Flag football in the Cayman Islands is set to host one of its last competitions this year.
The annual International Cup (commonly called the I-Cup) is slated to take place next month. Either the Ed Bush field in West Bay or the TE McField Sports Centre in George Town will host the action 25-27 November.
Among the organizers is Cayman Islands Flag Football Association board member Perry Levy. A player for the Hellcats men’s team, Levy states this year’s event will see some changes.
“The venue is not confirmed as yet but I’m pretty sure it will be Ed Bush,” Levy said. “The plan is to kick off the tournament with two games on Friday night with a sort of ‘Friday Night Lights’ theme (popular in the US with American high school football). From there would be a full slate of games on Saturday with the finals on Sunday.
“We’re anticipating a good turnout. It could be 12-15 games easy over that weekend. With two women’s games at a time, that number could even reach 20. The men will play under the seven-a-side format and everyone will be a eligible receiver including the linemen. Over the years the linemen have complained that they get no love so we’ve put in that twist to encourage everyone.
“The women will play in the traditional five-a-side format as we feel that would encourage more ladies to come out. Aside from that the new referee crew we had this season, headed by Rob Duty and Sean Glidden, will officiate with other players being involved.”
In years past, the I-Cup had attracted overseas competition with the Bahamas sending a contingent in 2010. Levy states this year’s competition will be made up strictly of local talent.
“Bahamas is not making it this year. I gather that it’s not feasible for them to come down now. They’re attending the Florida tournament in January (officially called the US Flag and Touch League national flag football championships, which takes place in Kissimmee). Also we made it up there two weeks ago.
“The tournament will have all local players. The plan, for both the men and women, is to have two Cayman teams (East and West), team Canada, team USA, team Jamaica and team World. We had official sign-up last Thursday at the new Clubhouse bar by Treasure Island.”
News of the I-Cup comes after Cayman sent a number of sides to compete at the third annual Caribbean Regional Cup. Taking place in Nassau, the squads represented the Cayman Islands association and the Grand Cayman Flag Football Association. All would compete against teams, from locales like New Providence, Freeport and Grand Bahama island, under the Bahamas Flag Football Association.
Cayman did well, with both women’s teams making the finals (the Grand Cayman association won) while the men’s side lost in the finals. Levy suited up for the men’s squad after recently returning to Cayman for good after about 18 months in Hong Kong. Levy spoke about the Bahamas experience.
“The women took care of business as no Cayman team lost to a Bahamian team. Cayman ended up champions with the women. The men won every game but the final. That was a disappointment and the weather was a factor.
“The guys didn’t move the ball offensively though on defence we held it down. We only allowed seven points all tournament and that was in the final. In that game the rain had an impact, we couldn’t move the ball and we lost 7-0. We had four crucial turnovers inside the 20-yard line, on one of them we didn’t stop them from scoring.
“Player-wise, Bobeth O’Garro and Scimone Campbell, as always, are the face of what we’re tried to accomplish. Bobeth threw some touchdowns and Scimone made great receptions. Sophia Dilbert had a monster game rushing the quarterback.
“For the men Leslie Harvey had a monster tournament with five or six interceptions and four touchdowns. Andrew Frederick and I had multiple interceptions and TDs playing on both sides. Oliver Parker had a key rushing TD in the semi-finals and Kevin Solomon led the squad at QB.”
A $25 player registration fee is in effect for the I-Cup and includes a uniform. For more information e-mail [email protected]