Flag football in Bergen County is not a new idea. Over the years there have been several local flag football leagues. The premise behind BCFL is to take all of the positives from the past leagues and to mold them into a premier flag football experience. When forming this league, Ken Goffstein, Rabbi Avi Rosalimsky and Steve Gutlove—a powerhouse trio synonymous with youth sports in Bergen County—partnered with NFL FLAG Football, the official flag football league of the NFL and the largest youth flag football organization in the country. Some benefits of this partnership include official NFL replica reversible jerseys for all participants, a discount on NFL FLAG merchandise and the support of the country’s premier authenticated flag football league.
The league will be divided into four divisions, organized by grade: K-1; 2-3; 4-5 and 6-8. Girls and boys are both welcome, but the older divisions will be separated.
All registered players will be invited to a pre-draft combine on September 12. Teams will be made based on how the players perform at the combine. The games will include six active players on the field during play, and two or three players as substitutes. The standard NFL Flag Football rules will be used. A link to the rules will be available on the website. Games will be played at beautiful fields located in Bergen County.
The registration fee is $250 per player. This covers the combine, seven regular season games and the playoffs. A significant portion of the proceeds will be donated to various charities located in Bergen County, and can therefore be a potential tax benefit to sponsors.
Various levels of sponsorships are available. Fairway Independent Mortgage Corp. has graciously pledged to be the first platinum sponsor. The league sponsors will be supporting the children of Bergen County, simultaneously giving tzedaka and promoting their businesses.
Goffstein has been coaching youth sports for more than 20 years. Having been involved in a flag football league in Bergen County since 2013, he is familiar with what it takes to create a successful league. He enjoys working with kids and contributing to a community wide effort for kids to play flag football. The skills and teamwork involved in playing flag football will help them in other sports, and contribute to their personal development as well. The BCFL is another way that Goffstein enjoys giving back to the community.
Gutlove has been steeped in Bergen County youth athletics for the past 15 years. He spent 12 years as the head coach of the RYNJ basketball Jaguars and is currently a member of the Yeshivat Noam coaching staff. Gutlove has also run other successful recreational leagues and several camp programs. Gutlove told The Jewish Link, “The Bergen County Football League is an opportunity to participate in a league that highlights everything that’s good about youth sports. We will emphasize sportsmanship and playing the right way. Sponsors and participants will also be able to enjoy knowing that they are supporting a league that is giving to the community on and off of the field.”
Rabbi Rosalimsky is a rebbe at Yeshivat Noam, the director of NCSY RTC and the commissioner of the Bergenfield Baseball League. He looks forward to the opportunity to bring his experience with the youth of Bergen County to the football field. Rabbi Rosalimsky remarked, “The last year and half has been really hard for a lot of people, but especially the kids. Even the minimal programming that has taken place had to mostly stick to the school-cohort model. I am very excited for BCFL to finally bring the kids from all of the different schools together once again—like it ideally should be. One community of kids playing together, laughing together and hopefully growing together.”
Registration for the fall is currently open to all, with the deadline of September 10, or until divisions fill up. The website, currently under construction, should be up and running soon. Space is limited and interest is already high, so sign up soon. Email [email protected] for the registration form or to learn more about sponsorship.