Frequently Asked Questions

What is 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 as well in our local San Diego community.  Notably, the SDAFFL primarily aims to break down stereotypes often associated with the LGBTQ community.  We strive to give back to the LBGTQ community in order to continue to assist our local establishments, as well as our national allies, with the ability to continue to provide the LBGTQ community with safe, secure, and social places to congregate. While we take our mission seriously, we equally 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. 


How can I play on a national gay bowl team?

-          In order to play on a Gay Bowl ™ team, you must first be eligible for participation on one of your specific cities’ teams.  The SDAFFL generally submits at least one gay bowl team, chosen from a pool of its regular season participants.  ABSOLUTELY NO ONE IS GUARNATEED A SPOT ON A TEAM.  Also, previous years’ participation is NOT a guarantee to play on a future team.  The choice of team participants on one or more of the SDAFFL’s Gay Bowl ™ teams, is to the sound discretion of the SDAFFL board, combined with the advice and knowledge of the selected coaches for each team.  Therefore, to be eligible for consideration, the SDAFFL requires that:

(1) The individual is a currently registered SDAFFL member, paid and participating in the particular calendar year preceding the upcoming Gay Bowl ™ tournament;

(2) The individual must have been present (and preferably participating) at at least 5 game days.

This means present at the fields on any given game day – not necessarily playing in a game; Playing in multiple games on one game day still only counts as 1 game day; Game days missed by virtue of being added to the league at a later date, whether by waitlist or some other circumstance, will NOT be credited to the individual’s mandated total 5 games;

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

(4) The individual must be able to cover all of his or her own travel, room and board, and other costs similarly associated, to attend the tournament.

The SDAFFL DOES NOT provide any financial assistance to any individual seeking or chosen to participate in Gay Bowl,  and all expenses incurred are voluntary and known or presumed, are not reimbursed by the SDAFFL; and

(5) The individual must be in good standing with the SDAFFL 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 may be fit, including 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 – link to rules]. Such situations will be determined on a case by case basis, and will be determined by majority vote by the members of the SDAFFL Board.


How can I play on a travel team?

-          Outside of the SDAFFL associated teams for Gay Bowls (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 such teams.  The SDAFFL acknowledges that such persons may be members of the SDAFFL; however, 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/where are upcoming tournaments?

-          For a list of official tournaments, check out the National Gay Flag Football League's website.


How do I register?

-          When registration is open, the homepage provides a link.  The link will allow you to input your personal information either specifically or through Facebook.  Here, you will also be able to pay online for your registration fee.  When registration is closed, no link will exist.  Depending on the number of paid participants, the league may have a waitlist or supplemental draft list.  To inquire about either list, please email the SDAFFL at info@sdaffl.com.  When registration is open, any individual who both registers AND pays, AND participates in at least one of the two tryout clinics, will be drafted to a team.  When registration is closed, membership and participation is on an “as needed” basis only.


How do I get a refund?

-          The SDAFFL will not provide a refunds of the registration fee once a member has been drafted to a team.  This means, at the point of selection (not at the conclusion of the draft), 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, once selected (at the point of selection) no refunds will be given.  The purpose of this strict rule is to promote and maintain sportsmanship and the continued integrity of the league, preventing individuals from quitting on a team/coach that the particular individual may not have wanted to play for.  The SDAFFL reserves the right to provide a refund for exceptional circumstances as they may exist or present themselves. 


When is the season?  Game Times?  Location?

-          The season begins approximately in January (specific dates subject to change) with tryout clinics.  Games approximately begin in March (specific dates subject to change), and end with a 3 round, single elimination playoff in or around June (specific dates subject to change).  Currently, games are played at Doyle Recreational Fields in the UTC area of San Diego, just shortly off the I-5 freeway.  See the SDAFFL website for current and up to dates, times and locations of all games and clinics.


Where can I purchase photos from this/previous season(s)?

-          Select the "Photos" tab on the website to look through the previous season photos.  The current season gallery can be found here:  www.sdaffl.smugmug.com.


I need a new jersey, how can I get a new one?

-          Jerseys get torn or lost, it happens.  Contact your captain immediately to order a new one.  The player will be billed the amount to replace.


When does my team play?

-          Most teams hold team-specific practices at various locations.  Please contact your specific coach for such information.  All games are held at Doyle Recreational Fields in the UTC area of San Diego, typically on Saturdays each game week. A full schedule can be found here.


I missed the deadline to register, how do I get on the waitlist?

-          First and foremost, the existence of a waitlist is strictly determined on league member capacity.  Each year, based on research, the league provides a max capacity the league is able to accommodate based on several factors, including but not limited to funds, referees, fields, and other such circumstances.  If a waitlist does exist, and registration has closed, please email the league at [email] and your name may be added for potential participation.  Although being added to a waitlist requires registration, you are only obligated to pay if a team needs you.  You must then pay the registration fee before being added to a team.  Both coach/team and player are anonymous and chosen specifically on an “as needed” basis.  If a team is in need of a player due to injury etc., and you have been added to the waitlist, the board will contact you, determine your continued interest in participation, require you to pay your fee, and then you will be given information about your new team.  Please note that no refund will be given once paid.  Again, the purpose of this strict rule is to promote and maintain sportsmanship and the continued integrity of the league, preventing individuals from quitting on a team/coach that the particular individual may not have wanted to play for.  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?

-          The league provides for payment to be made by cash or credit card only, at the two tryout clinics, or online.  If you are having trouble paying online, please contact the league at your earliest convenience, and definitely before the draft. 


When are the player clinics?

-          Player clinics are held in January (specific dates are subject to change) and can be found on the league’s website.


How does the draft work, will I get on a team?

-          Everyone who is registered and paid in full prior to the day of the draft, will be placed on a team through a standard draft process.  The draft is a closed event, where all the coaches and members of the board are present.  Each player, prior to the draft, has a photograph and number for identification purposes.  The photos and numbers are given at the tryout clinics, which is one reason it is mandatory to participate in at least one of them.  Each photo is placed on a large board, and coaches, at their turn, take a photo off the board as their selection.  The draft order is determined by a random draw, and is a standard snake draft (i.e. round 1 begins with pick 1 and ends with pick 16, round 2 begins with pick 16 and ends with pick 1, and so on).  Once the draft is over, the teams are announced at the Draft Party, which is usually later that same day, at a league sponsored event.   


How do I subscribe/unsubscribe to the newsletter?

-          There is a link in every newsletter, usually at the bottom of the page, with a link to “unsubscribe.” Click on the link and follow the directions. 


Is SDAFFL on social media?

-          Yes.  Please join and like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.  Please be advised as well, you are voluntarily participating in a league that may and likely will subject you to publicity, especially on our social media, whether wanted or unwanted, and moreover that such publicity will likely relate to the LBGTQ community.  This in no way is intended to or means that you will be labeled, outed, etc.: however, the SDAFFL cannot guarantee your anonymity nor the perceptions that may be associated with such participation.


Does SDAFFL sell merchandise?

-          We do have extra league shirts available for purchase.  Please see any board member for information.


Do I have to be LBGTQ, or label myself as such, to participate in the league?

-          Absolutely not!  While our league was founded on the fundamental goal of breaking down stereotypes associated with LBGTQ community, and the majority of our participants identify as LBGTQ individuals, we welcome any and all people who want to participate.  SDAFFL provides a welcoming community comprised of both heterosexual and LBGTQ men and women, or all ages, races, ethnicities, and backgrounds.  Please note; however, any persons who do not abide by our strict zero tolerance policy, as it relates to sportsmanship and respecting the lifestyles of individual members, will promptly be removed from participation.  Please be advised as well, 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 that such publicity will likely relate to the LBGTQ community.  This in no way intended to or means 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 to have played football, or have football knowledge to play?

-          No.  We pride ourselves on our great coaches’ ability to teach the game of football, from sound fundamentals to strong sportsmanship.  Prior football experience or knowledge is always helpful, but unnecessary. 


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 members do live in or around San Diego.  There are several reasons for this, namely, most teams hold daily practices, and depend on the participation of the players in practices and games.  Further, a large part of our league’s purpose includes social community involvement, 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 Gay Bowl.  While you are guaranteed a spot on a team if you pay, register, and participate in a tryout clinic, it is always up to the individual coaches to get each player involved in the games.  Further, there are many leagues throughout the country, many with the same or similar missions as we have, in various major metropolitan cities.  We therefore encourage individuals to find a suitable league to participate in that may be more geographically suited to them. 


How do I become a coach?

-          There are currently no requirements for being coach; however, we seek to insist that coaching is a long and hard commitment one should take very seriously.  Coaches typically attend every practice and game, as well as all of the extracurricular activities the league provides, including without limitation, social events after games, philanthropic events, captain’s meetings, field set up and take down, and the draft.  The board has final say on who will be selected as a coach, 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 coach, please contact the league with a brief description of your commitment and coaching acumen.


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

-          Please contact the board immediately if you feel you are being mistreated by any members of the 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.  Again, the league has a zero tolerance policy. 


Do I need football equipment and where can I get it?

-          The SDAFFL does not require, nor does it provide, any football equipment for individual use.  We do, however, strongly suggest that you purchase non-metal football or soccer cleats, as well as other equipment you may find necessary (i.e. football gloves, athletic tape, mouth guard, etc.).  You are responsible for your health and safety, therefore, if you feel you need, for example, a knee brace, get one.  Football pads, helmets and other such equipment may not be allowed, as it may hinder the health and safety of you or other participants.  Football equipment and gear is sold at various sport outlets in San Diego.      


What are the Social Activities Associated with the league?

-          The SDAFFL is sponsored by several great local bars and restaurants in and around the Hillcrest and North Park areas of San Diego.  Every week after the games are place, the league meets at one of those bars or restaurants and hang out and socialize.  The league also sponsors certain other events including philanthropic activities including Laces and Lashes, SDAFFL Bingo Party, and 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. 


Will I have a great time if I join the league?

-          Absolutely!  The phrase "..You won't know until you try it.." really does apply with almost everything, but come out and see for yourself.  Check the schedule to see when our next games are and witness all the fun!



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