In the first part of this article, flag football player Matthew Mohwinkel set forth a couple of guidelines for improving a team’s cohesion and effectiveness. Below are a few more tips for better play.

Put pressure on the opposing quarterback: According to Matt Mohwinkel, rushing the quarterback early and often can cause him to become frustrated and hurried. As the game wears on, a solid pass rush may cause the QB to make poor decisions and possibly throw an interception.

Minimize turnovers: Just like full-contact football, turning the ball over too often almost always results in a loss. While most flag football leagues do not allow fumble recoveries for turnovers, interceptions are quite common due to the pass-heavy nature of the game. As such, a quarterback should learn when to attempt the pass and when to throw the ball away.

Make adjustments: While it might sound obvious, properly adjusting to the other team’s strategy is one of the most difficult and most important things a team can do. If one cornerback is consistently beaten by his receiver, the player should swallow his or her pride and ask for a coverage swap.

Flag football can be a great activity for football enthusiasts who don’t want to explain an accidental black eye on a Monday morning. Many local leagues exist throughout the country to enlist players in this fun alternative.

Although based in New York, legal professional Matt Mohwinkel sits on the board of the San Diego-headquartered nonprofit group People Planet Partnership. He also holds responsibilities as Secretary and Treasurer. The organization provides marginalized and underprivileged teens in and around San Diego and New York with dedicated vocational, education, and social development support.

Among its purposes, People Planet Partnership emphasizes helping lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth define themselves in positive ways. An article in the journal Pediatrics estimates that more than one-fourth of gay youth are forced to leave home due to conflicts with family over their sexual identities. According to the article, more than 40 percent of gay teens experience negative attitudes from peers and parents, with verbal abuse most common, and discrimination and physical abuse also prevalent.

Matt Mohwinkel and People Planet Partnership strive to minimize psychosocial and physical dysfunction risks among teens with marginalized sexual identities. The group offers scholarships to qualified applicants to ensure better futures.

A legal technology expert based in the New York area, Matt Mohwinkel most recently worked as a Business Development Executive with Xerox Litigation Services. Aside from his work in business, Matt Mohwinkel enjoys playing flag football in the Long Island Flag Football League. Flag football features most of the same rules as regular football, although tackles are replaced by pulling a flag from around a player’s waist. Listed below are a few of the more subtle rule differences.

Blocking: Because flag football is a non-contact game designed for people of all ages and sizes, blocking rules typically deemphasize raw strength. Many leagues allow blocking, but only if blockers keep their hands behind their backs or touching their sides. 

Pass rushing: Because the rules prevent blockers from using pure physicality to keep rushers away from the quarterback, leagues often allow players to rush after a short delay.

Flag football also entails a smaller number of players, and helmets and shoulder pads are forbidden during play. The official governing body for flag football, the United States Flag Football Association, has set forth a complete handbook of rules on its website,

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December 18, 2012