2017 Flag Football Season

2017 CAN Flag Football

CAN is set to commence the 19th season of flag football. Below is a tentative timeline with key dates and most of the necessary information to participate in the upcoming season. Dates for Referee certification will be released shortly. 

Whether you are a rookie or veteran, please take the time to read this information in its entirety. If this is your team’s first year in the league please ask questions early and often. CAN sports leagues are very rewarding, but require coaches to be responsible and organized in order for things to go smoothly. 


The application is a 3 STEP PROCESS.  Please see the “Application Process” section for detail, but be sure each of the following have been completed by 6pm on Aug 6 in order for your application to be considered:

1.       Apply online (an automated email is sent to your chapter president, so make sure your president’s information is current)

2.       Chapter president approves your application

3.       Once approved, an email with the payment link will be sent to the main coach to make payment


July 23 - Applications go online.
Aug 6- Applications for league consideration due by 6:00 PM

Aug  8 - Teams notified about included schools and new divisions
August 15 - Blackout Sheets due
August 23 - Mandatory NEW coaches (all first time coaches) meetings for teams selected…Prior to Mandatory All Coaches meeting (tentative)
August 23 - Mandatory coaches meetings for teams selected (tentative)
September 9/10 Season Begins
November 11/12 - Season ends (assuming no rainouts/snowouts)

November 18/19 (rainout/snowout weekend make ups)
Week of November 13 - Mandatory tournament meeting
November 25/26– Thanksgiving Weekend No Games
December 2/3 - Tournament weekend 1
December 9/10 - Tournament weekend 2 (final weekend assuming no rainouts/snowouts)
December 16/17 – Tournament Rain Date
January 13 - Tournament party date (tentative)


In 1998, the Capital Alumni Network expanded beyond alumni softball to include a co-ed flag football season and tournament.

As the CAN softball league continues to grow we have no doubt that our flag football league will continue to keep pace, but as a volunteer league we do have our limits. Please keep in mind that this is the only league of its kind in the United States and it is entirely run by people like you who coach the teams and volunteer to do all of the work that makes this league so successful. 


CAN is requesting that alumni chapters indicate their interest in participating in this year's season and tournament. Interested teams MUST commit to both as tournament participation is required. 

Regular season games will begin on September 9/10 and will continue through the weekend of November 11/12. Games will be played each weekend beginning at 8am and running every hour and a half until dusk. The game length will be approximately 90 minutes with two 25 minutes halves, a five (5) minute halftime, and an additional seven (7) plays at the end of regulation. We encourage pre-season and regular season scrimmages, but games played outside the official CAN schedule will not count towards a team’s overall record. 

This year, the playoff tournament will be a two-weekend event. We have tentatively scheduled any necessary play-in games for Saturday December 2, 2017 and continuing on until the champion is crowned on December 10, 2017 (or the Dec 16/17 rain date!). The total number of teams in the league as well as available field space will determine the exact structure of this year’s league. 

The league is designed to be non-contact with screen blocking and flag belts that completely rip off. 


The application process this year will consist primarily of an online form filled out by a coach designated by the alumni chapter. A follow-up email will be sent to the chapter President to confirm that they are aware of and support their chapter’s formation of a flag football team. All chapters submitting an application agree to the requirements of the league and acknowledge the responsibilities that are expected of the coaches, players and other volunteers. DO NOT partially complete an application and expect to update it later. Please collect all necessary information before submission, as no preference will be given to teams that submit their application rapidly. All applications must be submitted by 6pm on Sunday, August 6th. The application will be posted on the CAN football website by July 23.

Teams will also be required to submit a $150 fee this year with their applications. Once the chapter president approves of the application an email will then be sent to the designated coach regarding this payment (if you do not receive this email in the days following your application submission, I would suggest you contact your chapter president directly to move this process along).  This $150 fee will not go towards tournament costs. Universities who are denied entry in to the league will have their fee refunded. After being accepted into the league, any team that leaves the league either voluntarily or due to the three strike rule will not be refunded their deposit. 


As a league we find ourselves in the enviable position of running a very fun league with very little cost being passed on to the individual. This also makes our league attractive to those individuals who are not necessarily affiliated with one of our alumni chapters. As an organization CAN is committed to offering league sports that benefit alumni chapters not just individuals or groups of friends who “might” be associated with a college or university. To that end, an alumni chapter’s team will be accepted into the league based on the following criteria: 

1. Current status of your chapter - Is your chapter in overall good standing with CAN? Is it active or inactive? If it’s inactive you will not be able to sponsor a team.

2. Backing of chapter leadership – Is the chapter president aware that there is a team being formed? Does the chapter president support the formation of a team and the individuals who are responsible for its creation?

3. Commitment to promoting flag football as a chapter activity - Show us that you intend to make it an extension of your chapter, not just a set aside in which 8 people out of 2,000 can participate.

4. Commitment to finishing the entire season and tournament - Too many teams are impacted by a team's ability/inability to play. When one team doesn’t carry its weight, it affects many other teams.

5. Past participation in CAN sports leagues – Did the team live up to its responsibilities in other CAN related sports activities prior to football season? How did the team adhere to its responsibilities last football season (e.g. officiating the required games, forfeits etc.)? Did the team participate in both the regular season and tournament?

6.  Participation in other non-sports related CAN activities – CAN is about more than just sports leagues. The organization offers a wide variety of activities from which your alumni can benefit. CAN monthly meetings are not mandatory, but please recognize that similar to anything else, you and your chapter will only get out of the organization what you put into it. We all stand to benefit from each other’s knowledge and expertise. 


The key thing to keep in mind is that this is a co-ed league, with, 5 men and 3 women (minimum) on the field at a time. We recommend that if you are forming a team, you have (or be able to field) a team of at least 14-15 people. Please remember that this is an alumni league and your team should be comprised primarily of alumni who attended the school which they are representing and the local/official alumni chapter in the area must be the sponsor of the team. Partnering of teams is not allowed.

Currently there is a 75% alumni rule that will be enforced for the regular season and the post-season tournament. Teams will be required to submit a roster at the start of the season and after every regular season game. It is mandated that a minimum of 75% of the people on the field in each game will be alumni from the sponsoring university. Each team's post-season roster will also be required to have at least 75% of the players classified as alumni from the sponsoring university. Spouses will be considered alumni to fulfill the 75% requirement. "Grand fathering" exceptions will not be accepted under any circumstances. 

Falsifying the alumni status of a player will result in the forfeiture of ALL games played by that player/team, expulsion from the post-season tournament and a possible ban from participation in future CAN sports leagues. 

For more on CAN Rules please see the attached Rules document regarding Alumni status and varsity athletes

CAN General Rules are updated on September 1 each year. Please check back to review the new General Rules each year.


Teams that are accepted for participation in the league will have certain responsibilities. Some of these include but are not limited to the following: 

1. Teams must have a roster comprised primarily of alumni who attended the sponsoring school. Many teams may have a few non-alumni who are active with people in their club, significant others, roommates, and the like. We understand that. However, we do not want to become a cheap alternative to Sports Leagues or the Arlington leagues where people play for a team with a school name because it is a lot cheaper to pay $10-$15 in dues rather than the $75 entry fee (or $595/team). So please, use your team as an activity for your alumni chapter and use it as a vehicle to get alumni involved. Your chapter President should be aware of and in full support of your team and should approve of the individual(s) designated as coach. 

2. To provide the necessary equipment as directed by the CAN and league leadership. For new teams, the estimated cost will be around $300. After the $150 registration fee, the rest will go to initial equipment purchasing. Most of the following equipment will last years so this is really a start-up cost. Each team must purchase their own set of flag belts (recommended 12 minimum) on their own at an estimated cost of $60/team. Teams will also be responsible for providing their own set of 20 cones, long tape measure for marking the cones, and authorized football(s). In addition, each team must provide their referee representative(s) (see below) with the following equipment: penalty flag, whistle, stopwatch, and two line of scrimmage markers.)

3. Teams are required to purchase their own equipment in the other leagues, so hopefully this won't be a big deal. Some of you may have some of the equipment (i.e. footballs, cones, etc.) already from last year – the flag belts must be ones purchased following the CAN rules to insure uniformity. If you need to buy all of it and have 12 players on your team, that's only about $10 a player, well short of $50 per player many of the other leagues charge. Plus our league is more fun. 

4. Send a representative, preferably the coach, to the mandatory coaches’ meeting scheduled for 8/24. It doesn't have to be the coach but every team must have someone there. 

5. Provide certified individuals to referee for as many games as your team is scheduled. That is, if you play 10 games, two (2) representatives of your school must referee 10 other games (you can't ref your own game). The league, according to game times, will schedule officiating slots. All referees must have passed the referee certification test. Rules clinics and referee certification exam times will be released soon. Details will be posted on the football page, and emailed to coaches. 

6. Be a CAN chapter in good standing. Your alumni chapter should be participating in some of CAN's meetings and other activities outside of the sports leagues. The next CAN monthly board meetings are posed on the main page of this website (
www.dcalum.org) for those who have yet to attend or have not attended in a while. 

Please realize these responsibilities are a requirement for everyone in order to bring you a low cost, friendly, fun league. We could charge you $600 to register your team and hire people to ref, but we don't so you can have your money to spend as your chapter sees fit. 


All the fine print aside, CAN Flag Football really is a great time and a great fall activity for your alumni chapter. So whether you are new to the league, or returning from last year, we want to hear from you if you are interested in joining us this season. 

You can also keep tabs on the CAN Flag Football webpage for a constant stream of information. Just keep checking HERE. 

That's it for now. Feel free to contact this year’s commissioners or one of the sports chairs with any questions you might have about fielding a team. 

Hope to see you out there on the football field this fall! 

Ashley Philips (American) - Sports Chair

Daryl Kleist (Wisconsin) – Sports Chair

Meghan Toomey (Elon) - Assistant Sports Chair

Jaime Novikoff (Cornell) – Commissioner

Lorenzo Kaufman (Florida) – Commissioner