Desterro Atlantis, a women’s Flag Football team from Florianópolis, qualified for the Super Final of the Copa do Brasil sport. The competition takes place on August 27th and 28th in Piedade, São Paulo.
The girls secured their spot after beating four other teams in the southern regional stage, which took place at the end of April in Curitiba, Paraná. It is the first time that the team participates in the Super Final.
“We are very anxious, preparing since the beginning of the year. We have enough physical, technical and tactical capacity to be at least among the four best teams in Brazil”, says athlete Gabriela Bankhardt, who has played for the Brazilian flag football team.
Athlete Leislie Caroline da Silva can’t hide her anxiety. She participated in several friendlies with the team to prepare for the Super Final and believes in a positive result.
“In training we repeat a lot, but in games we need to deal with the unexpected and react to what the other team is showing, so the evolution is greater”, he reports.
The Copa Brasil de Flag Football 2022 recorded a record in the number of teams registered since the beginning of the competition. In the final, 16 teams from 10 states will compete for the title in 39 matches.
“A big championship like this is essential to spread the sport and bring seriousness to it, because Flag is evolving more and more and there is an expectation that it will become an Olympic sport in 2028 in Los Angeles”, emphasizes Gabriela.
This year, the sport was part of the World Games for the first time, a competition that brings together sports that are not played in the Olympics. The Brazilian women’s team was in seventh place.
understand the sport
At Flag, however, athletes don’t wear protective gear, because there’s not the same aggression as in American football. Teams do not need to knock opponents to the ground, but rather remove one of the ribbons that are worn around the waist.
When a tape is removed, the attacking team ends the play and has to start from scratch. Each team has four attempts to score the touchdown. If the athletes are unable to reach the midfield or reach the end, they lose possession of the ball and the other team gains a chance to attack.
The Atlantis Exile
The manezinha team was founded in 2016 by four friends who are passionate about the sport. The name pays homage to the home of Desterro Atlantis: Santa Catarina Island.
The team of about 20 athletes has already participated in championships in Santa Catarina, in which it is currently the runner-up, and in regional competitions. Anyone who wants to start practicing the sport can get in touch via Instagram and even participate in training.