The annual Cayman Islands Flag Football Association’s Jamboree took place last Saturday at the Ed Bush field in West Bay.
It was a huge success as full teams turned out along with family and friends as games were played back-to-back for some five hours. The matches, featuring male players, served as the official start of the 2012 Digicel Summer League.
Squads such as Maples and the newly-formed Dart Hurricanes turned out and showcased talents such as Rupert Whittaker and Nigel Solomon. Association president Jermaine Sharpe stated the day couldn’t have gone better.
“The jamboree went really well, it was a good turnout from teams and fans, there were a lot of different looks and the competition looked good across the board.”
The jamboree gave teams a chance to evaluate themselves while scrimmaging against each other. It gave teams an opportunity to evaluate starters and defensive/offensive schemes and discover their identities, as well as tweaking things before the season starts next Saturday, 16 June. For the record, the reigning champion Hellcats kick off the year against the PWC Ironmen at 1pm.
Association vice president Brad Conolly had this to say, “All the teams looked really even at the jamboree, no one team stood out. That means there won’t be any dominating teams this year and competition improves across the board, which is really good for the league.
“The league this year is going to be very competitive, only four teams make the playoffs in contrast to the usual six so teams are going to playing extra hard throughout the season.”
Teams were able to understand the new rule changes and, as Sharpe states, they got a first look at kicking field goals (a new addition to the game).
“We weren’t originally planning to run field goals, but the guys wanted to try it and feel it out and it turned out well. Going forward I hope people continue to come out to support and sign up to play the game, we still have guys calling in now to play but it’s just too late.
“We’re all for new teams coming out, so next year we expect a lot more people to sign up and a couple new teams to join too.”
Flag football has become arguably the fastest growing sport in Cayman. With the regular season starting next weekend at Ed Bush, the fan base is expected to be large and grow in the coming weeks.