A new coach has been appointed for the Israeli men's flag football team ahead of the World Games
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MEN’S FLAG FOOTBALL NAMES COACH FOR WORLD GAMES QUALIFIER
Former National Team Quarterback Kenny Zwiebel Answers Call to the Flag.
Jerusalem – August 2020
The AFI has announced the appointment of Kenny Zwiebel as National Team Flag Football coach to lead the Israeli men’s team in its campaign to qualify for the 2022 World Games in Birmingham, Alabama.
Zwiebel was captain and starting quarterback of the men’s national team between 2004-2011, leading the team at about 10 international competitions in Europe and North America. AFI President Steve Leibowitz was thrilled with the appointment saying, “Kenny is a true student of the game and aspires to get the most out of his teams both on and off the field, serving as a natural football ambassador for Israel.” Leibowitz added, “We have a strong men’s team with a very realistic chance of qualifying for the World Games and our biggest stage to date. I believe that having Kenny Zwiebel at the helm will give Israel its best chance to qualify.” Zwiebel said, “I am both honored and excited for this challenge to continue the upward trend of Israeli team success in American football on the international scene. Our goals are clear and I look forward to working hard with the team to realize those goals”.
Zwiebel began playing in the AFI’s men’s flag league in 1994 when the rules of “two-hand touch” were still used playing for nearly two decades until his retirement as a player in 2011. He began his football career as a defensive back and receiver. Moving to the quarterback, Zwiebel led Big Blue to the Holyland Bowl championship in 2010-11 while being named MVP of the title game. Zwiebel is a member of the AFI Hall of Fame.
Last month the World Games announced that flag football would be included in Birmingham. The NFL and the International Federation of American Football are sponsoring the inclusion of the sport at the games with the ultimate goal of including flag football in the 2028 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. The World Games is an 11-day sports celebration held in the year following the Summer Olympic Games. The Games represent the highest level of competition for more than 3,600 international athletes and 30+ unique sports.
Qualification for the World games football completion will take place at the IFAF’s World Championship of Flag Football, expected to take place in Denmark in the summer of 2021. The 2020 World Championship was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic and has yet to be officially rescheduled. According to IFAF tournament rules, the top eight seeds at the world championship will qualify to take part in the World Games. There will be both men’s and women’s competition in Birmingham. Based on results from the 2018 World Championship in Panama, the Israeli men’s team is ranked 5th in the world while the Israeli women are ranked 11th.