The National Flag Football Series

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After months of background work, we are happy to announce the National Flag Football Series will be working with Chris Severino, Jamie Wolf and the USFTL.  This is a series of pre-existing tournaments stretching from Washington DC to Rhode Island and finishing in Orlando, with the goal of delivering a better product to the flag football teams (especially in the 9-man style) .  In short, our goal is to solidify the quality of the tournaments in the yearly calendar, to lower registration fees for teams, encourage more teams to travel to tournaments, clean up the rules of 9-man, apply high standards from tournament to tournament, and deliver on customer service to the flag football community.
 
- Each tournament has agreed to adhere to the Tournament Standards and Participant Rights as listed on the "Why Play in the National Flag Football Series" page on the site.  This protects you, the consumer.

-The Series will always have a cash (or cash/bid option, for the teams who prefer that) for the Pro Champion.  The Competitive Division will be playing for a trophy, and teams will have the choice of which level to participate in.  Pro teams will always have a chance to play for the cash prize. 
 
-The Series will have a comprehensive set of rules in the coming months, eliminating the grey areas from tournament to tournament.
Although we are focusing on the 9-man Ineligible style at this time,  we are definitely interested in working with other styles and regions as we grow into the future. 
 
The Series schedule will encourage teams to play in multiple areas, but we have no interest in regulating which tournaments teams choose to play in.  Our schedule below will be solidified over the next few weeks, but we're looking forward to a very busy 2012.

Ocean City MD (April 26-27, 2014)
Virginia Beach (with Chris Severino and Jamie Wolf, June 21-22, 2013)
Baltimore (July 2014)
Washington DC (August 2014)
Western MD (November 22-23, 2013)

And lastly, if you have a question, you can call me.  I answer the phone.
  
Andy Hoffman
thenationalflagfootballseries.com
(443) 996-9677 cell

Please send me information about a TFFCS event!
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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

"Why don't you work with anyone? It's hard for teams because we're forced to choose."
I've been independent for almost 8 years now.  I prefer to be responsible for my own work, and I didn't want to get painted with the negativity when other directors didn't do a good job. 
 
But I like Chris Severino and Jamie Wolf.  They do a good job, we can talk to each other, and I don't worry about being embarrassed by them. 
 
So we are putting 9-man back together under one flag.  All roads lead to Orlando, with Chris and Jamie running the tournament there.  Bids to Orlando will be part of the Championship prize, but there will be cash as well.  The total prize pool remains $1500 for 15+ teams. 
 
And I get to keep my independence to a good extent.  Ref fees are staying included in the price, I will continue to avoid local games in pool play and rematches early Sunday, and the registration for my tournaments will come through me.  We will still combine A and B for pool play, and split on Sunday. 
 
This should be a good thing moving forward, and I hope you guys enjoy the changes. 
 
11:15 am est

Friday, November 4, 2011

ďIf you build it, they will come.Ē

Itís hard to start a business, and to build it from scratch.  You hope that if you do a good job at making your customers happy, theyíll spread the word and youíll grow.  All you can control is your product and marketing. 

 

Iíve always held my tournaments to a high standard, and tried to improve the next one with things Iíve learned from this one.  The good news is that we have a lot of teams who come back to each tournament year after year, or attend multiple tournaments each year. 

 

But itís time to keep building onto those expectations.  Below is a list of what I expect from a tournament and its directors.  If I ever fail one of these, please bring it directly to me.  Iíll do my best to correct the issue.

 

1.    A tournament participant deserves to be treated professionally.  Phone calls and emails need to be returned quickly, and questions need to be answered.  Treat someone the way you would prefer to be treated, while standing up for what is right. 

2.    Teams have the right to have basic expectations met before, during and after every tournament.  Accurate team lists will be updated leading up to the tournament.  The schedule and prize pool will be released the day after the deadline.  Schedules need to be kept on time, with minimal delays. Sunday schedules will be available two hours after the completion of the final Saturday game. Final results and champion photos will be posted within 48 hours of the completion of the tournament.

3.    Teams of all levels should be treated by the same standards.  There should be no disparity in regards to the enforcement of deadlines and entry fees.  Officiating and scheduling should be consistent between A and B brackets. All styles will be represented in marketing, photography and recognition.

4.    You deserve to know what the rules are and to expect them to be enforced consistently.  Tournament rules will be posted, as well as weather policy and tiebreaker procedures.  Officials will be professional and well-trained, and rules questions will be handled quickly and correctly on site by the tournament director.

5.    There should be a prize at every tournament.  The prize should be based on the total number of teams playing, and encourage growth of the tournament.

6.    However, prices should be kept down to encourage more teams to play.  Since most teams in each tournament will not win a prize, pricing the tournament to encourage as many teams as possible to participate is more important than a larger prize for the winning team.

7.    Teams shouldnít have to play the same teams over and over. Saturday pools should be set up avoiding matchups pitting local teams against each other.  Sunday schedules should avoid early rematches of Saturday games.   This allows teams to face more and different opponents.

8.    Having more teams in a tournament is always better.  Tournament points should be based on the number of teams participating.  This discourages the higher level teams from poaching players from smaller teams, eliminating the competitive possibilities of those teams.  It also encourages higher level teams to support smaller teams to attempt tournament play.

9.    Teams should be able to choose what level they play, but the B teams should be able to play B teams in the elimination process. Teams should be given the option of playing in whatever level they choose.  However, prizes should be different enough to keep the A teams in the A bracket. The tournament setup should avoid dropping A teams to the B bracket, and B teams deserve the opportunity to play a full schedule on Sunday against equivalent talents.

10.  Teams have the right to get as much value as possible out of each tournament.  We should offer multiple styles of play, and encourage teams to play the different styles, by scheduling to avoid conflicts between games.  We also will guarantee teams advancing to Sunday, in order to avoid wasting hotel reservations.

 

As a tournament director, you cannot control which teams choose to play.  However, you can control the organizational setup, the safety of the fields, the quality of your officiating, and the level of communication. 

 

Itís all about being professional. 

1:45 am est

Monday, May 10, 2010

So, the MCFFU snipers are out...
It's great the MCFFU has so many supporters. My only question is why you don't put your name out in support? I disagree with Kyle Mitchell, but at least he puts a name on his posts.  And why do I have to be a hater if I think that teams deserve more than what they are getting?

I posted my tournament information on Real Deal's site because there were questions about the difference between tournaments, and because this message board tends to be a clearing house for the NY/NJ teams. I have the permission of Gill to do so.

But there's one thing I want to address, in the search for truth. This was a quote from above:

"the rest of my 9man brothers will be there because of competition, points, cash prize, awesome facility, tradition, great tourny, and structure which seems outsiders always try to tear apart. Where were all you saviors when we needed you 3 years ago? Unbelievable!"

You must be a little late to the party. Your arguments on tradition lack merit.

What was the first MCFFU 9-man tournament? The 1st Ocean City Challenge, run by me, 5 years ago.

Who physically ran the first 9-man MCFFU Virginia Beach tournament? I did, with my refs, at Princess Anne Park, 5 years ago.

If you want to talk tradition, I've been with 9-man longer than the MCFFU, when they told me that 8-man was the way to go and 9-man was dying out, and that I could keep plugging if I wanted to. So I did. It's amazing how 9-man became king when the Ohio and DC 8-man leagues decided not to play with the MCFFU.

The MCFFU sold the 9-man teams on their tournaments with "why play for points when you can play for cash". I was there. Now you are proud of playing (or should I say paying) for points when 90+% of the teams haven't won a dime from the MCFFU.

I give a cash prize for my tournaments, but instead of filling the top teams' pockets with huge "winner-take-all" prizes, I keep the prize lower and the entry fees lower for everyone across the board. Think of it as every team winning $50-$75 back.

As far as comparing facilities, I'm sure I can find a post or 10 that state how great Princess Anne Park was when it was a MCFFU location. It's amazing to me how it's such a downgrade when it's not their field this year. (And by the way, we play on turf every week in my league. The last week of June on turf in Virginia is not going to be a bonus to anyone.)

And as far as great tournament and structure of tournament, I will happily put mine up against theirs anyday. I played at Lake Taylor last year, and I gladly will do a side-by-side comparison this year.

By the way, if you want to enjoy the Virginia Beach nightlife, my host hotels use "flag football" as the code, and will accept teams from either tournament. I'm not going to pretend there's alot to do as adults in Williamsburg. I've worked there too many times. The Denny's was good though.

The only point you can make is competition. Teams are going to choose where they want to go. Those same teams can change their mind tomorrow. However, as a business, I think I've offered a great product at a reasonable price, and I'd love to see you in Virginia Beach. And if the big boys don't come, someone else is going to win.

My name is Andy Hoffman, and my website is www.theflagfootballchallengeseries.com.

10:31 am est

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

What a great weekend in Ocean City!
First, let me apologize for being a day late on my recap.  I needed a day to recover from the weekend.  Especially after looking at weather reports for a week straight.
 
There was no way we were going to stay dry on Sunday.  I was sure of it.  The storms that were creating tornadoes in the Midwest was going to come through Saturday night, and we were going to have to be flexible on Sunday.
 
And then?  Nothing. 
 
We end up with a beautiful (although chilly) day on Saturday, and an overcast but pretty tame Sunday. 
 
I couldn't have asked for more.
 
On the injury front, we had more ambulance calls than I've ever seen, but the wait from phone call to service was less than 10 minutes in each case.  I want to thank the EMT's from Ocean City, but also the people on the sidelines who helped out in each case, whether it was your player or not.
  • The Giants player who injured his knee on Saturday has a sprained knee, but it's not as bad as we feared.
  • I haven't gotten an update on the Dogos player who dislocated his elbow.  I know they had it back in place before the ambulance left the field, but that was sorta grotesque.  I hope he's feeling better today.
  • The NJ Raider player got stitches above his eye from an accidental head-to-head block.
  • And you're not going to believe the last one!  The Red Knights player was diagnosed at the OC hospital with a possible calf tear, torn ligaments, dislocated kneecap and broken femur.  After the swelling came down and he returned to his own doctors, the results were so much better!  He dislocated his knee, but tore NOTHING, broke NOTHING, and was cleared to play this weekend (with a brace). 

Other notes:

  • Congratulations to the MetroDawgs on the 9-man A Championship.  You beat the teams in front of you, and to come back in both the semi against the Blaze and the final against the Nomads were great wins.
  • Congratulations to the MD Rebels for winning the 9-man B Championship.  They were down 13-0 to the X-dawgs before multiple interception returns and some great plays pulled that one out, and they methodically won the bracket. 
  • Congratulations to D4 for winning their 3rd Flag Football Challenge Series 4-man title in a row.  Charlie, your guys are solid and a class act.
  • The biggest surprises of the weekend?  The Nomads kept saying in the Finals that they got further than they expected to, but they had to keep going.  You've got a good team there, Mr. Allen and Mr. Sharp.
  • One thing I want to bring up:  we use NCAA rules as a base for 9-man.  We also are proud to say that we are as close to "real" football as you can get in flag.   Lining up correctly (5 men on the line of scrimmage, no more than one receiver on the line on either side of the center) is administered at the high school, college and NFL levels.   We all have penalties called against us, and none of us like it.  But this is something basic and can be fixed at the team level, and makes our style better and sharper than the others.
  • In the entire weekend, there was only one time where teams played each other twice, and that was in the B Semis.  You can't say you didn't get to play new teams this year.
  • I appreciate the 4man teams being flexible when the Red Knights lost their team to injuries.  You guys handled the changes like champs.  Now we just need more teams!
  • There were at least 7 games decided in the last two minutes (MetroDawgs-Nomads, MetroDawgs-Blaze, Xplosion-CW Renegades, Patriots-Miller Lite, Trojans-MD Raiders, Nomads-NJ Raiders, Pickles-OC Animal Hospital) this weekend, and even more that were within a score.  That's competition, people.
  • We had no game ejections throughout the entire weekend.  I appreciate the maturity.
  • The farthest we were ever behind on Saturday was 20 minutes (which is amazing with the ambulance visits), and we were actually ahead for most of the day on Sunday.  Tell me another tournament who can say that!

I hope everyone had a great time, and I hope to see you again soon.  Information for Virginia Beach will be coming out this week, and i have to decide if we are offering 9man or 8man Eligible in Ocean City in October (along with 7man, 5man and 4man).  I'll have an answer by Virginia Beach.

Once again, many thanks!

Andy

7:33 am est

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

About Virginia Beach!
Before this goes too far...

I run my tournaments as a business. That means I offer a product, and the consumers (the teams) choose to either purchase my product or not, at the price offered.

The MCFFU is a competitor for me. They've offered their product the week of my tournament (Carolina, April 09). They've offered their product the week before my tournament (Northern VA, May 09 and Connecticutt, April '10). I wanted to do a tournament in Virginia Beach, and splitting the field costs with George Coleman and FISO Sports makes alot of sense to me, as does using the traditional weekend that teams go to VA Beach. They continue to work with the USFTL, so I have no problems if the USFTL decides to give points for this tournament. However, I will not give a bid to another organization's tournament, and my prizes are my prizes.

I am happy to be using Princess Anne Park as well, since it's a much better complex than where we played last year.

I also realize that the "big boys" want to play for points. (God, I remember the conversations about the idiocy of playing for points when I worked for the U, but I'll save that for another time.) I understand this, and I wish those teams well.

I also realize that with a "pro" field of 16 in Miami, the bulk of the teams will not be in it. I project 3-4 teams from NY/NJ, 3-5 teams from MD/VA, 3-4 teams from Texas, 2-3 from New England, 2-3 from the South and maybe a wild card or two from the West Coast. What's the problem with that? Those are at least 14 spots filled there, and all of the other teams playing for 2 spots. Everyone else is going into the Open bracket, where points are only used for seeding.

So here is what I'm offering those teams:

- Instead of paying $670 ($550 +$40 ref fees for 3 games, and that's if you don't advance past the first round on Sunday), pay the early entry fee of $550 where everything is included. Instead of feeding your cash into the Grand Prize, which most teams have no chance of winning, I think it makes more sense for entry fees to be lower and smaller prizes given out to more teams.

- Play on the beautiful fields at Princess Anne Park. Everyone knows how nice it is there.

- All efforts will be made so you can avoid playing a team from your league in the pool play.

- Schedules for Sunday are available 90 minutes after the last game at the host bar.

- Your tournament director stays on the fields all day, and doesn't sub it out. He also will answer your phone calls (usually as it rings) and emails in a timely manner.

- High level college and high school officials will work your games, and aren't separated to focus on the "big boys". Every team deserves good officiating.

- Teams choose which level they want to play for and end up in the right level because they play for different prizes.

- The team listed will be updated as commitments and entry fees come in, and will be publicized.

- Host hotels and a host bar with specials and discounts will be provided to the teams.

- And lastly, my tournaments run on time and efficiently.

I know I'm going to be trashed by the snipers, and I wouldn't expect less. Choose for yourself, and decide what's best for your team.

I will happily put my product up against theirs any day of the week and twice on Sunday.

Andy Hoffman
www.theflagfootballchallengeseries.com
410-612-9231
443-996-9677 cell

 
6:47 pm est

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Welcome to new thoughts, ideas and plans for flag football!

We look forward to growing our game, without the petty arguments of previous organizations.  Our goal is to enable more teams, players and regions to participate, and to bring national and corporate attention to Flag Football!

This site is designed for open conversations about flag football,
irregardless of organization. 
Need somewhere to promote your league, team or tournament? 

Where are you located?
What style of flag football are you associated with?
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Our Game deserves to be marketed!
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The National Flag Football Series
Andy Hoffman, Spokesman
*45 S. Colonial Drive*
 * Hagerstown MD 21740 *
(301) 790-1205/ (443) 996-9677 cell
 

Or e-mail:

theflagfootballchallengeseries@verizon.net

We are excited that you are visiting our web site. We are here to provide a forum for flag football's ineligible style.  Our focus is to bring more attention to the closest thing to pads, and to grow our game to its past heights.
 
I look forward to hearing from you, and I personally look forward to what the future can bring!  Feel free to email me with any questions or comments.
 
Andy Hoffman

Please get in touch to offer comments and join our mailing list.

  

The National Flag Football Series
Spokesman Andy Hoffman
*11800 Clearview Rd,*
*Hagerstown MD 21742*
*443-996-9677 cell/ 301-790-1205 office*