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Flag Football Safety

MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho -- Mark Fields, Security Force Squadron quarterback, looks for an open player down field during an intramural football game Sept. 23. SFS beat the Civil Engineering Squadron 15-7. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Renishia Richardson)

Intramural sports are a great way to get out with your friends and co-workers and build some good team skills, and keep fit. However, it can also lead to injury. The 366th Fighter Wing Safety Office has a few tips for Airmen to stay safe this football season. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Renishia Richardson)

MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho -- Flag football season is upon us. With the first game scheduled for the Sept. 23, Mountain Home is preparing itself for some fun competition between squadrons.

The key to this sport is to remember that flag football is just for fun. Over aggressive play accounts for the majority of our mishaps here on Mountain Home AFB. While it is fun to be competitive, rough play only leads to injury, which in turn leads to a strain on a work center.

There are a few general safety tips that greatly reduce your chances of succumbing to injury.

The first thing that should be looked at is footwear. Ankle sprains are the number one injury in sports. Proper footwear will go a long way in keeping your ankles safe. Ensure that your shoes have plenty of ankle support; most football cleats meet this recommendation.

Some other safety issues that we see in the safety office are knee, shoulder and head injuries. Although there are no protective items to completely avoid these injuries while still having fun, situational awareness goes a long way in injury prevention. Avoid blocking individuals with your body, and try to avoid running into a bulk of people on the field. Some other ways you can avoid these injuries are to follow a good warm up program, thoroughly stretch and keep moving even when you are not playing to avoid letting your muscles tighten up.

We do understand however, that no matter the emphasis placed on safety, accidents happen and in those instances we do ask that you report them to your unit safety representative as soon as possible.

Intramural sports are a great way to get out with your friends and co-workers and build some good team skills, and keep fit. As long as people remember the original intent of the intramural sports program, Mountain Home should expect to see a minimal amount of football related mishaps this season. Good luck this season and have fun.