Given the number of sports channels available via Canal Sat and other cable channels, watching your favorite football team on TV in France is now in the realm of possible. But what about actually playing what the French call “football américain”? Whether you have children you would like to introduce to this great American game or whether you yourself are looking to join a league, you will be pleased to know that you do have options when it comes to playing American football in the land of soccer and rugby.
Thanks to the Féderation Française de Football Américain (FFFA), playing football in France is most definitely a possibility. And with over 20,000 licensed players among 191 clubs, it’s easy to find a team near you no matter where you live in the Hexagon. Simply select your department here on their website et voilà! The FFFA also has a pdf document (200 pages !) dedicated to explaining the fundamentals of the game in French, which could prove very helpful for those who are new to the game. If you are new to the game and suiting up helmet and all isn’t your thing, coed flag football is also a possibility.
You might be surprised to find that the sport of cheerleading is gaining popularity among young people in France as well! Far from the stereotypical image of the American bimbo cheerleader, these clubs treat cheerleading as the sport that it is. There are no real cheering ‘try-outs.’ Everyone, regardless of age, can participate as there are various clubs to cover all age groups. Unlike many sports in France, there are not exorbitantly high registration fees. There are some costs involved, however: cheerleaders do typically have to buy their own uniforms and pay for transport to and from matches and/or competitions.