IAFA Flag Football has been steadily growing over the past five years. While original teams, like the two-time national champions Craigavon Cowboys or one-timers Westmeath Minotaurs or Edenderry Eagles, are still very much within the tops teams in the nation, some teams have come and gone partially due to the obvious effects an increased level and quality of the game have had on the hunger and commitment for each team to compete in the EBC each year. While IAFA considers Flag Football as a key element in the overall growth of American Football in Ireland, it has become more difficult for new entrants to compete against more experienced teams and hoping to win the title of champions. So with this in mind and in order to make Flag Football fairer but still very much competitive for all we will be applying the following changes for the 2019 season.
- We created a new league called the Glas Bowl Conference for new teams and teams in needs of development.
- EBC will limit the number of teams participating to 12 starting with the top 12 teams from EBC 2018
- Clubs will be allowed to field a maximum of two teams in a season if their numbers requires it but under a few conditions:
- Both teams cannot compete in the EBC during the same season
- Both teams can compete in the GBC during the same season
- Potential promotion/relegation can affect which team plays in the EBC/GBC the following season
- Both leagues will be linked by a promotion/relegation scheme as such:
- EBC bottom team will be automatically relegated to the GBC for the following season
- GBC top team will be automatically promoted to the EBC except if their club already has a team entered in the EBC the following season at which point the GBC team will automatically forfeit progression to the next team in line
- EBC second last team will play against GBC second best team for a place in the EBC (losing team will either relegated or promoted)
- The potential 12 teams in questions are:
Craigavon Cowboys (1) Louth Mavericks (2) Trinity College Dublin (3) Edenderry Eagles (4) Belfast Knights (5) Belfast Trojans (6) UCC (7) Dublin Bay Raptors (8) UCD (9) Westmeath Minotaurs (10) UL Vikings (11) Dublin Rebels (12)
- Both leagues will run in parallel and are both mixed leagues for all players 16 years old and up (details for registration and rules to follow)
- All game-days for both EBC and GBC will see nine or more teams compete in the one venue in order alleviate heavy schedule and better manage possible forfeits or postponed games
- All EBC teams must have at one Sport Ireland and IAFA certified level 0 coach to be eligible to compete in EBC 2019. Two IAFA level 0 coaching courses will scheduled for Flag Football coaches only in the spring (Dates and registration details to follow)