Tyler Pavlis, executive director of Knoxville Sports and Social Club, is the organizer of one of its newest league options: co-ed, non-contact, six-versus-six indoor flag football for adults at FUSE SportsPlex (1501 Kirby Rd.) The registration deadline is May 20; games begin June 8.
Indoor flag football—why?
It has never been done before in this area—successfully—and I thought it was a great time, during the hot days of summer, to try it.
Your outdoor adult flag football is already fairly popular?
We are only in our third season in flag football and we have grown from six teams in spring 2013 to nine in fall 2013 to 14 this spring.
Isn't the floor too hard to play flag football indoors?
It is comparable to the ground. The place we are playing at, FUSE SportsPlex, has the high-end field turf, which is great.
Is this a good venue for meeting singles?
Oh, yeah! We had 1,400 participants across the board in all of our sports, including dodgeball and kickball, which is my favorite, and sign-ups were right at 50/50 males to females. There is a gender requirement of three per nine-player roster for flag football—although you can have unlimited players on your team—and a two-person gender requirement for players on the field during the game.
Does anyone take the game a little too seriously?
Sometimes. Like anything that involves recreational competition, people have different reasons for participating. Some are there to meet people, some are there to go out to the bars that sponsor our post-game gatherings, and some are there to win. When you have several hundred people, you are going to have a mix of everything. If players act out and hurt the integrity of our league, we will suggest they go elsewhere, which does happen from time to time.
Do you need to be a little serious about it to sign up?
Players will be doing some running, so they better be prepared for that!
What's the highest level of athletics you've played?
I played just about every sport until high school, then ran track some in high school and played for the Central High School inline hockey team for a season, which was interesting. I have always been in or around sports but played more recreationally, like church-league basketball, than super-competitively. I have coached track and am a volunteer basketball coach for the Baby Fulton Falcons program. One of my dreams as a kid was to work in the front office of a pro sports team, because I had always felt that I understand the business side of sports.
If someone had a bad experience with gym as a kid, would they fit in here?
We are perfect if you want the alternative to very competitive play in flag football. If you are looking for something over-the-top competitive, this is not for you.
Is there a spot for those who just cheer?
Sure, the more the merrier with us. Several teams bring spectators who just hang out and watch. I have made several friends from those who just come and watch us. Usually, after a season or two, most spectators take the plunge and sign up.
Sign up as individuals, groups of friends, or entire teams and pay fees at knoxssc.com.