At AfterDark Technologies, we think that to know where you are headed, you must first understand where you have been. So, as we embark in the next step of our corporate journey this week, we have compiled a high level timeline of the evolution of one of the most beloved field sports in the United States: Flag Football.

1800s

  • 1869 - First game of college football was played between Rutgers and Princeton.
  • 1892 - First game of professional football is played between the Pittsburgh Athletic Club and the Allegheny Athletic Club in Pennsylvania.

1930s

  • 1931 - Touch and tail football debuts in Queens, NY.
  • 1933 - "Touch football" is added to Webster’s Dictionary.

1940s

  • Flag football is introduced on military bases (first in Fort Meade, MD) in World War II to avoid unnecessarily injuring troops.
  • In the late 1940s, recreational leagues start popping up across the country as active young men returned home from war.

1950s

  • 1952 - The College Physical Education Association publishes the first set of rules for playing flag football.
  • 1954 - "Flag football" is added to Webster’s Dictionary.

1960s

  • 1965 - The City of St. Louis forms the National Touch Football League.

1970s

  • 1971 - The National Touch Football League hosts its first national championship game with the Halek's from Minneapolis, MN taking home the title.
  • 1979 - University of New Orleans holds its first-ever collegiate intramural tournament.

1980s

  • 1981 - The inaugural National Collegiate Flag Football Championship takes place in Shreveport, LA.
  • 1988 - The National Touch Football Leagues’ regional director leaves to start the United States Flag Touch Football League.
  • 1989 - The United States Flag Football League Semipro league is formed in North Carolina. Going “semipro” allowed teams to represent their cities and winners to take cash prizes, though they were not actually paid for their play.

1990s

Many other "national organizations" formed to take advantage of the more than 20 million players participating in flag football programs.

  • 1991 - The American Flag & Touch Football League is formed.
  • 1997 - The Professional Flag Football League, Inc. (PFFL) is formed and flag football goes pro. The first PFFL Pro Flag Bowl also takes place.
  • 1998 - Florida becomes the first state in the U.S. to recognize girls flag football as a high school varsity sport.
  • 1999 - The Professional Flag Football League, Inc. (PFFL) played the first ever professional flag football travel schedule, with teams in Buffalo, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Toledo, and Indianapolis. The league was not successful financially, folding after only one season.

2000s

  • 2007 - National Football League (NFL) launches NFL FLAG in partnership with Nike.
  • 2013 - AfterDark Technologies is founded to enable players and athletes to play flag football anywhere, anytime with the help of fiber-optics and LED technologies.
  • 2015 - AfterDark Technologies launches the AfterDark Flag Football kit to help flag footballers all over the world catch the night.

AfterDark Technologies is focused on changing the playing field for flag football with fiber-optics and interactive LED technology. We’ve moved beyond just helping busy athletes extend their playing time when the sun goes down and avoid the expense and hassle of finding lighted fields. We are bringing a new level of interactivity, technology, and excitement to flag football and changing the game.

Join us in this exciting next step in our history as we launch on Kickstarter this month and help us catch the night!

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