School of Sport and Service Management

the students on the pitch

Learning more about the North American PE curriculum

Flag football and POP Lacrosse are widely taught in schools in North America as part of the formal physical education curriculum. Both team games follow the same principals of other invasion games typically taught in English secondary schools.

The most distinctive feature of flag football is the absence of tackling in the flag game. All players wear flags that hang down at their sides, usually from belts worn around the waist. A ball carrier is “tackled” or down at the spot at which a defender removes one of the flags.

POP Lacrosse is the form of lacrosse played in schools. It is a non-contact version of lacrosse which uses inexpensive plastic-headed sticks and large, softer lacrosse balls. It is particularly suitable for delivering invasion skills within the physical literacy PE curriculum. The game is usually played as a five-a-side mixed game and is fast paced and fun to play.

On introducing these sports to PGCE and School Direct trainee PE teachers, route leader Dr Gary Stidder said: “Having taught physical education in North America during the early nineties I soon realised how different the curriculum was compared to England.

“Games such as flag football, POP Lacrosse, speedball, floorball and softball were extremely popular amongst the student body but also an integral part of the formal PE curriculum. These types of team games can be extremely inclusive for all pupils of all abilities and can be played in mixed-sex teams.

“Games such as these could be celebrated during an International Week within schools where other cultural aspects such as food, music and dance can also be included alongside more common games such as baseball and basketball.”

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Kerry Burnett • December 2, 2019

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