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Times Will Tell

Podcast: Down, set, hike! Flag football athletes take on Jerusalem

A look at the IFAF Flag Football World Championship that took place this week at Jerusalem’s Kraft Family Sports Campus

Welcome to Times Will Tell, the weekly podcast from The Times of Israel.

We’re speaking this week to flag football players who gathered in Jerusalem this week to play in the IFAF Flag Football World Championship.

Organized by American Football in Israel founder Steve Leibowitz, who brought flag football to Israel in the 1980s, the championship gathered hundreds of athletes from all over the world to the Kraft Family Sports Campus in Jerusalem, for three days of games.

Given the pandemic, it was a last-minute decision to hold the championship in Israel, after other countries had to cancel.

Leibowitz tells us that it was only back in May that he began organizing the games in Jerusalem, a plan that was nearly abandoned with the arrival of the Omicron variant.

But Leibowitz and other government agencies prevailed, and the players arrived last week, quarantining for three days, sticking to their own team tents when not on the field, and only gathering together when it’s time to play.

Team Israel lighting the chanukiah with Team Germany at the IFAF Flag Football world championship in Israel, December 6-8, 2021 (Courtesy Shaul Greenfield)

According to them, it’s all worth it.

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