USA Football has become a member of the U.S. Olympic Committee as a recognized sport organization. The formal recognition was granted by the USOC on Nov. 6.
As a USOC recognized sport organization, USA Football joins the USOC’s Multi-Sport Organization Council, a group of sport, education and community-based member institutions including the NCAA and the NFHS. USA Football was admitted as a member of the USOC to help facilitate a national interest in sport and for its ability and potential to increase opportunities for participation and competition, internationally, nationally and at the grassroots level – the mission of the USOC’s multi-sport organizations.
“The USOC stands among the most distinguished and respected organizations in all of sports,” USA Football CEO Scott Hallenbeck said. “Being welcomed into the USOC family is an important and exciting validation of our work and football’s future. This is a historic day for the millions of Americans who cherish the fun, physical fitness and life-enriching values gained through our sport.”
The USOC deems USA Football a recognized sport organization for all disciplines of American football in the United States, encompassing tackle, flag and 7-on-7. More than 70 countries spanning six continents possess a national federation of sport dedicated solely to American football.
“We’re excited to welcome USA Football as the newest member of the USOC,” said Rick Adams, USOC chief of paralympic sport and NGB organizational development. “USA Football delivers world-class experiences for its members and National Team athletes, and we’re eager to see that continue as a member of the Olympic and Paralympic family.”
The recognition gives USA Football an unprecedented opportunity to promote the sport within and alongside other USOC members and represents an important step in the evolution of football as a burgeoning international sport. USA Football offers athletes from across the United States an opportunity to compete for U.S. National Teams through regional development camps and national development games.
USOC recognition is the latest in a line of recent noteworthy achievements for USA Football and American football. In December 2013, the sport’s international federation, the International Federation of American Football was granted provisional recognition by the International Olympic Committee. In the past two years, USA Football has received significant funding from ESPN and the NFL while entering into formal partnerships with seven college football conferences and more than 1,100 high schools to advance better play and coaching education standards through its medically endorsed Heads Up Football program.
USA Football’s National Teams have won an international-best nine gold medals in high school-age, men’s and women’s tackle and flag football against global competition. USA Football’s national team program was established in 2007.
Football is the most popular participatory sport of U.S. high school boys (1.1 million), followed by outdoor track (580,321) and basketball (541,054). The number of high school girls participating in tackle and flag high school football programs has increased 42 percent in the past five years.