LATHAM, N.Y. (WWTI) — A new girls’ flag football program is coming to New York State schools.

The New York State Public High School Athletic Association announced on Wednesday that it is partnering with the Buffalo Bills, New York Giants and New York Jets to create a girls flag football pilot program across its 48 member schools.

According to NYSPHSAA, Sections I, IV, V, VI, VIII and XI have all committed to teams within their sections participating in the inaugural girls flag football pilot program set to being in the spring of 2022.

Beginning this spring, teams will play six to eight games with the season running until the end of May. Games will be seven-on-seven and played on a regulation-size field.

Locally, Destiny Christian School was one of the lucky pics to be selected by the program Wednesday. DCS President Steve Edlin expressed the collective excitement from all players, coaches and the staff.

“As we recognize National Girls and Women in Sports Day, we are thrilled to be a part of this pilot program joining over 40 teams in New York alone,” Edlin said. “We are truly thankful that Buffalo Bills have chosen Destiny Christian School to be one of only eight schools receiving the grant in Section V.”

Girls representing the district will participate in a pre-season camp/scrimmages hosted by the Buffalo Bills. They will also have the opportunity to play at Highmark Stadium, home to Buffalo’s NFL team.

NYSPHAA and the NFL are currently forming official rules for the program. and each section has the choice to host local championships.

“This is an historic day for the New York State Public High School Athletic Association as we are able to initiate something in our state that has never been done before thanks to a partnership with the Buffalo Bills, New York Giants and New York Jets,” NYSPHSAA Executive Director Dr. Robert Zayas said in a press release.  “We are grateful and excited to partner with the Bills, Giants and Jets to provide beneficial participation opportunities for female high school student-athletes in our state.”

After the program is launched this spring, NYSPHSAA will work toward the goal of the program gaining an “emerging sport” status in 2023. An “emerging sport” is when four sections have at least four or more teams in that sport.

Funding for the program is being provided by the three NFL teams. Donations from the Bills will be designated for teams in Section V and VI, funding from the Giants will support teams in Sections I and IV and the Jets will support the teams in Section VII and XI.

Nike has also donated $100,000 which will be evenly distributed to sections for gear and equipment.

According to officials, practices begin across Section V are set to kickoff April 4 while games will begin on the weekend of April 29 this year.

The following schools are set to participate in the pilot program this spring:

Section I

  • Somers High School
  • Scarsdale High School
  • Lakeland High School
  • Walter Panas High School
  • Hastings High School
  • Peekskill High School
  • Greenburg-North Castle
  • Brewster

Section IV

  • Binghamtom High School
  • Ithaca High School
  • Chenango Valley High School
  • Norwich High School

Section V

  • Destiny Christian School
  • Rochester Academy Charter School
  • James Monroe Upper School
  • Edison Tech
  • Eastridge High School
  • Canisteo- Greenwood
  • Irondequoit High School
  • Spencerport High School

Section VI

  • Buffalo Academy of Science
  • Nigara Falls High School
  • Sweet Home High School
  • Depew High School
  • West Seneca East High School
  • North Tonawanda High School
  • West Seneca West High School
  • Frontier High School
  • Hamburg High School
  • Amherst High School Iroquois High School
  • Orchard Park High School

Section VIII

  • Freeport High School
  • Long Beach High School
  • Locust Valley High School
  • West Hempstead High School
  • Plainview-Old Bethpage High School
  • Hempstead High School
  • Lynbrook High School
  • Massapequa High School

Section XI

  • Center Moriches High School Amityville Memorial High School
  • Walt Whitman High School
  • Sachem East High School
  • North Babylon High School
  • Longwood High School
  • Ward Melville High School
  • Sachem North High School

Check back with News 8 WROC as we will continue to update this developing story.