Category: General

Posts related to IAFA activities (also general category)

Play American Football In Ireland!

American football is played right across the island of Ireland, with 22 teams competing at senior level (ages 18+). No prior sporting experience is needed to play – American Football is a sport for all shapes and sizes as well as for both females and males.

Many of our member clubs are currently recruiting for the 2020 seasons – they will have experienced, qualified coaches who will teach you all you need to know to play American football. Check out our A-Z of clubs and get in contact with your nearest club to start playing:





Calling all (potential) referees

Have you ever sat at home watching the NFL or College Football and found yourself calling the penalties during a game? Why not put it into practice?

We are looking for new officials to join our panel of experienced referees. Officiating American Football in Ireland is open to men and women over the age of 18. Full training will be provided to you, no previous experience in the sport is required.

Officiating is a great way to get involved in the sport, stay active, meet new people and you will be paid a game fee for your services too!

Get in touch today for more information on how to become an official.

 Contact Us Here

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

Volunteer With An American Football Club

Ever thought about VOLUNTEERING with an American football club?

You don’t have to play to be part of something special. There are many roles available in every club such as coaches, team managers, game day personnel, photographers, videographers, statisticians, graphic design, equipment managers plus many more

Check out our A-Z of clubs and get in contact with your nearest club to get involved:

Thanks to T. McCann and M. Lavery for the photos.

Youth Football: Teams Training Details

The primary purpose of the IAFA Youth Football League is to provide an introduction to the sport and basic skill development of youth players in a fun and safe environment. The Youth League will prepare young players to compete at the senior level.

No prior American Football experience is required. Youth coaches across the league will ensure players receive the proper training to safely and effectively participate in the sport. Many of the sporting skills acquired in traditional mainstream sports of Ireland are transferable to American Football. Even if a player has no previous sporting experience, youth coaches will make sure the player is prepared before stepping onto the pitch.

Age Requirements: Eligible players must have reached 15 years of age to participate in IAFA sanctioned youth competitive games. Players who are 17 on January 1st or later of the current football season year are eligible to play in that year; even after turning 18.

Example #1: Player X turns 18 years old on January 2nd, 2019. Player X is eligible to participate in the 2019 youth football season.

Example #2: Player Y turns 18 years old on December 31st, 2018. Player Y is NOT eligible to participate in the 2019 youth football season. Player Y should participate in senior level football. Senior level’s minimum age is 18.

Antrim Jets
Every Sunday, 11:00 to 13:00
Antrim Forum Leisure Centre
Equipment Provided
Helmet and Shoulder Pads
Contact Details
Gerry McCabe (Head Coach) -
Belfast Knights
Every Sunday, 10:00 to 12:00
Shaws Bridge Sports Grounds
Equipment Provided
Helmet and Shoulder Pads
Contact Details
Belfast Knights Facebook Page
Cill Dara Crusaders
Contact the Cill Dara Crusaders Facebook Page for all details.
Cork Admirals
Every Sunday from 10:00
PBC Sports Grounds
Equipment Provided
Helmet and Shoulder Pads
Contact Details
Cork Admirals Facebook Page
Dublin Rebels
Contact the Dublin Rebels Facebook Page for all details.
Louth Mavericks
Every Saturday, 10:00 to 11:30
DKIT Campus Sports Grounds
Equipment Provided
Helmet and Shoulder Pads
Contact Details
Iarla Donlon (Youth Team Coach) - 353858172974
South Dublin Panthers
Every Saturday from 12:00 (Starting 31 Aug)
Westmanstown RFC
Equipment Provided
Helmet and Shoulder Pads
Contact Details
South Dublin Panthers Facebook Page

Shamrock Bowl 33 featured on Sport for Business

Only just a week in the role of Commercial Director and newly appointed Kate Sherry has already managed to have the word spread about IAFA and more specifically Shamrock Bowl 33 in a short feature on the Sport for Business website.

Sport for Business is publishing, networking and events business at the heart of the commercial world of Irish sport. They connect sport and business in ways that go well beyond the standard forms of sponsorship and hospitality.

Through our industry-leading Sport for Business Daily Digest, Sport for Business engage daily with an audience of 4,000 leaders in sport, business, politics and society.
Sport for Business host and partner with over 30 events during the year and they work closely with their members to make things happen for them.

The Shamrock bowl will be held in Energia Park, Donnybrook on August 4th and will see the Belfast Trojans take on the South Dublin Panthers in what should be a craic of a game. Tickets are available for purchase by clicking the big green “Buy SBXXXIII Tickets” button found to the right hand side of your screen.

You can find the featured piece at the following link Sport for Business.

IAFA Management – New Appointments

The IAFA is delighted to announce the following appointments;

Director of Officiating: Steve Moles has been appointed to this role on a full time basis. Steve has been involved with IAFA for over ten years and during that time participated as a player, official and sat on club boards. Steve has been the Interim Director of Officiating since the start of this season and has done a fantastic job in this role. We wish him continued success in the development of the department going forward.

Officiating Development Officer: Tony Rivers has been appointed to this role within the Officiating Department reporting directly to the Officiating Development Manager (Barry Bolton). Tony has been involved in American Football for over 30 years both in the UK and Ireland and having previously served as the Director of Officiating will bring invaluable experience to the role. This role will involve the continued development of our full time officials. Tony will be attending games and submitting reports to the Development manager with a view to providing feedback to our officials and the further development of our training courses.

Commercial Director: We are delighted to welcome Kate Sherry into the IAFA family. Kate is about to undertake a Masters in Sports Management and brings with her extensive experience in the commercial sector having worked in senior positions with a number of market leaders over the past 15 years. Kate will be responsible for maximising our income opportunities at events and seeking sponsorship/partnerships for IAFA.

We look forward to working with these newly appointed personnel over the next number of months for the betterment of our association.

Shamrock 33 Official Sponsors Announced

IAFA is delighted to announce Football America UK and as sponsors for the upcoming Shamrock Bowl 33 in Energia Park on the 4th of August.

Football America UK are committed to providing UK and European American Football teams and individuals and specialise in all forms of Football Equipment not just helmets and shoulder pads. They also supply great genuine products from various US and UK official suppliers, such as Nike, New Era Headwear, Majestic Apparel, Wincraft, Mitchell & Ness and Forever Collectibles. From replica jerseys to snack helmets for your NFL Party, they have a massive range available all year round. bring you all the best food items from America to your doorstep.They import a vast range of American food products that can’t be readily purchased in Ireland to all fans of American goodies.

IAFA members attend 4th July Festivities at the US Ambassadors Residence

A small contingency of IAFA representatives were invited to the residence of the newly appointed US Ambassador to Ireland, Edward Crawford, to celebrate the 4th of July or US Independence Day.

Photo courtesy of Brian Cleary

While IAFA Commissioner Brian Cleary and IAFA President Orla McAleese were to invited to enjoy 4th July festivities, they were also helping promote the 2020 Aer Lingus College Football Classic game between Notre Dame and Navy alongside Ethan Foster from the SBC West Dublin Rhinos, Oisin Finn from the IAFL1 Louth Mavericks.

Photo courtesy of Brian Cleary

The return of the Aer Lingus College Football Classic in Ireland was announced last October by Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar T.D.also unvaileing a five-game plan which will see the return of College Football to Ireland in 2020 with the series kicks off with the return of Navy vs Notre Dame which will take place on Saturday 29th August 2020. Aer Lingus has been unveiled as title sponsor of the series at the Aviva Stadium with other fixtures and teams will be announced in due-course.

Edward Crawford officially begun his term as the new US ambassador to Ireland on the 1st of July. Mr Crawford has a long history of philanthropy and entrepreneurship in Cleveland, Ohio (birth state of American Professional Football). Ambassador Crawford is also a keen sportsman.

Week 17: SBC Game Previews

It’s the penultimate weekend of the SBC season, which sees two important games in terms of playoff and relegation battles. All teams will be looking for a win this week, to carry into the final games next Sunday.

Dublin Rebels (2-4) @ Belfast Trojans (4-1-1)

Two teams well known to each other will once again go head to head this Sunday as the Dublin Rebels travel north to take on the Belfast Trojans. It has not been the season the Rebels were expecting, as the 10 time champions will not feature in the playoffs this year. The Trojans however are shaping up nicely for the last run in, sitting in second place with their playoff spot already confirmed.

It’s been a disappointing season for the Rebels given their long and triumphant history. The Rebels travelled to Cork in their most recent game to take on the Admirals, and fell to a 14-28 defeat. With playoffs now out of reach, the Rebels will be looking for two wins in their last two games to build on for the 2020 season. In 2018, the Rebels and Trojans met twice – once during the regular season where the Trojans won 21-14 then again in the playoffs where the Rebels beat the Trojans 30-26 to reach Shamrock Bowl XXXII.

The Trojans will be looking for some consistency as they count down the weeks to the playoffs. The year started well with back to back road wins before falling to a loss and a draw at home. They have won their last two games, including an impressive 32-12 win most recently on the road to UCD, but Trojans head coach James McKelvey isn’t looking any further than the task on hand on Sunday “I’ve been playing the Rebels for about 15 years and I expect this game to be no different than the rest – a tough physical encounter where the team that makes the fewest mistakes will come out on top.”

Location: Harlequins RFC, Belfast

Kick Off: 2pm

Facebook: Belfast Trojans


UL Vikings (1-5) @ West Dublin Rhinos (2-4)

A crucial game for both teams, who are fighting to be competing in the SBC next year. The Rhinos will confirm their SBC status for 2020 with a win or a tie in this game, however a loss would bring them right into the relegation mix and give the Vikings a much needed boost to their survival hopes. These teams last met in April of this year in Limerick, where the Rhinos returned home as 17-16 victors.

The Vikings sit bottom of the table, two points below the Knights who earned a vital draw against the Admirals last week. The Vikings will essentially need two wins in two weeks to stand a chance, but Vikings committee member Conor Whelan is feeling positive “This season has been a season of fine margins for us. We’ve been competitive in almost all of our games this season. Our last day out against the Knights is hopefully a turning point for us so we’ll look to tip the scales this Sunday against the Rhinos after losing out to them on the narrowest of margins back in April and keep ourselves competitive for SBC football.”

A fairly positive return for the Rhinos to the SBC, the step up is never easy but they have certainly been competitive throughout the year. Rhinos head coach Barry Bolton will be looking to secure their SBC status on Sunday and start to think about preparations for 2020 “This is a huge game for us. When we played the Vikings in Limerick we came away with a win by a single point. Though we’re at home this time, arguably the stakes are higher for both teams. A win for us secures SBC football in 2020 with a game to spare. A win for the Vikings takes them off the bottom of the table. There wasn’t much between us last go around, so I expect another slobber knocker of a game.”

Location: Castleknock College, Dublin

Kick Off: 2pm

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 Appoints New Child Protection Officer

IAFA are delighted to announce  of Rob Hennessy (Cork Admirals) as the new Child Protection Officer replacing Finn Connaughton (South Dublin Panthers).

We would like to thank Finn for all the work he has given to IAFA and we are looking forward to work with Rob going forward.

IAFA Appoints New Personnel on the Management Team

IAFA are delighted to announce the following changes in positions and appointment of personnel for the following roles within the board, the officiating department and youth football.

  • Bill Dougherty (Westmeath Minotaurs) has been appointed as the Director of Youth Football
  • Joseph Maguire (UL Vikings) has been appointed to the board replacing Donncha Ó Conmhuí
  • Barry Bolton has been appointed as the Officiating Development Manager replacing Derek Ward.
  • Kelly Dwyer has been appointed as the Officiating Appeals Manager replacing Jason O’Mahony

We would like to thank Donncha Ó Conmhuí, Derek Ward and Jason Mahony for all the work they provided and look forward to work with the newly appointed personnel.

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.