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American football really started to grow across Great Britain in the 1980s when coverage of the NFL was on Channel 4. Whilst it’s still considered a relatively new sport, there are over 300 football teams playing both Contact and Flag Football around the country. They form part of the fabric of BAFA and many have positioned themselves at the heart of their local communities.

At BAFA we work closely with around 150 registered National Leagues clubs.  These range from new or small clubs, to large clubs offering different formats and age ranges. We provide guidance and resources to help you support your members, serve your community and promote your club. Members receive:

  • Support from the army of volunteers who help run the NGB
  • Access to BAFA’s comprehensive suite of insurance
  • Access to training workshops and guidance
  • Listed on our club finder page
  • Assistance for your volunteers to become DBS/PGV certified
  • Access to membership and training for coaches, administrators and referees
  • Participation in one or more of BAFA managed competitions:
    • Under 11 Flag
    • Under 14 Flag
    • Adult Flag
    • Women’s flag (WFFL)
    • Under 16 Contact
    • Under 19 Contact
    • Adult Contact
    • Women’s Contact (NWFL)

Establishing a new team – the associate process

Entering a new team into BAFA National Leagues competition requires the completion of an associate process. This involves the submission of detailed information about your club, team, and an assessment of your performance both on and off the field. You will be supported throughout the process by relevant BAFA staff.

Only once a team has met all the requirements at a satisfactory level – both on and off the field – will admission be granted to the BAFA National Leagues. The associate process is designed to make sure that new teams are well-run and sustainable. It is an annual process and teams who do not meet all the requirements within the outlined timescales must re-submit an application for consideration the following year.

New Flag teams
You can find information supporting the flag football community on the flag football resources page.  To request to join BAFA’s National Leagues as a new team for women’s, youth or mixed adult flag football, complete the new club/team application form here.

New Contact teams
Read the BAFA Associate Process for Contact teams for more information and to understand what’s required.  To request to join BAFA’s National Leagues as a new team for U16, U19, NWFL or mixed adult contact football, complete the associate process entry form here.