OAKLAND -- Adam McNulty's kids had long enjoyed flag football. But McNulty had a tough time finding a league, especially one suitable for his son, Aidan, who had suffered a stroke as a 10-year-old in 2010.
So McNulty began his own league, East Bay Flag Football, which became an instant hit when it kicked off its inaugural season in September. Sign-ups quickly reached the maximum of 80 players, though more might have registered had space been available.
That season -- the fall season -- wrapped up in November. Now, the league looks ahead to its second season -- the spring season -- set to begin April 27 and running through June 22. And this time, McNulty has even loftier hopes for the league.
"We'd love to at least double last season's numbers and register more than 160 players," McNulty said.
East Bay Flag Football, a co-ed league affiliated with NFL Flag Football, is a 5-on-5 game that allows no blocking or contact of any kind. As a nonprofit organization, EBFF donates its proceeds to Children's Hospital Oakland and BayKids.
Aidan McNulty received treatment from Children's Hospital Oakland and Bay Kids, which works closely with hospitals and teaches digital filmmaking to children with medical challenges.
As for what happens on the field, EBFF had to make some changes to accommodate the expansion from fall to spring. Most notable of these was the moving of games from Oakland High School to Piedmont High School.
"We only had Oakland High School for two hours, and we could only have four fields max," Adam McNulty said. "At 10 kids per team, we maxed out on kids, covered all of our costs and are going to give (the rest) to charity. Now we're going to rent out Piedmont High School, and we get the baseball field, too."
League expansion will translate to bigger contributions to Children's Hospital Oakland and BayKids.
"If we could get 160 kids out there, it should be $5,000 that we should be able to give," McNulty said.
EBFF has no residency requirements. The fall season consisted primarily, if not totally, of players from Oakland and Piedmont. This time, the EBFF hopes to get more players from these as well as neighboring communities, including Alameda. And though EBFF hopes to register at least 160 players, it can accommodate a maximum of 200.
For those wishing to sign up, games and practices will take place on Sundays with teams from the 7-8 and 9-10 age divisions having the field from 1 to 3 p.m., and the 11-12 and 13-15 divisions going from 3 to 5 p.m.
The $135 registration fee also includes an NFL team-identified reversible jersey. In addition, players will receive a participation medal or first-place prize and a USA Football player membership.
Also, all players become eligible to participate in the NFL Flag Regional Tournament that takes place at the Oakland Raiders practice facility in Alameda in the fall. The winning team in each division from that tournament advances to play in the NFL Flag National Tournament.
For more information or to register online, log on to www.eastbayflag.com.