Utah Girls Tackle Football League
Jun 19, 2015 05:55PM
● By Crystal Couch
At nine years old, Sam Gordon of South Jordan became well-known after her father uploaded a highlight video of her playing football onto YouTube. Within 2 days it had generated over 5 million views and gained national attention from many media outlets. She has helped pave the way for females interested in what is typically known as a “boy sport”.
Now in West Jordan, the very first girls tackle football league in the United States has begun. “I’m really excited to help form the first ever girls tackle football league in the U.S. A lot of my friends wanted to play tackle football but their parents didn’t want them playing with the boys, so this league is a way for them to play,” Sam said.
In 2012, Sam’s first year of football, she had 25 touchdowns and 10 conversions on 232 carries for 1,911 rushing yards in a single season, all while playing against all-male teams. They also recorded 65 tackles while she was on defense. She has been a huge inspiration for young girls and was the first female football player featured on a Wheaties cereal box.
This being the league’s first year, it was limited to four teams of twelve girls in fifth and sixth grades, and was on a first-to-register basis. “The spots in the league filled up in less than a week, which shows that a lot of girls want to play. The girls who are playing in the league are having a lot of fun and love playing football! Now that girls are hearing about our new league, even more want to play, so next year it will be even bigger,” Sam said.
Safety is a huge concern for the league, and all coaches are Heads Up certified, meaning that the coaches were taught the proper way for youth to tackle, wear equipment correctly, concussion awareness and more.
This league is playing with 8v8 rules, reducing the lineman. This allows the game to run at a faster pace for players to gain more touch downs and for it to be generally less physical. The first year is coming to a close, but if you have a daughter interested in joining, you can find out more information on their website: www.utahgirlstackle.com.