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Flag football season begins on Vandenberg

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- The Firefighters' flag football team huddle before taking the field against the 30 Space Wing team on October. The Firefighters had an 18-0 victory over the 30th Space Wing. Vandenberg Flag Football season began earlier this month. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Nicole Roberts)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- The Firefighters' flag football team huddle before taking the field against the 30 Space Wing team on October. The Firefighters had an 18-0 victory over the 30th Space Wing. Vandenberg Flag Football season began earlier this month. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Nicole Roberts)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Down, set, go!

The Vandenberg fitness center oversaw the beginning of the flag football season Oct. 14 at the base football field.

Teams from Vandenberg are split up into two different six-team leagues, which play on Monday and Wednesday, and Tuesday and Thursday. Each night games are held at 6, 7 and 8 p.m.

People interested in watching the games should be prepared for a high speed version of America's Monday night past-time.

Each game will offer spectators with an unusual amount of passing and trick plays due to the lack of tackling and flag-guarding rules an effective running game nearly impossible (Flag guarding is when a player uses his hands to keep his flag from being pulled).

"Flag football is fun because it's so fast paced, and teams will try anything to move the ball down the field," said Chad Usher, coach of one of the two 30th Space Wing teams playing. "With nine players on the field, anything can happen-it's suspenseful."

Anything from multiple-pass plays, direct snaps to the running back, reverses and a laundry list of plays designed to make defenses look silly are possible to see in a flag football game, he said.

"Teams will be competing to make it to the playoffs at the end of the season," said Isae Jones, the base's flag football coordinator. "That is where we will find out who is the best team on Vandenberg."

Although teams want to win, the real reason behind flag football, building moral and having fun, will not be lost this season as rules have been put in place to prevent a negative atmosphere on and around the field.

"This year the refs are allowing no trash talking to other players, whether they are your teammates of opponents," Jones said. "And if you have a complaint about officiating, only team coaches are allowed to voice it."

This year's season is sure to have excitement and heartache, but most of all is guaranteed to be fun. Intramural sports are a great way to get involved and to build camaraderie with Airmen from the workplace and other units.