SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (WENY) - Last February, high school girls flag football was introduced as a pilot program by the New York State Public High School Athletic Association in collaboration with the Buffalo Bills, New York Giants, New York Jets, and Nike. In July, it was given emerging sport status for the 2023 season. Now, it will be recognized as an official high school state championship sport.

The NYSPHSAA Executive Committee voted on Wednesday to approve the proposal to conduct a state championship starting in the Spring of 2024. This approval comes on the 37th annual National Girls and Women in Sports Day.

According to Wednesday's agenda, Girls Flag Football met the criteria of six sections having four or more programs. There were 51 high schools throughout the state who formed a girls' flag football team during the 2022 pilot season. Five schools in section IV participated including Horseheads and Ithaca, and it continues to grow with schools such as Corning and Elmira set to compete this spring.

According to the Buffalo Bills and New York Giants, it is anticipated that over 140 schools will be participating in High School Girls Flag Football in 2023.

Girls Flag Football was also approved to follow NFHS playing rules with the NYSPHSAA high school sports standards.

The full NYSPHSAA Executive Meeting agenda from Wednesday can be viewed here.