NFL “Way to Play” Award is back, bigger and better, for 2021

way to play award
gamestrat high school football sideline instant replay

The National Football League is expanding its Way to Play initiative, helping highlight proper playing technique to protect players from unnecessary risk and foster culture change across all levels of the sport.

This year, in addition to honoring high school football players, who use proper playing technique across America, the NFL is expanding the award to include NFL Canada and NFL FLAG.

“Expanding the Way to Play Award to NFL FLAG and Canada underscores that football is for all and the game is even more fun when using the proper techniques that protect players and promote football development,” said Troy Vincent, NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations. “Through the award, football fans and players from around the world can see real time examples of excellent football fundamentals and skill development.”

The Way to Play Award for high school football players enters its third season this year.

The domestic award honors one high school football player weekly for demonstrating exceptional in-game playing technique. The high school award recipient will be announced on NFL Network each Saturday morning, and the school of each honoree will receive a $1,500 equipment grant through USA Football. The expert panel selecting the weekly winner consists of Phil Bogle, Kevin Boothe, Jay Manahan, Roman Oben, Jon Runyan and Troy Vincent.

Coaches, click here to fill out the form to nominate players for the NFL Way to Play High School Award

The new NFL Canada Award will recognize a Canadian high school football player in Weeks 2-11 of the NFL season. Submissions will be received through Hudl and voted on by NFL Canada’s Football Development Advisory Committee: Saadia Ashraf, Aaron Geisler, Gord Grace, Mark Harrison, Karen Outellette, Davis Sanchez and Mike Thomas. Each recipient will be announced on CTV Live and receive a $1,500 CAD equipment grant for their school.

Coaches, click here to fill out the form and nominate players for the NFL Canada Way to Play Award

The NFL Way to Play FLAG Player of the Week Award will recognize one FLAG player each week for demonstrating proper playing technique. Players will be evaluated on flag pulling, rushing, footwork, discipline and vision.

Developing proper playing technique and good habits at the NFL FLAG level prepares players to excel in FLAG or make the transition to tackle.

from NFL news release

Each winner will receive a $1,500 grant. The recipient will also be announced on NFL Network’s Good Morning Football every Saturday.

The expert panel selecting the FLAG award will consist of Roman Oben, Izell Reese, Matt Reimel, Phoebe Schecter and Omar Yaques. The recipient will be announced on NFL Network’s Good Morning Football every Saturday.

FLAG coaches, click here to fill out the form and nominate players for the NFL FLAG Player of the Week

Finally, the Way to Play Award for NFL players returns for a fourth year. This award will recognize NFL players who exemplify proper technique to make impactful plays. Each recipient of the Way to Play Award will receive a $2,500 equipment grant through USA Football to be awarded to the local youth or high school football program of the player’s choosing.

An expert panel selecting the NFL Way to Play Award consists of Merril Hoge, Ronnie Lott, Willie McGinest, Orlando Pace and Michael Robinson. The recipient will be announced on NFL Network’s Good Morning Football every Thursday.

No More Fumbles

Play Football

nfl play football

About the Author

Jeff Fisher
Jeff is an award-winning journalist and expert in the field of high school sports, underscored with his appearance on CNBC in 2010 to talk about the big business of high school football in America. Jeff turned to his passion for high school football into an entrepreneurial venture called High School Football America, a digital media company focused on producing original high school sports content for radio, television and the internet. Jeff is co-founder and editor-in-chief of High School Football America, which is a media partner with USA TODAY High School Sports.