New League Structure for 2013 – 3 levels of football.

Given the phenomenal growth of American Football in Ireland the IAFL have restructured their League Format.  The changes are designed not only to cope with the expanding number of teams, but also to reflect the increasing standard of IAFL Clubs on and off the field.

The IAFL from 2013 on will be played at 3 levels!!!

  1. IAFL Shamrock Bowl Conference
  2. IAFL -1
  3. Youth DV8s

The IAFL Shamrock Bowl Conference (SBC) will comprise of the top 10 kitted teams in Ireland. These teams were selected for the 2013 Season on the basis of their seeding in 2012.  The IAFL SBC will be divided into 2 divisions.


2012 IAFL’s top ten teams are first divided on a regional basis.  Teams in the extreme North & South are placed in their respective divisions. The total seeding value of each division  is calculated.  Then the remaining, centrally located teams are divided into these divisions based on their seeding.  The object of this to ensure both divisions have identical or as close to identical seeding value total.

The 5 teams in each conference will play each other HOME & AWAY.

This gives each team 4 Home & 4 Away games.

The Division Champions at the end of the regular season go straight to the semi-finals.

3rd plays 2nd in each Divison’s wildcard game to determine who goes through to the Semi-Final.

The Wild Card winners play the Division champion in the other Division at the semi-final stage.

Semi-Finals will both be played at the same venue as part of Double Header Event.  This event will be run by the IAFL and contributions will be made towards the costs of all 4 teams.  It is envisaged that the semi-finals will become a second major event on the American Football calendar in Ireland.

The Shamrock Bowl will be played at Tallaght Stadium.

The Divisions listed below show what the SBC line-up would look like based on the final 2012 standings. The final line-up will be announced when the 2013 season application/audit process has been completed.

IAFL Shamrock Bowl Conference

[standings league_id=33 season=2013 group=North mode=extend]
[standings league_id=33 season=2013 group=South mode=extend]


The IAFL-1 will initially be comprised of 6 teams, drawn from IAFL’s existing but lowest ranked teams, Dv-8’s teams & new clubs.  Like the Shamrock Bowl Conference, it will be 11-a-side football using EFAF/NCAA rules. The IAFL Board has assessed the situation and limited the number of spots in the IAFL-1 to 6 Teams.  This ensures the resources of the IAFL are not over stretched while coping with a huge growth in the number of teams playing 11 aside football.  This measure also sets a minimal standard on entry into the IAFL for new clubs.   While the number of new clubs playing competitive football is limited this year, it is perceived that IAFL-1 may be expanded in future years to accommodate reasonable growth and development of new teams. New applicants who do not make IAFL-1 this season can be given Formative status to allow them to avail of the IAFA’s development resources.

The inclusion of the 3 named teams listed below is indicative based on the final 2012 standings. The final line-up will be announced when the 2013 season application/audit process has been completed. To date, the IAFL has been contacted by 5 teams who are interested in applying for the vacant spots.


[standings league_id=34 season=2013 mode=extend]

The Teams in IAFL-1 will be seeded and placed into the following grid.

  1 2 3 4 5 6
1 2 2@1 3@1 4@1 5@1  
2 1@2   3@2 4@2   6@2
3 1@3 2@3     5@3 6@3
4 1@4   3@4   5@4 6@4
5   2@5 3@5 4@5   6@5
6 1@6 2@6   4@6 5@6  

This format ensures that each team plays 8 games – 4 home & 4 away.  Each teams plays every other team at least once.  But you only play 3 opponents home AND away.

In games involving a New Team Kicking (special teams/FG’s/PAT’s & Punts) have been removed from the game (like Dv-8’s).  All other IAFL Rules apply.  In games between existing teams all IAFL playing rules apply.


At the end of every season the teams in IAFL Shamrock Bowl Conference will be seeded on single league table, using IAFL Tie Breakers where required. The 10th placed team at the end of season will be relegated to IAFL-1.  While the IAFL-1 champions will be promoted to the Shamrock Bowl Conference and seeded 10th for the purpose of team placements in the following year.

NOTE: Teams in the SBC will be expected to exceed the requirements for a home venue & team appearance as set out in the IAFL By-Laws.  While the IAFL-1 champions will earn the right to be promoted, promotion will only be completed upon inspection of facilities etc.

In the first year of this format teams placed in the SBC will be expected to provide facilities that exceed that minimal standards as laid down in the By-Laws.  This measure is to ensure fair competition at all venues and raise further the level of athlete our sport attracts & the standard of football being played every week.

Tie Breakers

The IAFL Board has reviewed the Tie Breakers as set down in the By-Laws – an announcement in this regard was made yesterday.

IAFL YOUTH DV8s (Under 18s)

The most exciting development in football in Ireland ever will be the launch of competitive youth kitted football using the DV8s format. The introduction of Youth DV8s will increase the participation in sport and provide another step on the Athletes pathway, bridging the gap between the IAFA’s highly successful School’s Flag program and our senior Leagues.

This age group is open to players of 16 17 & 18 years of age.