Category: Flag Football

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EBC 2019 Week 1 Preview

IAFA Flag Football Emeald Bowl Conference 6th season is kicking off today. We thought we’d spend the next few weeks introducing all twelve teams competing for a place in the playoff, a chance to win Emerald Bowl 6 and a shot at being called 2019 National Flag Football Champions. That being said, all twelve teams are made of the best flag football you can get in the country today which is deemed to be this season the most competitive one yet.

The EBC 2019 season will kick off with nine teams and nine games in the People’s Park, Portadown. You can find all fixtures from this page Flag Football | EBC. The nine teams are the Belfast Knights, Belfast Trojans, Craigavon Cowboys, Dublin Bay Raptors, Dublin Rebels, Edenderry Eagles, Louth Mavericks, Meath Bulldogs, Westmeath Minotaurs.

This week, we had the pleasure to chat with team managers and head coaches from three of the teams playing this Saturday. We talked to Robbie Caldwell, head coach of the Louth Mavericks; Ian Shaws, head coach of the Belfast Trojans and Gytis Stankevicius, team manager of the Meath Bulldogs.

Louth mavericks - robbie calwell, HEAD COACH
GBC_Flag Football Gloves_Mavericks

IAFA: Second appearance in the EBC with a close loss in Emerald Bowl 5 to the current and two-time champions, Craigavon Cowboys. Tell us a bit about how this all sunk in and about your preparation for the upcoming EBC 2019 season?

RC: Any loss is hard to take, it was an extremely hard-fought final that could have went either way.

Throughout the season we showed a lot of grit and determination in pursuit of the championship. These season’s preparations have been taken to a new level. We’ve many veterans back as well as some new blood. The intensity and desire from the players to win is greater than ever. Training seasons have been not only modernised, but revolutionised. At this stage, everyone is just raring to get on the field.

IAFA: What is your main goal this season?

RC: The main goal is and always will be to win the Championship.

IAFA: The EBC is now the premier league of Flag Football in Ireland. How did you approach this new season knowing you were going to compete against the best in teams in the country?

RC: Every training session, our Offence comes up against the best Defence in 

blackboard-mavericks

the country and our Defence comes up against the best Offence in country. I firmly believe that we are the best team in the league and come November 2nd, we’ll have proven that.

IAFA: Based on the EBC 2018 season, which of the other EBC 2019 teams do you think will give your team the biggest challenge this season??

RC: That’s an interesting question to ask. We’ve competed against and beat most of this seasons schedule before. The Edenderry Eagles will be an interesting team to come up against. We didn’t get the opportunity to play them last year but they got to the playoff and competed in the Jacksonville Jaguars 7’s tournament, so there must be something there. Aside from that, whoever we’ll meet in the final.

IAFA: What would make your team have the edge over your other EBC competitors?

RC: Our commitment towards excellence. Everyone is striving to be the best player and teammate they can be. We’ve established a culture where everyone is working for each other and for the common goal. We had genuine athletes with high levels of footballing intelligence. A quarterback who can throw Endzone to Endzone. Receivers who will win contested balls time and time again even in double coverage. A blitzer who will be in on quarterbacks in less than 2.5 seconds. Defensive backs who know what opposition players are going to do before they even know themselves.

IAFA: Who are your players to watch?

RC: Everyone. To select just a few would be a great disservice to the rest of the team. If you take your eyes off one player, they will burn you.

IAFA: The International Federation of American Football, governing body for everything American football internationally, are increasing their focus on making flag football a bigger part of growing American Football on all continents, and therefore IFAF are spending more time and effort in international events and possibly creating a “champions league” of flag football. Would this be something your club would look forward to if you were to be champions this season?

RC: Firstly, when we are champions this season. Absolutely! The opportunity to compete against and beat teams from around the world would be incredible. We’ve developed a style of play that is unrivalled and unique to ourselves. From what I’ve viewed on the international scene, I haven’t seen a team that could match us either. It would be another title that we’re more than happy to take home.

IAFA: With the increased emphasis on having more women involved in playing or managing sport, what are you doing to recruit more female members into your club?

RC: Increasing female participation in the sport is something that the club is committed to. Over the course of the preseason we had five female players. However, unfortunately due to work and other commitments we’re currently down to two. Really, there needs to be a multitude of things done which we are working on. This season we want to highlight the talented female players we have. By showcasing their talents, we would hope that they will help garner the interest of others to participate in the sport. Many of the players are actively trying to encourage the women in their lives to join our American footballing community. We’ve also been in contact with a number of female influencers in the region and are hoping to work closely with them in the future to help boost the profile of the sport.

IAFA: With the newly revamped National Programme kicking off for Flag Football this year, will your focus be a little different than just winning the season this time?

RC: It’s excellent that the National Programme is starting up again. However, winning will always be our main priority. When the national team comes recruiting, we know it’ll have a strong Mavericks presence.

IAFA: For any potential volunteers considering joining an American football team, what roles would you have available?

RC: A videographer and statistics analyst. I’m a big advocate of watching tape from training and games to go back over how everything went in order to see anywhere that that can be further improved. With the help of a videographer and statistics analyst, we’d be able to gather better quality videos and interpret more clearly the effect of each play and the opposing formations.

IAFA: What advice will you give your players before their first game?

RC: I genuinely can’t fully answer that due to the expletive laden and emotional nature of my pregame talks. However, it will generally focus on the greatness of them as a unit, how they have all the skills necessary to beat anyone and a bit of degradation about the opposition.

Belfast Trojans - IAN SHAW, HEAD COACH
EBC_Flag Football Gloves_Trojans

IAFA: Second appearance in the EBC. You were also short of playing in Emerald Bowl 5 last year. Tell us a bit about how this all sunk in and about your preparation for the upcoming EBC 2019 season?

IS: Losing in the wildcard round to a very good Edenderry side was tough to take, as is any playoff loss. It helped put a promising debut season into

perspective; we knew we were capable of making the playoffs and this season’s preparation has been geared around going further this time around.

IAFA: What are your goals for this season?

IS: The goal for the upcoming season is to build on last year’s performances and continue our progression as a team. With the talent and effort in this squad, the sky really is the limit.

IAFA: The EBC is now the premier league of Flag Football in Ireland. How did you approach this new season knowing you were going to compete against the best in teams in the country?

IS: Our schedule is definitely a step up

blackboard-trojans

from last season where we were met with a few forfeits. However, our team has improved immensely over the past 18 months. It’s not a fixture list we’ll shy away from – that’s what the EBC should be all about, the best competing against the best..

IAFA: Based on last season records, which of the other EBC 2019 teams do you think will give your team the biggest challenge this season?

IS: Louth Mavericks and UCC are both talented teams with a point to prove having narrowly missed out on Emerald Bowl 5 and playoff respectively. We had the opportunity to see UCD and Dublin Bay Raptors at a gameday last season and they looked dynamic and disciplined enough to give any team problems..

IAFA: What would make your team have the edge over your other EBC competitors?

IS: I can’t really speak for other programmes, but I know our coaching staff and off-field team are among the most committed and determined that I’ve ever had a chance to work alongside.

IAFA: Who are your players to watch?

IS: We have a lot of talented players on both sides of the ball. We are blessed to have Alex Kusmirek among our ranks, who is widely regarded as one of the best defensive backs in the country – particularly given his recent success as a Shamrock Bowl winner and with the Irish Wolfhounds.

IAFA: The International Federation of American Football, governing body for everything American football internationally, are increasing their focus on making flag football a bigger part of growing American Football on all continents, and therefore IFAF are spending more time and effort in international events and possibly creating a “champions league” of flag football. Would this be something your club would look forward to if you were to be champions this season?

IS: That’s a bridge we’ll cross when we get to it. Our focus has to be on winning the Bowl before anything that comes after it. That said, I have always been a big fan of the various “Champions Bowls” played across the continent as a way of growing the sport internationally.

IAFA: With the increased emphasis on having more women involved in playing or managing sport, what are you doing to recruit more female members into your club?

IS: We’re arranging some upcoming trial days for female players – keep an eye out on social media! This season has also seen the first ever female Trojan captain in Helen Smyth who is returning after an exciting rookie season. We have also added some new female players to our Trojans 2ndssquad.

IAFA: With the newly revamped National programme kicking off for Flag Football this year, will your focus be a little different than just winning the season this time?

IS: Our players’ focus will be on performing to the best of their ability on a game by game basis. That’s how they’ll be selected for the national team. I’m looking forward to seeing the revamped National Team and think it’s exactly what the sport needs in order to progress to that next level.

IAFA: For any potential volunteers considering joining an American football team, what roles would you have available?

IS: A little bit of anything and everything! Stats takers on gamedays, referees, film crew for recording sessions or even coaching roles within our squads. The only requirement is a love of the game.

IAFA: What advice will you give your team before their first game?

IS: Remember what brought us this far. This is our chance to do something special.

MEATH BULLDOGS - Gytis Stankevicius, Team Manager
EBC_Flag Football Gloves_Bulldogs

IAFA: Second appearance in the EBC. You were also short of making the playoff last year. Tell us a bit about how this all sunk in and about your preparation for the upcoming EBC 2019 season?

GS: Not going to lie, last season we were underprepared. Flag was seen as something to bridge the gap between

the kitted football seasons. As such we struggled to maintain a consistent squad of players with dedicated assignments and well drilled out plays. A lot of things had to be adjusted to on the fly and at times this really showed.

IAFA: What are your goals for this season?

GS: This season we hope to lay the foundation for taking the Bulldogs flag football out of the contact team’s shadow. Grow the squad and define a more rigid and robust structure for the team. We are very competitive in nature so winning is always an objective but we’re prioritising establishing a future for the team.

IAFA: The EBC is now the premier league of Flag Football in Ireland. How did you approach this new season knowing you were going to compete against the best teams in the country?

GS: We believe the challenge will only make us a better team. We’ve worked hard both on the strategy as well as the

blackboard-bulldogs

physical aspects of the game and are keen to see what the other teams can do. We know our strengths, but we will not miss out on the opportunity to learn an integrate effective styles of play from any opponent.

IAFA: Based on last season records, which of the other EBC 2019 teams do you think will give your team the biggest challenge this season?

GS: It is really difficult to say, both Trinity College and West Meath Minotaurs were exceedingly tough opponents. I’m sure each and every team on the roster whether competing again or just starting up have been busy preparing and improving so it is hard to call who will be team to watch this year.

IAFA: What would make your team have the edge over your other EBC competitors?

GS: Again, it would be tough to decide as we haven’t yet seen what the other teams have to offer. But I believe we have a versatile squad of talented players able to play on multiple positions both sides of the ball.

IAFA: Who are your players to watch?

GS: We have made some changes to the line-up since last year with our QB stepping away from the game, Andy Lynch will be filling that position so we’re looking forward to seeing how he holds up. Matthew Clarke and Darragh Hogan have proven themselves as capable receivers on the kitted team so you should keep an eye out for them as well.

IAFA: The International Federation of American Football, governing body for everything American football internationally, are increasing their focus on making flag football a bigger part of growing American Football on all continents, and therefore IFAF are spending more time and effort in international events and possibly creating a “champions league” of flag football. Would this be something your club would look forward to if you were to be champions this season?

GS: Absolutely. Not sure what more to say other than that we would be thrilled to take part in a higher level competition.

IAFA: With the increased emphasis on having more women involved in playing or managing sport, what are you doing to recruit more female members into your club?

GS: Friends and family of the club for the moment. But we do have plans to reach out to clubs and schools to focus our recruitment drives towards female players.

IAFA: With the newly revamped National programme kicking off for Flag Football this year, will your focus be a little different than just winning the season this time?

GS: We are focusing on growing the team and establishing a stronger core of fundamentals.

IAFA: For any potential volunteers considering joining an American football team, what roles would you have available?

GS: We have few roles that we would like to fill such as director of social media and recruitment officer.

IAFA: What advice will you give your team before their first game?

GS: Discipline on both sides of the ball. Follow your assignement. Win or lose as a team.

 

What We Learned from GBC’s Week 1 Games

The set – Portadown, People’s Park – mostly sunny with a comfortable 17°C.

The teams: Belfast Trojans 2nd, Belfast Razorbacks, Cork City Outlaws, Craigavon Cowboys, Downpatrick Saints, Galway Warriors, Louth Mavericks 2nd, South Dublin Panthers, and West Dublin Rhinos.

Four teams, the Cowboys, Outlaws, Panthers and Razorbacks have scored more than average of 35 points per game, with the Razorbacks scoring the most points on the day with a 64-28 win over the Warriors.

Cowboys, Panthers, Razorbacks and Mavericks are all 2-0 to kick off their season with the Cowboys topping the table with a better point difference.

Four teams had a tough start, Warriors, Saints, Rhinos and Trojans but will have a chance to get back into it on October 5th in Castleknock.

All in all, a good kick off for the inaugural season of the Glas Bowl Conference. It will be interesting to see how the top four teams will fair when playing against each other and who will come on top. It would also be good to see if the the 0-2 teams can pull off a come back and make the playoff by season-end. The top six teams at the end of week 4 will be eligible for a playoff birth.

Next up – week 2 games in Castleknock on the 5th of October.

Current Standings

GBC Week 1 Games Results

National Flag Football Programme Gets a Reboot

While the Irish Wolfhounds senior team are travelling for a friendly game against Belgium this weekend and with the Flag Football 2019 seasons kicking off today, we thought it be appropriate to announce the reboot of the National Flag Football programme under the Wolfhounds’ banner.

The Irish National Flag Football programme has had a few spells over the years, with most recent tenures seeing the Irish team travelling to Italy in 2013 to compete in the European championship and in 2016 hosting a few European teams for a friendly tournament.

IAFA has invested a lot of time and personnel in making the National programme a very important factor in the growth of American Football in Ireland and a key element in the development of a competitive national programme. 

To add to that, Flag Football has also been growing organically over the years and is now reaching a wider population making the sport more than just an entertaining passtime but rather a very competitive platform to be part of. IAFA Flag Football officially started over 5 years ago and has seen it pool of teams growing from 8 competing in one league to what is now 25 teams across two leagues.

The  International Federation of American Football (IFAF) is also actively ramping up its initiatives to make Flag Football an international and competitive sports with of these initiative beeing the most recent IFAF European Championships which took place just last week in Israel ans seeing the Danish men’s team and the Spanish women’s team taking their respective trophies.

Finally, and to add to the mix, the Federation of Irish Sport is running it 20×20 campaign to create a cultural shift in our perception of girls and women in sport which will be achieved by increasing visibility of women’s sport.

All that been said, it is our pleasure to announce the rebooting of the Irish National Flag Football programme, or most commonly know as Irish Wolfhounds Flag Football, starting today and this time we will be catering for both an all-female flag football national team alongside an all-male national flag football team. Our objective is to enter both teams in the 2021 European Flag Football Championship and spendng the next 24 months building up two very competitive rosters to take on the best in Europe in 2020 and 2021.

IAFA will soon be announcing the coaching staff who will take on the challenge but the first step will primarly be taking place during the two 2019 running flag football seasons where players (male and female) will scouted to build up a potential list of male and female players to train in 2020. This will be followed by a sets of try outs taking place in early 2020. Both men’s and women’s team will be opened to anyone 16 years and upward.

Whatch this space for further exiting updates on the Wolfhounds Flag Football.

GBC 2019 Week 1 Preview

IAFA Flag Football inaugural Glas Bowl Conference is about to kick off this Saturday. We thought we’d spend the next few weeks introducing all thirteen teams competing for a place in the playoff, a chance to win bowl and a shot at being promoted to the EBC for the 2020 season. That being said, all thirteen teams are either brand new teams or returning teams in need of development to be more competitive.

The GBC 2019 season will kick off with nine teams and nine games in the People’s Park, Portadown. You can find all fixtures from this page Flag Football | GBC. The nine teams are the Belfast Razorbacks, Belfast Trojans 2nd, Cork City Outlaws, Craigavon Cowboys 2nd,  Downpatrick Saints, Galway Warriors, Louth Mavericks 2nd, South Dublin Panthers, West Dublin Rhinos.

This week, we had the pleasure to chat with team managers and head coaches from three of the teams playing this Saturday. We talked to Robert McCann, head coach of the South Dublin Panthers; Niall Quinn, team manager of the Craigavon Cowboys 2nd team, and Aaron Buckley, team manager of the Cork City Outlaws.

SOUTH DUBLIN PANTHERS - Robert McCann, HEAD COACH
GBC_Flag Football Gloves_Panthers

IAFA: You previously competed in the EBC, which is now the premier league of flag football in Ireland, unfortunately your team did not make the cut and have to compete in the newly formed and lower GBC league. How did you take to the news?

RMC: We see it more as an opportunity to build for the future. We have a lot of new players in the squad

and the GBC, which we believe will be just as competitive, is the perfect competition for them to learn and grow.

IAFA: This is the 3rd season your flag team is now competing for, how did you approach your pre-season preparation?

RMC: We have a lot of young guys who have been with the team since the start. We’ve built this year’s team around them and our preparation has been to cater to their strengths. Training has been intense, competitive and fun.

IAFA: What are your goals for the season?

RMC: Here at the Panthers, our flag program is to build for the future, introduce athletes from other sporting backgrounds to American Football, compete and most importantly have fun doing it. Coming off the back of a

blackboard-panthers

historic kitted season, we have built a strong flag team to go out and compete this year. Our goal is to challenge for the division and earn promotion to the EBC.

IAFA: Who are your players to watch?

RMC: We are a team and every player is an important part of it. Certainly for me the two youngest members of the team, Jack Doyle and Stephen Gillis are two guys who have a bright future in Irish American Football.

IAFA: What other team do you think will provide your biggest challenge?

RMC: The only team we have played before as an organisation is the West Dublin Rhinos so we are looking forward to that match up vs our neighbours. The rest of the league is an unknown right now. We look forward to seeing what they have.

IAFA: Since most teams in the GBC are new or in development, what would you can have your team have the edge over other teams in the GBC?

RMC: Our experience playing some of the top flag football teams in the country is great to have under our belts but we still got to do our jobs and play panthers football. We’re not taking any game for granted.

IAFA: With the newly revived National Flag Football programme kicking off this month, will your focus be a little different than just winning the season?

RMC: I believe we have a team of athletes that can compete at international level. My job is to prepare them for our season, keep them focused and win our games. If they can get noticed by the program and get a call up, that is a bonus. They will earn it in season.

IAFA: Alongside the 20×20 campaign to increase female participation in all sports, IAFA have very much emphasised on having more female involved in playing or managing our sport. How are you considering recruiting more female members for your club?

RMC: We are all about inclusiveness but it’s been tough retaining female members this season. Like with a lot of people, men and women that started training with us at the start of the season, there’s been a couple of clashes with other sports and activities that they are already involved in and they haven’t been able to continue with us. We as a club need to focus more on recruiting women into the sport. We are looking into linking in with the local rugby clubs and running a female only team in 2020.

IAFA: For any potential volunteers considering being involved in American Football, what roles would you have available?

RMC: Our Flag Football programme is on the lookout for one or two assistant. They wouldn’t need any experience to start. It would be great to have a helping hand setting up practices and managing the team. Let the players play and the coaches coach.

IAFA: With the season kicking off this weekend, what last advice will you give your team before their first game?

RMC: There’s incredible talent and chemistry in this team. Things will go our way and some things won’t, just be there for your team mates, enjoy every moment and the w is yours for the taken.

CRAIGAVON COWBOYS 2ND - Niall Quinn, Team Manager
GBC_Flag Football Gloves_Cowboys

IAFA: Your club already has a flag football team competing in the EBC, you have decided to enter a 2nd team in the new GBC league. What is your objective behind this?

NQ: Main goals for the GBC team is to give new members an opportunity to play as much as possible on the field. Our team motto is FUN. We want our

team to have fun playing flag. We try not to take it too serious to make it more enjoyable. Of course we want to win but it’s about building a team bond.

IAFA: Since most teams in the GBC are new or in development, what would make your team have the edge over other teams in the GBC?

NQ: Our experience from playing in the Champions bowl (European competition) and some of the members form last years championship winning team will have a wise eye on the game. Hoping it pays off and new members learn from their experience.

IAFA: What of the other GBC teams do you think will give your team the biggest challenge this season?

NQ: I think all the other teams will give us a good game. We are hoping for a few wins. The biggest challenges will be the Mavericks and Trojans I would think but you never know until the final whistle.

blackboard-cowboys

IAFA: Who are your players to watch?

NQ: Our championship winning Quaterback from last year, Ben Fallon, will be heading up our GBC team he will be leading the offence. New team member Neil Maxwell will be quite the eye opener as well as a few un suspecting guys that will be the back bone to our Defence like Jason Duddy

IAFA: With the newly revived National Flag Football programme kicking off this month, will your focus be a little different than just winning the season?

NQ: Yes for the Cowboys it’s about building a team win or loose. Having fun, enjoying the game and learning plays and techniques so that next year they can progress to the A team in EBC.

IAFA: Alongside the 20×20 campaign to increase female participation in all sports, IAFA have very much emphasised on having more female involved in playing or managing our sport. How are you considering recruiting more female members for your club?

NQ: Last year we ran a womens only day wish attracted a good interest. I think this year we will be focusing on Personal trainers and a few other areas to get the word out that this new sport can be very rewarding and woman can be as involved as the men. We have a few plans to run woman only days throughout this season and invite them down to watch a few games.

IAFA: For any potential volunteers considering being involved in American Football, what roles would you have available?

NQ:There is always a need for non playing members to help out with jobs like pitch preparation, video work, and running games and training sessions. Volunteers are a big help to run the back ground work and let the playing team focus on preparing for games.

IAFA: With the season kicking off this weekend, what last advice will you give your team before their first game?

NQ: Have fun! Don’t be afraid to ask questions. If your struggling with anything let us know.

CORK CITY OUTLAWS - AARON BUCKLEY, Team Manager
GBC_Flag Football Gloves_Outlaws

IAFA: Inaugural season for your team, tell us a bit about how your team came to be?

AB: We were formed from the ashes of another team last year with a new coach and several new additions

IAFA: What are your goals for the season?

AB: We are going to try and win the league! But as we don’t know what the quality of teams we will face yet, we will first be aiming to reach the playoff and take it from there.

IAFA: How has your team prepared for the upcoming season?

AB: Not as well as we would have liked! As a lot of us in are married with kids and all the time restraints which come with that. However we have trained most of the time twice a week so our basics should hopefully be up to scratch for when the season kicks off.

IAFA: Who are your players to watch?

AB:Coach and QB Richie Otto has a fast and accurate arm. Also keep an eye out for our new running back Kadar Gyula and his turn of pace.

IAFA: What other team do you think will give you your biggest challenge this season?

blackboard-outlaws

AB: Simply the teams with the most experience, which usually are the flag football teams affiliated with kitted clubs or EBC clubs who have also entered a seconds team (usually long standing flag football organisations).

IAFA: Since most teams in the GBC are new or in development, what would make your team have the edge over other teams in the GBC?

AB: I don’t think we will have too much of an edge to be honest. Our average age is approaching 40 so any advantage we have in experience is counterbalanced by our relative lack of athleticism!

IAFA: What will assure your team meets your goal to reach the playoff?

AB: Staying calm and focused in our upcoming games and doing a hell of a lot more training in the next few months

IAFA: Alongside the 20×20 campaign to increase female participation in all sports, IAFA have very much emphasised on having more female involved in playing or managing our sport. How are you considering recruiting more female members for your club?

AB: Mainly by word of mouth we have been trying to encourage female friends and family to start playing. On our posters and social media we will be making it clear we are open to females too

IAFA: With the newly revived National Flag Football programme kicking off this month, will your focus be a little different than just winning the season?

AB: As a team not really to be honest. We do have a few players with the potential to make the step up but our priorities will be to win each game as they come. If we do that then it will naturally provide the platform for some of our players to shine

IAFA: For any potential volunteers in the Cork area considering joining an American football team, what roles would you have available?

AB: We are always looking to recruit and welcome everyone with open arms. Any volunteer or potential player can find the Outlaws on social media and for sure we will find a way to include them

IAFA: What advice will you give your team before their first game?

AB: Specifically that’s up to the coach on game day. But certainly some advice I would expect us all to heed to would be to go out and enjoy yourselves, be respectful of the opposition and referees. Win or lose, any day you are out throwing a football around is a good day!

IAFA Flag Football Draft Blitz August 17th

IAFA is welcoming all individuals aged 18+ interested in Flag Football to take park in our one day event, Draft Blitz on the 17th August in Gormanston Park, Co. Meath. This is an exciting tournament were everyone arriving on the day will be entered into a draft to form teams to compete on the day. No established teams will be taking part in the event and all team will be picked in a draft style from a list of QB, offensive and defensive players on the day, so its sure to be a fun time for all. All equipment will be provided on the day, all you need is to wear appropriate clothing for the sport, i.e. pocket-less shorts/runners. Gum shields are not required but highly recommended. Light refreshments will be provided on the day, but please bring water and a lunch to stay fuelled and hydrated on the day.

By registering for this event, all participants agree to be bound by the rules and governing documents of the Irish American Football Association which can be found on this website under Governenance/Resources

If you would like further information please contact us via our contact form and make sure to select “Flag Football” as department.

Registration is limited to 120 individual players (with possible increase based on demand)

The deadline to register is August 10th 11pm.

Just click on the button below to book your place.

Draft-Blitz-4

Flag Football Leagues Fixtures Live

Official fixtures for the upcoming IAFA Flag Football Emerald Bowl Conference (EBC) and the Glas (as in Irish for green) Bowl Conference (GBC) seasons are now live.

Little fact – this is the most flag football teams (25) competing in an organised league setting at the same time on the island, ever!!
 
The EBC is now entering its sixth season. It is the premier league of flag football in Ireland, with the top twelve flag football teams on the island to compete for the national championship or Emerald Bowl VI – currently held by the two-time champions Craigavon Cowboys. This season promises to be very competitive.
 
 
Its sister league, the GBC, will kick off its inaugural season on the 7th of September. The GBC is a bit like the championship is to the premier league in soccer. This season will see thirteen teams,  either new or returning, who will have a shot at the championship. Even though the level of game will be lower than the EBC, we would not be surprised to see some great games and competition taking place.
 
 
Both leagues will see the conclusion of their respective season with playoff and bowl games – Emerald Bowl VI and Glas Bowl I – taking place on the same day and at the same venue that is the National Sports Campus on the 2nd of November. The top 6 GBC teams and the top 6 EBC teams will battle it out for a shot at the championship.
 
With the creation of a new league we are also introducing a promotion/relegation scheme between EBC and GBC. In short, one EBC team will be relegated to the GBC and one GBC team will be promoted to the EBC. We also have a playoff game between the 2nd GBC seed and the 11th EBC seed to determine another possible set of relegation/promotion between the two leagues. All in all, two teams could go up and two teams could go down making the competition really interesting.
This will also ensure a fairly levelled EBC league in the long-run and a reason to improve and compete for all GBC teams.
 

You can find all fixtures under Flag Football/Leagues Details or click on the images below.

 
 

Maynooth Hurricanes to Host First Flag Blitz

The Maynooth University Hurricanes will be hosting the first of several IAFA Flag Football Blitz tournaments this year. Blitzes are for all who are dying to give a go at flag football and also for all those who need to dust off their flag skills before EBC19 and GBC19 kick off in the autumn. This is a mixed tournament and is opened to anyone and their friends and must 18 years old and upwards.

Entry is €10 per team payable on the day
8 teams with a minimum of 2 games guaranteed.

To register just log (or register) onto the IAFA GoMembership portal and look for “Events & Courses”.

https://iafa.azolve.com

Because this is an IAFA Flag Football event all players must be registered (if not already a registered member of IAFA) via the IAFA GoMembership portal. Players can sign up to a Trial Membership allowing every one registered to play and train under IAFA.

Members with current membership options such as SBC/IAFL 1&2 do not need to purchase a trial membership to participate in the Blitz

You will also need the use the official IAFA belts and flags which you can purchase from our partner Football America UK Ltd on their website.

All games rules can also be found on our website www.americanfootball.ie

 

IAFA Flag Football partners with Football America UK

All teams competing any IAFA sponsored events (leagues and tournaments) need to field their players with the official IAFA belt and flags. IAFA Flag Football official flags and flag belts are the Flag-A-Tag Sonic Boom version (picture below)

IAFA Flag Football have partnered with Football America UK Ltd to give all IAFA flag football teams access to a dedicated team pricing when registering an online account on their website. This includes great discounts on footballs, flag football equipment, gloves, cleats and more which will be applied automatically when ordering goods online.

You can read all about how this all works at www.footballamerica.co.uk/vipteam

Football America UK also have what you need when it comes to Flag-A-Tag Sonic Boom belts and flags – bit.ly/FAUK_Flags. They have 5 colours to pick from and their flag belts come in two sizes, 42″ (for the young and fit) and 52″ for everyone else with a ‘big personality’).

If you wish to avail of their offer, please have your team manager follow these 3 simple steps:

  1. Register your team for the IAFA Flag Football 2019 season at bit.ly/TeamRegFlag19
  2. Create your account on Football America UK at bit.ly/FAUK_Register
  3. Email the Director of Flag Football (here) who will then forward you the referral code

If you are a new team or wish to upgrade your current team outfit to look the part, Football America UK also offer a great custom teamwear service for a very good price called Stash Packs. bit.ly/FAUK_SlashPAcks

Football America UK are committed to providing UK and European American Football teams and individuals, with the best service and products they desire, with experienced and knowledgeable staff on hand if required. They specialise in all forms of Football Equipment not just helmets and shoulder pads.

 

Flag Football 2019 Team Registration Open

Team Registration for IAFA Flag Football 2019  is now open. The form can be found here.

IAFA Flag Football will be running two mixed leagues this season. The Emerald Bowl Conference (EBC) and the Glas (Green) Bowl Conference (GBC).

The EBC has now become the premier league for Flag Football in Ireland, and the 2019 season will see the top 12 teams from EBC18 compete for the national championship.

The GBC is a new league created for new teams wanting to give a go at Flag Football and also for returning teams needing a bit of TLC to hopefully reach the EBC in a future season.

We will also allow for clubs to field two teams if their numbers are consequent enough to do so. If a club has already a team in the EBC, then the second team will be automatically entered in the GBC. If this is the club’s first time playing Flag Football, then both their teams will be competing in the GBC. As the end of the season, only one of the two teams will be allowed in the EBC (if in a position to do so) with the weaker team forfeiting any promotion to the next team in the overall standings.

As it stands and based on EBC18 these are the 12 teams to enter EBC19:

1. Craigavon Cowboys 2. Louth Mavericks
3. Trinity College Dublin 4. Edenderry Eagles
5. Belfast Knights 6. Belfast Trojans
7. UCC 8. Dublin Bay Raptors
9. UCD 10. Westmeath Minotaurs
11. UL Vikings 12. Dublin Rebels

Registration for EBC teams closes on April 15th.
Registration for all others teams closes on April 30th.

More details on rules for both leagues to follow.

IAFA Level 0 Coaching Course – May 18th

Starting this year, all flag football teams must have at least one IAFA Level 0 certified coach to be eligible to compete in the EBC.

IAFA Coaching Department will be to hosting one Level 0 coaching course on the 18th of May at the NSC, Dublin.

This course is primarily geared towards EBC teams coaches (male and female) who do not already have a Level 0 certified coach but is also opened to GBC teams and Kitted teams if spaces allow.

All candidates need to first create an account with IAFA GoMembership portal here.

Once signed in, go to the events & course page and select the course you wish to attend.

If you have any questions please contact us here.

IAFA Flag Football 2019 Leagues

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:
    1. Both teams cannot compete in the EBC during the same season
    2. Both teams can compete in the GBC during the same season
    3. 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:
    1. EBC bottom team will be automatically relegated to the GBC for the following season
    2. 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
    3. 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)

IAFA Glas Bowl Conference

This year will see the inaugural season of the newly established IAFA Glas Bowl Conference or GBC league.

While the Emerald Bowl Conference (EBC) is now tailored for the top 12 teams in Ireland to compete for the national championship, the GBC has been especially created for brand new teams wanting to give a go at Flag Football and also for returning teams needing a bit of TLC to hopefully reach the EBC in a future season.

The core goal of the GBC is to foster a vision of growth and learning of Flag Football and ultimately American Football, without the daunting pressure to compete against seasoned and experienced teams while still being competitive.

The season will run like its sister league. This is a mixed leagues for players 16 years old and upward. The format will see several teams meeting in one venue and play a set of games on the same day.

Although all EBC teams now must have a certified coach to compete, GBC teams do not. The only requirements is for all players to be registered with IAFA and for all teams to have the proper playing equipment.

The season will kick off during the second half of August to finish the last week of October.

GBC teams will have the chance to be promoted to the EBC at the end of the season while some EBC teams will also be relegated to the GBC ensuring the competitive legitimacy of both leagues in the long run.

If you have any questions as to what the requirements are just contact us through our online form here.

Looking forward to see you compete in the GBC in the near future.

Team registration will open very soon. Stay tuned.

 

IAFA Flag Football in 2019

 

 

 

 

 

IAFA Flag Football is now 5 years old this month and the interest keeps on growing. To mark the occasion we thought we’d let you know what 2019 is going to be like for IAFA Flag

Since the birth of the Emerald Bowl Conference (EBC) in 2014, teams have come and gone but the level of the game as only be raised every year making it difficult for new entrants to compete against more experienced teams and hoping to win the championship. So in order to make IAFA Flag more competitive and fairer for all we will be kicking off EBC’s 6th season with a few twists.

  • For the first time EBC will limit the number of teams participating to 12 and to start things off, EBC 2019 will be composed of the top 12 teams from EBC 2018. This also created the need for a new league for developing teams and new entrants named the Glas (Green) Bowl Conference or GBC.
  • Both leagues will be linked with a promotion/relegation scheme which will allow teams who have progressed enough to be able to compete against the best teams in the country.
  • 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
  • We are also introducing another change to raise the level of competitiveness in the EBC. All EBC teams now must have at least one certified coach to be eligible to play 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)

Other programmes will also be taking place this year:

  • We will open bids to host flag football blitz tournaments to be held in July and August
  • NFL Play Flag Football in School programme which will be run by NFL UK with the support of their Presenting Sponsor Subway. They are supporting schools to bring the NFL Flag programme to their school via a teacher training programme (more details to follow).
  • An inaugural Flag Football Intervarsity championship will be held in the autumn (details to follow).

We will have more detailed posts about each upcoming event in the near future so stay tuned.

 

 

IAFA Appoints New Flag Football Committee Members

Due to an ever growing interest and membership, Flag Football is becoming a key element in the growth of American Football in Ireland.
With a record number of teams and the most members involved in the Emerald Bowl Conference league in 4 years running, and it has been decided to re-vamp the Flag Football Committee (FFC) to make sure all aspects of the sport are efficiently developed and managed. The newly appointed committee members will be working with IAFA Director of Flag Football, Guillaume Poznanski, reporting to the Board of IAFA.

The FFC will be an essential part of ensuring that IAFA 2019 strategic plan for Flag Football in Ireland are successfully implemented. Some of the key elements of the plan the FFC will be working on are (and this is by no means an exhaustive list):

  • Flag Football Competition programmes (EBC, New League (TBA), Intervarsities, Tournaments)
  • Flag 4 School (F4S)
  • Women in Sport
  • Flag Football Coaching
  • Flag Football Officiating

IAFA are pleased to announce the appointments of the following to serve as members of the Flag Football Committee:

Ethan Fitzsimons, who was invaluable as IAFA Administrator, has accepted to take on the role of IAFA Assistant Director of Flag Football and will be a great asset to the FFC working closely with the Director of Flag Football.

Robbie Caldwell from the Louth Mavericks. Robbie has played for the Louth Mavericks for 7 years (the Dundalk Mavericks then). Robbie has played as running back mainly, but stepped in different positions and was part of the Mavericks squad who won the IAFA League 1 in 2017. He has played Flag Football for two years and is now the Mavericks Flag Football team head coach. Robbie is also a strong follower of the Washington Redskins.
Dave Healy from UCC Raiders/Cork Admirals. Dave is entering his third season of football. He plays defensive back for the Cork Admirals and won Shamrock Bowl 32 as defensive captain and also helped coach the Cork Admirals Youth team to victory in 2018. Dave was called onto the Irish Wolfhounds squad for their win against the Belgian Barbarians and has also founded the UCC Raiders Flag Football club two years ago. He is a proud Green Bay Packers fan.
Daniel Shaw from the Belfast Trojans. Daniel has been involved in American Football in Ireland since he was 16. Daniel coached the Ulster Elks for two seasons and is now the team manager of the Belfast Trojans Flag Football team and is also involved in the kitted setup. Daniel is an avid Dallas Cowboys fan.
Robbie Tighe from the Edenderry Eagles/Cill Dara Crusaders. Robbie was introduced to American Football with the Edenderry Eagles in 2015 and hasn't looked back since. He won Emerald Bowl 4 with the Eagles in 2017. He has experience playing and managing in both kitted and Flag Football. He has no real NFL team allegiance but has a soft spot for the Atlanta Falcons.
Todd Zboyan from the Dublin Bay Raptors. Todd is originally from Seattle (USA) and has over 25 years experience in kitted and Flag Football (in the US and Ireland) and has played for the Dublin Vipers who won the Emerald Bowl 3 in 2017. Todd is currently the head coach of the Dublin Bay Raptors and is also a massive Seahawks fan.