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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the New York Gay Football League?

The NYGFL is a 7-on-7 flag football league inclusive to all but catering primarily to the LGBT community in and around New York City. The league is currently the largest gay flag football league in the country with approximately 250 participants and 20 teams each season.

Football!!?? No way! Won't I get hurt?

The NYGFL is a flag football league with no tackling whatsoever. Every player wears a belt with 3 flags. To "tackle" another player one simply pulls on a flag to remove the belt. While there is definitely contact inherent to this format of play, since there is no actual tackling injuries are normally minor. 

I've never played football before. What if I'm really bad? Do I need to be really athletic/fast/strong/tall/big/in shape?

The NYGFL is open to players at all levels of ability - and we mean ALL LEVELS. Never played competitive football before? No problem! Most members of the league begin with little or no competitive football experience. Also, the system that the NYGFL uses to put together teams ensures that less experienced players are always placed on a team with more experienced players. In a 7-on-7 flag football game there are MANY positions of importance beyond quarterback and star receiver. Your captain will find a position for you that is well-suited to your physical capabilities.

When and where are the games?

Registration for new players begins each year in the middle of February for the spring season and in the middle of August for the fall season. The spring season runs from early March through the weekend before Memorial Day late May). The fall season runs from mid-September through mid-December. All games are on Saturday or Sunday in Manhattan. Unfortunately because of the complex process of obtaining fields from the city, we cannot tell you exactly when and where your games will be until shortly before the season begins, but all of our games are played at Dewitt Clinton Park, Chelsea Park, Chelsea Waterside Park or Pier 40. The majority of games are played on Saturday nights from 7:00-11:30.

What about practices?

Most team captains limit practices to game day an hour or two before the game starts; however, a handful of captains may ask you to attend an occasional practice on a non-game day. These practices are not mandatory and inability to attend will not affect your playing time or standing in the league.

I frequently work or travel on weekends. Is it worth it to join?

Many members of the league miss 1 or 2 games per season and still have a rewarding experience. However, if it is likely that you will miss 4 or more games during the season because of work or travel, this may not be the right season for you. The regular season is approximately 8 games long and missing half or more these games will adversely affect not only your experience but that of your teammates as well. Additionally, you need to attend 50% of the regular season games (4 games) in order to be eligible to play in playoffs.

But I'm straight! Would it be weird for me to play in a gay football league?

Absolutely not! Some of our most dedicated and long-standing league members are straight. Many straight folks love the inclusive, laid-back yet competitive atmosphere that the NYGFL provides and continue to come back every season for this reason.

Which division should I join?

The NYGFL has two divisions: the Open Division and the Women's+ Division. The Open Division has no registration restrictions based on gender, but is mainly composed of individuals that identify as male. The Women's+ division is mainly composed of individuals that identify as female. We ask that players who identify as cisgender males do not register for the Women's+ Division. (Cisgender: Relating to a person whose sense of personal identity and gender corresponds with their birth sex). If you have any questions about the two divisions, please reach out to the board at

Will I make new friends?

Yes! Aside from the rewarding experience that you are sure to have on the field with your own team, the league sponsors weekly social events that will allow you the opportunity to get to know other league members in a fun, social setting. We also have a bachelor auction, theme parties, karaoke nights, and many other fun activities planned to ensure that your football experience is much more than action on the field!

What if I can't throw a football?

No problem. Each team only needs 1 quarterback (and possibly a backup), so if you can't throw, you're off the hook.

Am I guaranteed a spot on a team if I sign up, or do I have to try out?

If you register for the league and submit payment on time, you are guaranteed a spot on a team. However, if it is your first season playing in the NYGFL, you are required to attend the Rookie Training Camp. The Rookie Training Camp is a 2 hour practice session where we teach you the rules of the game and basics skills. The team captains will also get to meet you and see you play so they can find the best place for you on their team.

My friend plays gay softball and competes in tournaments in different cities every year. Can I do this?

Tournaments are an excellent way to meet new people and test your skills on the road. There are currently a few different national tournaments, and members of the league have gone to each of them to participate and represent the NYGFL. If you're interested in competing in the Pridebowl Chicago Tournament, the Gay Superbowl, the Fort Lauderdale tournament, or any others that you know of, ask your team captain or a board member how to get involved.

I want to be my team's quarterback. Will I get to do this?

Possibly. Most quarterbacks are returning players, but a few newbies work their way into the mix every year. If you are interested in quarterbacking you should plan on trying out at the Rookie Training Camp. This will allow captains the opportunity to see you throw prior to the draft. During the draft you may or may not be selected as your team's quarterback. If you are not, your best bet is to volunteer to serve as your team's backup and work with Player Development to be considered for future seasons.

Will I have to buy any expensive equipment?

No. Jerseys and flags are provided for all players, and shorts are provided for new players. Invest in a good pair of cleats and gloves and you will be set.

Can I serve as my team's captain?

Not in your first season. If you are coming into your first season with extensive experience and would like to help out, make sure that your captain knows this. If you are a returning player and would like to be a team captain, please indicate this in your registration and/or respond to the emailing calling for captains.

I am joining the league with my significant other/best friend. Can we be on the same team?

The draft system is designed to create parity between teams. Because of this it is not possible to ensure players who wish to play together a spot on the same team. But join anyway! The NYGFL is about meeting new people and stepping outside of your personal boundaries. Your friend/significant other can come to your games to support you and hang out at a social event afterward. You might even face them head-to-head in a game.

How much does it cost?

140 per season.

What if I REALLY want to play but can't afford it?

Check under 'Contact Us' for information on the Pinelli Grant. The Pinelli Grant is a special fund that covers dues for dedicated members of the NYGFL that are facing financial hardship. Please contact a member of the Board for more information.

Additionally, we offer a payment plan in which you can choose to pay 50% of the fee up front and the rest by the Friday before the draft.

I'm not out at work. Does my name have to be listed on the NYGFL website?

No. Just make a special request to the Communications Director before the season starts; they will make sure that your full name or picture does not appear on the website.

I'm sold! Where do I sign up?

Look for the registration link our our homepage for updated registration info. Make note of the day and time that registration opens for new players and plan to register IMMEDIATELY when it opens. Returning players are given the first opportunity to sign up; registration for new players is limited and fills up very quickly, sometimes within hours. We're not kidding. To guarantee yourself a spot and avoid being placed on the waitlist, you must register quickly as soon as registration opens. If you'd like a reminder simply join our Facebook page and we'll send you registration updates.

What is your refund policy?

We offer a prorated discount if you get injured in the first 4 weeks of the season. If you decide to drop out in the first 4 weeks of the season for any other reason, you will not receive a discount.

If you register and realize that you will be unable to play before the date of the draft, we will provide you with a full refund.

I have another question. Who can I contact?

Please contact the league at for any other questions.

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