Frequently Asked Questions

What is the SDAFFL?

The SDAFFL is San Diego's premier flag football league. We are a non-profit athletic and philanthropic organization that thrives to promote sexual and cultural diversity not only in sports nationally, but in our local San Diego community. Notably, the SDAFFL aims to break down stereotypes often associated with the LGBTQ+ community. We strive to give back to the LGBTQ+ community in order to continue to assist our local establishments, as well as our national allies, with the ability to continue to provide the LGBTQ+ community with safe, secure and social places to congregate. While we take our mission seriously, we also aim to provide an arena for competitive flag football where we develop, hone and coach fundamental football skills and unwavering sportsmanship. We welcome any individuals seeking to join us on our mission who want to begin, expand upon and teach their football and humanitarian skills.

Do I need to have football knowledge or have played football before?

No. We pride ourselves on our coaches' abilities to teach the game of football, from sound fundamentals to strong sportsmanship. Prior football experience or knowledge is always helpful, but not a requirement. 

Do I have to be LBGTQ+ or identify as such to participate in the league?

No! While our league was founded on the fundamental goal of breaking down stereotypes associated with LBGTQ+ community and though the majority of our participants identify as LBGTQ+ individuals, we welcome any and all people who want to participate. The SDAFFL provides a welcoming community for anyone regardless of their age, race, ethnicity, gender or other personal traits. The SDAFFL does require that all persons abide by our strict zero tolerance policy, as it relates to sportsmanship and respecting the lifestyles of individual members, or they will promptly be removed from participation. As a member of the SDAFFL, you are voluntarily participating in a league that may and likely will subject you to publicity, especially in social media, whether wanted or unwanted, and moreover such publicity will likely relate to the LBGTQ+ community. This in no way implies that you will be labeled, outed, etc. however the SDAFFL cannot guarantee your anonymity nor the perception that may be associated with such participation.

Do I need football equipment to participate?

The SDAFFL does not require, nor does it provide, any football equipment for individual use, however we strongly suggest that you purchase non-metal football or soccer cleats (softball, baseball or any cleats with metal spikes are prohibited) as well as other equipment you may find necessary such as football gloves, athletic tape, a mouth guard, etc. You are responsible for your own health and safety, therefore; if you feel you need a knee brace for example, then you should obtain one. Football pads, helmets and other such equipment usually associated with tackle football, may not be allowed as they may hinder the health and safety of the other participants.   

Can I play in the SDAFFL if I do not live in San Diego?

Anyone can register and pay to participate in the SDAFFL; however, we strongly encourage that members live in or around San Diego County. The primary reason for this is that most teams hold at least one practice throughout the week and will depend on the participation of their players in those practices as well as the games. Further, a large part of our league's purpose includes social and community involvement by giving back to those that support us. Members will be asked to participate in fundraising and volunteer events that support the San Diego LBGTQ+ community. Those persons traveling from out of the San Diego area are held to the same participation standards as local players and therefore your potential inability to participate adequately may affect how much a coach might play you during a game or your eligibility in the Gay Bowl. tournament. While you are always guaranteed a spot on a team if you pay, register, and participate in at least one clinic; it is always up to the individual coaches to get each player involved in the games. 

How do I become a team captain?

There are currently no requirements for being a captain; however, coaching is a long and involved commitment that one should take very seriously. Captains typically attend every practice and game, as well as all of the extracurricular activities the league provides, including post-game social events, philanthropic events, captain's meetings, field set-up and take down, as well the player draft. The SDAFFL will ultimately determine who will be selected as a captain from a pool of potential and qualified candidates. The board takes into consideration past experience in coaching, football knowledge, sportsmanship, league involvement and history, among other factors. If you wish to be a team captain, please contact the league with a brief description of your commitment and coaching acumen.


Registration

How do I register?

When registration is open, you can find a link to register on the home page of this website. This link will allow you to enter your personal information either specifically or by logging in via Facebook. You may also pay your season registration fee at this time. When registration is officially closed, the link will be removed. Depending on the number of paid participants, the league may have a wait list or supplemental draft list set up for players who were unable to sign up during the posted registration time period.

Any individual who (1) registers (2) pays their league registration fee AND (3) participates in at least one of the two player clinics, will be drafted to a team.

Once registration is closed, additional players will be allowed to register through the aforementioned other means on an "as-needed" basis only. To inquire about either list, please contact the SDAFFL at info@sdaffl.com

Is my league registration fee refundable?

The moment a member has been drafted to a team, the SDAFFL will not provide a refund of their registration fee. No refund will be given to an individual who quits, gets injured or otherwise is unable to participate in the league. Individuals will be given the opportunity to decline participation 24 hours prior to the draft for a full refund; however the moment they are selected by a team captain, no refunds will be given. The purpose of this rule is to promote and maintain sportsmanship and the continued integrity of the league by preventing individuals from quitting on a team and coach, in the event that the individual did not want to play for them. The SDAFFL reserves the right to provide a refund for exceptional circumstances as they may exist or present themselves. 

I'm having troubles paying my registration online, what are my other options of payment?

Registration fees can be paid via cash or credit card only, either at the player clinics, or online. If you are having trouble paying online, please contact the league at your earliest convenience and definitely before the draft. 

Are there try-outs in order to get onto a team?

No! All players who have registered and paid their league fee in full prior to the day of the draft, and have participated in at least one of the player clinics, WILL be drafted to a team.


Player Draft

How does the draft work?

All players who have met the requirements above will be selected to their teams through a draft process. The draft is a closed event where all team captains and members of the board are present. Each player is assigned a number and photographed at the clinic(s) they have attended for identification purposes. This is why it is mandatory that you attend at least one of the two player clinics in order to be eligible for the draft. All player photos are placed onto a large board and when it is their turn, each captain takes a photo off the board as their selection. The draft order is determined by a random draw and is a standard snake draft. Round 1 begins with the captain who has the first pick of the draft and ends with the captain who has the final pick. Round 2 begins with that same captain who had the last pick and ends with the captain who had the first pick, and so on. Once the draft is over, the teams are announced at the SDAFFL Draft Party which is held the same day once the draft is complete and all players have been chosen.   


Regular Season

When and where does the season take place, and at what times?

Pre-season activities take place in January along with the player clinics. Regular season games usually begin in early-March and end with the playoffs in early June (specific dates subject to change). All games are played at the fields located at Doyle Recreation Center in the UTC-La Jolla area of San Diego. A map and Google directions to the fields can be found on the home page of this website, and the complete season schedule can be found on the Schedule page, once it's posted.

What is a "Conference"?

During the SDAFFL regular season, the teams are split into two conferences: the Red Conference and the Blue Conference. Each team in the league will play all of the other teams in the league throughout the season, however seeding for the playoffs is determined by your record within your conference. Every team makes the playoffs as a result which means a team with a less-than-stellar record still has a chance at winning the SDAFFL Championship. The playoff brackets will feature finals within the Red and Blue Conferences, with the championship game being a match-up of the surviving Blue and Red Conference team.

What are tie-breakers and how do they work?

Tiebreakers are what determine your seeding when two (2) or more teams have the same record. The tiebreakers are as follows:

- Record head-to-head within your individual conference

- League Record, taking into account all games played, including non-conference games

- Points Against, meaning the total points your team has allowed in a season

- Coin toss

Remember, every team in the league makes the playoffs.

What social activities are associated with the league?

The SDAFFL is sponsored by several fantastic local bars and restaurants in and around the Hillcrest and North Park areas of San Diego. After the games are completed each week, the league meets at the location of a different sponsor to hang out and socialize. The league also hosts other events throughout the season including our pre-season Pub Crawl, Laces & Lashes Ball, the SDAFFL Bingo Party, our annual Flip Cup Tournament, among others. The league is proud to provide both a competitive and athletic football experience as well as a fun and inclusive social environment!

What if a game is cancelled due to rain and how will I know?

Although uncommon, rain during the season does happen and will result in the cancellation of the day's games depending on the severity. Rain-outs are determined by the company that owns the fields, not by the SDAFFL or its board members and is often due to a determination that the fields are too wet and/or potentially dangerous to play on. A rain-out is usually determined the evening before the games once an agent of the field owners has surveyed the severity of the rain, but often the declaration is not made to the SDAFFL until the morning of. The board also has the right to determine a rain-out in the interests of safety. The SDAFFL will do its best to send an email out to the entire league as early as possible in order to let players and coaches know that games have been cancelled. Coaches will also have the responsibility of letting their players know that games have been cancelled. Please remember that the SDAFFL always strives to play every game and when games are cancelled due to rain, it is always done so in the name of player safety.

If a game day is rained out, will the planned social event for that day still take place?

Of course! Regardless of whether or not the games take place or not, the social events will not be cancelled. The SDAFFL will not let rain stop you from having a great time and congregating with the great people of our league, our community and our great sponsors!

What do I do if I am being mistreated by another member of the league?

Please contact anyone on the board immediately if you feel you are being mistreated by any members of this league. We will assess the situation neutrally and take certain action as necessary to mitigate and/or quash any and all mistreatment, to the best of our ability. The SDAFFL has a zero tolerance policy with this sort of behavior. 

I need to replace my jersey, how can I get a new one?

Jerseys can be damaged or misplaced, it happens! If this occurs, contact your team captain immediately to order a new one. You will be billed the amount to replace it however.


Tournaments

What is Gay Bowl? Is it run by the SDAFFL?

Gay Bowl is the national LGBTQ+ flag football tournament run by the National Gay Flag Football League (NGFFL) and is held annually every Columbus Day weekend by a different city each year. Gay Bowl is NOT run by the SDAFFL and the SDAFFL has no control or say in Gay Bowl's rules, policies or procedures. Gay Bowl is a three-day "open" tournament with four divisions (Open A, Open B, Open C and Women's). Participating teams are made up of representatives from cities who meet the Gay Bowl's eligibility requirements. For more information on the Gay Bowl tournament, visit ngffl.com.   

How can I play on a team that participates in the Gay Bowl tournament?

The SDAFFL generally has at least one Open and one Women's team participate in the tournament, chosen from a pool of regular season participants. NO PLAYER IS GUARANTEED A SPOT ON A GAY BOWL TEAM. In addition, previous years' participation is not a guarantee to play on a current or future Gay Bowl team. The decision of who participants on one or more of the SDAFFL's Gay Bowl teams is the sole discretion of the SDAFFL board, along with the advice and suggestions of the selected coaches for each team. To be eligible for consideration as a player on a Gay Bowl team, the SDAFFL requires that:

(1) The individual is a current, registered SDAFFL member who has paid and participated in the SDAFFL season immediately preceding the Gay Bowl tournament in question;

(2) The individual must have been present (and preferably participated) in at least five (5) of the season's regular season game days. This means present at the fields on any given game day, not necessarily playing in a game. Playing in multiple games in one day still only counts as participation in one (1) game day. Game days missed by virtue of being added to the league at a later date, whether by wait-list or some other circumstance, will NOT be credited to the individual's mandated total five (5) games;

(3) The individual must be able to attend the tournament, at least 50% of the team's practices and at least 50% of all related fundraising activities;

(4) The individual must be able to cover all of their own travel expenses, which include but are not limited to hotel, airfare, food and other team-related costs similarly associated with participating in a tournament. The SDAFFL does not provide any financial assistance to an individual seeking or who has been chosen to participate in Gay Bowl. All expenses incurred are voluntary and known or presumed, and are not reimbursed by the SDAFFL; and

(5) The individual must be in good standing with the SDAFFL's Zero Tolerance policy as it relates to sportsmanship. 

The SDAFFL Board reserves the right, in its sound discretion, to make exceptions to any and all of these requirements as it may see fit. This includes, without limitation, consideration of injuries, military deployment, illness or other exceptional circumstances as they may exist or present themselves. The SDAFFL further reserves the right to remove and/or ban any individual from consideration or participation on its Gay Bowl teams for violating any rules or standards discussed here. Such situations will be determined on a case-by-case basis and will be determined by a majority vote by the members of the SDAFFL Board.

How can I play on a travel team participating in an open tournament other than Gay Bowl?

Outside of the associated teams SDAFFL puts together for Gay Bowl participation (the Bolts, Toros, Sharks, Vipers, Shredders and Breakers), the SDAFFL does not associate or sponsor other travel teams. Such teams are generally put together and maintained by an individual person or persons, and therefore, it is up to those persons to determine who is chosen to play on such teams. The SDAFFL acknowledges that though such persons may be members of the SDAFFL; for the purposes of selection, participation, and liability; the SDAFFL does not associate with or have any control or authority to mandate or instruct outside travel teams or their rosters.

When and where are upcoming tournaments?

For a list of official tournaments around the nation, please visit the National Gay Flag Football League website at ngffl.com.


Media

How do I subscribe to the league newsletter?

You can subscribe to the SDAFFL newsletter by clicking on the "Newsletter" tab in the menu up top and filling in your information. If you wish to unsubscribe at any time, there is a link at the bottom of every newsletter. Click on the link and follow the directions to be taken off the league's mailing list. 

Is SDAFFL on social media?

Yes! To add the SDAFFL on any of the major social media platforms, click on the appropriate icon on the home page of this website. Please be advised that by being involved in SDAFFL social media that you are voluntarily participating in a league that may and likely will subject you to publicity, whether wanted or unwanted, and moreover such publicity will likely relate to the LBGTQ+ community. This in no way implies that you will be labeled, outed, etc. however the SDAFFL cannot guarantee your anonymity nor the perception that may be associated with such participation.




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