 Champions, the Grangemouth Broncos, took on the Dutch Lions at the 2017 tournament. Credit: James Brewerton

There you have it! We spoke to FNY founder and organiser, GB Head Coach Alan Young. Here’s what he had to say:

What was your inspiration for starting Flagging New Year?

For me it has always felt like there was a gap in the calendar at that time of year, when I was a part of the Carluke Cobras we set up Superbowl Saturday and it was always an enjoyable affair but it was outside, freezing and we didn’t get a great deal of teams. I’ve always felt that it would be a good time of year for a tourney. We ran the first one for UK only to see what interest we would get and we got 8 teams and had to turn a couple away. Then after attending Big Bowl last May for the first time, I realised that there was no reason we couldn’t try and match it. I learned a lot about the way it was run and tried to duplicate it (in a much smaller way). I am lucky enough that my role in the sport has grown so we were able to attract come international teams across, increasing it to two days made it more worthwhile to make the trip and having them there gave the event a really special feel. the amount of teams that have already told me they are itching to come back and some teams who weren’t there desperate to be a part of it in the future.

Why have you limited spots for U.K. Teams?

Well I’ve limited them as I want to encourage international competition. It means fresh opponents to play. It was one of the compliments towards the tourney last season and I’m very keen to carry on in that stead. Having 8 teams that we don’t see every day on our shores would be excellent for the competition.

What would you say to those UK teams keen to enter and worrying about not getting to take part?

Register quickly. I’ll make teams aware of when registration will open, I’ll also create a waiting list in case teams pull out or we have reserved slots unfilled by the cut-off date around mid-July to claim the reserved spots.

What made you want to run a women’s tournament separate from the men’s (mixed) event?

I want the women’s game to get as much respect as the men and I didn’t want to run a far smaller women’s tournament to just squeeze it in. Unfortunately because we want to be indoors, we just don’t have the space to run a full size tournament at the same time as the men’s. So I decided to run it a little later in the year. It’ll be the exact same format, same costs, same trophies etc. it will be treated the same as the men’s event in every way just on a separate weekend. With the growing talent in the women’s division it deserves its own stage. I’m hoping we can get international women’s teams across too. I know we have a good tournament format and formula, hopefully feedback from teams who came in 2017 will encourage other to come to Scotland.

Keep your eyes glued to FFW for all your FNY 2018 news!

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