As safety concerns about tackle football have increased, the popularity of flag football has improved. The variation of the sport can keep many things people love about it intact. But without the hard hits. At least in theory.

There has also been an increased focus on getting women more involved in football. A number of organizations have joined forces to promote participation in women's flag football. Among them is the National Football League.

Helping to make women's flag football an NAIA varsity sport

Women's flag football is set to be varsity sport in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics.

Competition is scheduled to begin in 2021, as reported by ESPN. Most likely, it would lead to an 'emerging sports championship' in 2022.

A partnership has been formed between the NAIA, the NFL, NFL FLAG, and Reigning Champs Experiences. Or RCX, for short. Troy Vincent called it a 'groundbreaking and historic joint venture' that provides an opportunity for female student-athletes. 'Football is for everyone,' he said. Vincent is currently the executive vice president of football operations of the NFL. Formerly, he presided over the NFL Players Association. He himself played collegiately in the NCAA with the Wisconsin Badgers. Drafted seventh overall in 1992, he played for four teams in the NFL.

Izell Reese, president, and general manager of RCX, also touted the partnership. He said it creates 'even more opportunities for young women to continue the sport they love.' He also said they could receive scholarships that could help them to continue their education.

For women's flag football to remain an NAIA sport, at least 15 members need to field a team.

According to CBS, if 25 members institutions field teams, the NAIA would hold an 'invitational championship.' A full championship will be sanctioned if there are teams from 40 members institutions.

The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics has members in multiple countries

The NAIA is based in Kansas City, Missouri.

It's generally considered to be much less prominent than the National Collegiate Athletic Association. By far, the biggest governing body of college and university sports in the United States. But nonetheless, the NAIA is still of considerable size.

The vast majority of NAIA member institutions are located in the United States. Found across 36 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands. There are also members situated in Canada in the Province of British Columbia. The University of the Bahamas in Nassau has also stated its goal of joining the NAIA.

There are various other similar governing bodies in the United States. Including the National Christian College Athletic Association, National Junior College Athletic Association, and the United States Collegiate Athletic Association.