When we tested the AfterDark Flag Football Kit, we didn’t just work with competitive adult leagues, social weekend leagues, and intramurals. We also headed out to the backyard and spent time with six- to nine-year old kids.

Why? Because we wanted to develop a nighttime gaming kit that would be used by all ages. Testing the kit with children worked because children know when something is fun and have uninhibited curiosity. At one of our first children’s games, more than a dozen boys and girls, aged 6 to 11, were all eagerly waiting to be fitted up and kitted out with fiber optics and interactive LEDs. The second we got out of our cars with AfterDark-branded bags, we were inundated with questions. “How’s it work?” “Can I switch the colors on the jersey?” “How do you choose the colors of the cones?” “How does the ball light up?”

Once the children were split into teams and ready to go, there was no stopping them.  Blurs of light streaming across the backyard with their parents watching — with a number of parents asking when they could have a turn. We started just before dusk and the game went on for hours — with juice and pizza breaks factored in, of course.

We’ve had great feedback from the adult leagues, social leagues and college players. The kids that have tested our kit love it.

What struck me though is something that one of the parents said: “It’s great to see them out playing because of technology, not sitting down because of it.” It’s true, this is the generation of the digital native — humans who don’t even remember a world without iPads, Android, Xboxes and PlayStations. It’s estimated that the average American child spends five to seven hours every day in front of a screen.

Children find something inherently fun about being out in the evenings, close to dusk, playing — and parents find it fun to join in with them. Find out more about nighttime flag football at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/951441376/catch-the-night-with-flag-football-afterdark.

 

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