By: K.J. Wylie/GCU Staff
The season isn’t over yet!
Coming off their second-place finish in the Scottsdale Men’s Flag Football League, the Grand Canyon University Club Flag Football team heads to the ASU West Campus this weekend for the National Intramural Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA) Region VI Tournament against other schools in the country.
The NIRSA Regional Tournament format involves two games of pool play for each team, then a single-elimination playoff that will send the winner of it all to the NIRSA National Tournament, which will be held at the University of West Florida on January 3-6. Aside from the structure, NIRSA also features a different set of rules from what the Lopes are accustomed to.
“The biggest thing is that NIRSA is 7-on-7, and we’ve been playing 8 on 8,” said Lopes Head Coach Tre Stevens. “We’re working on adjusting our formations and plays so it works with even one less guy. The blocking rules are also different from what were used to, since NIRSA follows a ‘screen’ blocking style where you can’t use your arms to extend a block.”
With only a week’s time to prepare for the necessary changes, it would be understandable to worry about a team’s ability to successfully convert their play style. However, Stevens thinks his team’s historic success this season makes them more than capable.
“We gained so much experience in making adjustments on the fly,” said Stevens. “I would say that’s one of our greatest strengths now, and something other teams we play against may struggle with.”
Grand Canyon is set to play their first game of pool play against University of Nevada-Las Vegas tonight (Friday) at 8 pm. Game two of pool play will be held on Saturday November 17th. Times and opponents will be announced and determined based on the results of tonight’s match-ups.