SCOTCH PLAINS/FANWOOD, NJ -- The Scotch Plains-Fanwood PAL flag football players got a taste of what it would be like to one day play at the newly refurbished varsity football field at Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School on Sunday, Sept. 22.

Registration is up this year for PAL football, which welcomes boys and girls from K through 8th grade. Flag football is offered for grades K through 7th grade.

"Interest is up, and we're thrilled to be able to give kids the opportunity to play on the new varsity football field," said Bruce Moran, VP of the Scotch Plains-Fanwood PAL and the organization's Director of Football Operations. 

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The flag football teams are coached by volunteer dads, who guide players into proper positions, help them reattach flags, and encourage them to get better every week. At the youngest levels, each team runs 10 offensive plays and then switches to defense. The tackle football teams are coached both by police officers and volunteers.

Flag football has grown in popularity in recent years, Moran says.

"It gives newer players a chance to learn the game," Moran explained.

The Scotch Plains-Fanwood Police Athletic League (PAL) was founded in 1991 as a volunteer organization. It aims to develop a friendly relationship between youngster and police officers and a spirit of respect for the law. The PAL emphasizes skill development, personal growth, and fun for for pre-high school boys and girls from both Scotch Plains and Fanwood. It runs youth football, flag football, girls softball, volleyball and cheerleading programs, and its volunteer coaches and administrators are police officers and other dedicated individuals who care about kids. is Scotch Plains-Fanwood’s only free daily local news source. Sign up for our free daily eNewsletter and “Like” us on Facebook and twitter @SPF_TAP. Download the free TAPinto App for iPhone or Android.