School athletics officials in Southern California will ask the state to make flag football an official high school sport for girls.

The California Interscholastic Federation’s Southern Section voted at a Thursday meeting in Long Beach in favor of the plan, said Thom Simmons, the section’s assistant commissioner.

The state body that governs interscholastic athletics in California is scheduled to take up the proposal on Oct. 7 and vote on it early next year.

The move comes as more girls have been playing flag football in youth leagues and some high schoolers in Southern California have been playing in a pilot league started by the Los Angeles Chargers and LA Rams.

Athletics officials hope that making it an official high school sport will increase participation and help coaches create a pipeline to develop players.

The Southern Section is the biggest of the state federation’s ten regions with more than 550 member schools.

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