Football Canada Senior Flag National Team

First held in 2002, the IFAF Flag Football World Championship (FFWC) is the showpiece bi-annual tournament for international 5-on-5 flag football competition. The flag worlds have separate competitions for both men and women.

Provincial teams compete for a chance to represent Canada at this tournament. Contact your respective Provincial Football Association (listed here) for more information.

 

Canada’s results at Flag Football World Championships

Year – Host City

Men 

Women

2008 – St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, QC Gold Silver
2010 – Ottawa, ON 4th Gold
2012 – Gothenburg, Sweden 6th Did not participate
2014 – Grosseto, Italy 4th Gold
2016 – Hollywood, Florida 5th 4th

Profiles

Cody Cluett

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Name: Cody Cluett
Position: WR / QB
Hometown: Dartmouth, NS
In August of 2010, Ottawa hosted the International Federation of American Football (IFAF) Flag Football World Championships (FFWC) and adjusted the Flag Football National Championships typical July date to coincide with the event. Nova Scotia’s provincial team was one the teams which took advantage of the opportunity to watch Canada compete against the world in between their own games.
As luck would have it two years later, Cody Cluett one of those onlookers will play alongside 6 returning national team members as they compete against the world in Gothenburg, Sweden.
The atmosphere is what stood out for the then aspiring national team member. “Everything was just so intensified,” recalled Cluett. “Every catch, every flag, every TD, it was all just so intense.”
Cody’s passion for the sport began at the age of seven when his father, Sean found out about a local Dartmouth, Nova Scotia flag football league. “My love for football was evident early on — I just wanted to play,” he explained.
Cluett went on to represent Nova Scotia at three Flag Football National Championships — the first being in PEI in 2008 where they placed fourth. In 2010, he helped his team to a third place finish in Ottawa and most recently he helped guide his home province to a 2011 men’s U18 division gold medal on home soil in Halifax.
“The thing I love about flag football is that it allows me to work on my fundamentals – running routes, catching and throwing, and even covering.”
Cluett’s fundamental base has allowed him to cross-over and excel playing tackle football as well. In grade ten, Cody was named IKON award winner as Nova Scotia High School Player of the Year as well as Rookie of the Year. He was also a member of Nova Scotia’s entry into the 2011 Football Canada Cup in Lethbridge, Alberta.
Cody believes that his experience, playing in both the Football Canada Cup and Flag Football National Championships will serve him well in Sweden. According to Cody, not only has playing against Canada’s best flag and tackle players improved his game but the experience was an eye opening one. “Playing at that level [nationally] makes you see what it takes to be the best,” he said.
Cluett’s drive to succeed internationally is fuelled by the opportunity to win a gold medal for Canada. “The feeling of being a national champion was one that [before last summer] I had never felt before and can only dream of what it would feel like.”
Canada is looking to bounce back from a fourth place finish in 2010. In Ottawa, Canada’s senior men lost a heartbreaker in the dying seconds to Italy in the bronze medal game after a semi-final loss against the eventual gold medal winner, Team USA.
The loss served as a valuable lesson for the team which they made sure to pass on their youngest player, Cody Cluett. “Their advice was to take it one game at a time and never underestimate the competition.”
Cody will no doubt soak up his first international flag football experience as Canada begins the tournament against Switzerland on Thursday August 16.

Shawn Johnson

ShawnJohnsonprofile_8-16-2012
Name: Shawn Johnson
Position: QB / DB
Hometown: Dartmouth, NS
Starting on August 16 in Gothenburg, Sweden, Shawn Johnson and the rest of Canada’s Men’s Flag Football National Team will get the opportunity for redemption after losing in the dying seconds to Italy in the bronze medal game at the 2010 IFAF Flag Football World Championships on home soil in Ottawa.
A phone call from former touch football competitor Randy Rudel began Shawn’s flag football journey.
“He told me that Football Nova Scotia was planning to send a team to the 2010 Senior Men’s Flag Invitational, explained Johnson. “What really intrigued me was that the winning team would get to represent Canada at the Flag Football World Championship that summer in Ottawa.”
Shawn and his Nova Scotia teammates began practicing in February before heading off to Hamilton in April for the 2010 national selection tournament. Nova Scotia’s entry comprised largely of converted touch football players met Quebec based, St-Jean Wolfpack in the finals.
“We were down 19-14 to the St-Jean Wolfpack, whose team consisted of players who previously won gold for Team Canada at the 2008 World Championships,” said Johnson. “With just 6 seconds remaining and the clock running, I threw a long touchdown pass to win 20-19. It took me about thirty seconds to figure out what just happened — the place was going crazy.”
With the win, Shawn and the rest of his squad had earned the right to represent Canada at the World Championships in Ottawa.
Johnson soon realized he was up against stiff competition. “The skill level in 2010 was incredible,” he said. “It was just a privilege to be around so many great athletes, men and women. The European’s play flag football year round with numerous tournaments — it’s huge over there.”
On the final day of competition, a semi-final loss to the eventual gold medalist, Team USA, set up a bronze medal showdown with Italy. Just like Johnson’s team had done to St-Jean, Italy took the lead late to win the game.
“To lose the bronze medal game with 1 second left really hurts,” said Shawn. “It took our team a long time to get over and are extremely excited for the chance at redemption”
The loss fuels this experienced squad which returns 6 from 2010. “We started practicing in March; beating up one another twice a week for five months,” explained Johnson.
“A lot goes into preparing for a world tournament. There are the countless hours in the gym, practicing hard on the field, and sacrificing family time and work commitments.”
Canada starts its road to redemption with round-robin play on August 16th. Their group includes the Americans whom they’ll face to close out round robin play.
Johnson and his teammates are eager to return to the tournament for the second time. “We’re getting excited about the chance to see how good we are against the rest of the world.”
Eager to build on a fourth place finish, Canada opens round-robin play against Switzerland on August 16.  If all goes according to plan they just may meet up with the Americans or Italians in the finals.
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