Category: General

Posts related to IAFA activities (also general category)

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 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.



IAFA Launches New Membership System

Go membership from azolve is the new Membership system for IAFA

From today, the Irish American Football Association members will carry out all of their registration through Go Membership from Azolve. IAFA members can register with the new system by following this link. 

This will bring a true membership facility to IAFA members and is a significant upgrade over previous systems. It will allow clubs to more closely monitor the status of their members and it will allow the association get a true picture of its membership.

Benefits include.

  • Renewal of membership. Members will have their own unique account that they can renew each year.
  • Club Admins can have an overview of who each person in their club is and the role they perform.
  • Transfers will be handled by the new system.
  • Events and payments for them will be through the Go Membership suite.
  • Association Admins can have a real time view of the status of each club and it’s members.
  • Credentials and Qualifications. Coaching qualifications are now a requirement before purchasing a coaching membership. This allows the association to continue to monitor the react to the coaching needs in any area or club.

Rules regarding membership have not changed.

You must have a valid membership to train (either full or trial membership).

You must be registered two weeks in advance of a game with a full membership to take part.

Find the information sheet on how to register here.

Any questions or issues experienced while using the new registrations system should be directed to

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.

AGM Announcement

The IAFA AGM will be taking place on
Sunday, 4th November 2018
Venue: Crowne Plaza Hotel, Northwood, Santry
Time: 2pm
We are looking forward to see you all there. 
Kind Regards
Management Board

Interview with Wexford Eagles Head Coach Kevin Klatt

The Wexford Eagles had only one goal heading into the 2018 season, promotion. After two years of relative success, where they were finalists in the IAFL 2 Bowl game in 2016 followed by semi-finalists in IAFL 1 last season, the Eagles now want to take that step up to the Shamrock Bowl Conference and test themselves against the best the country has to offer. Continue reading “Interview with Wexford Eagles Head Coach Kevin Klatt”

Emerald Bowl Conference is back!

The IAFA Flag Football Emerald Bowl Conference is back!

Team registration opens today!

The season format will change a little from previous ones.

Games will be played from September 1st through to December 1st with the playoffs and Emerald Bowl V games on December 1st.

The season will run with a maximum of 20 teams who will be divided across 4 geographical divisions.

Each team will play 10 games – 8 divisional games and 2 interdivisional games.

All teams must submit the names of their Team Manager and Head Coach, with at least one of them being a non-playing member.

Teams a can have a maximum of 30 mixed players on their overall roster, with a maximum of 20 players on game day.

Games will run, as previously done, on a blitz format with several teams meeting at the one venue. Continue reading “Emerald Bowl Conference is back!”

Impact Gumshields

IAFA Partnership with Impact Gumshields

On the 31st of March at the Under 20’s game in Navan Impact Gum Shields will be present to fit people for their advanced gumshields. Booking this fitting is essnetial. Please fill out your name and contact email on this form to be added to the list. Impact Gumshields are offering discounted prices to IAFA Members. All information below! Don’t miss this great opportunity! Continue reading “Impact Gumshields”

Team Ireland vs AFW Elite Details Announced

The Venue and Kick Off time for Ireland under 20’s vs the AWF Elite Highschool Team have been announced. 

The game will take place at Navan Rugby Club on Saturday, 31st of March. The Under 20’s held their first practice session on Saturday the 17th of February in Dublin. General Manager Alan Orr, overseeing the young team take to the field for the first time, said –

‘This is a great opportunity for IAFA and the international youth team to showcase the talent of players and coaches in our League. It also gives us a great platform to build a sustainable future on the International stage and help to promote and develop the game throughout Ireland and I am personally looking forward to the challenge in achieving these goals set by our new President.’

The game will kick off at 1 pm and will feature players from teams throughout Ireland, north and south, and from both divisions, SBC & IAFL 1.


For queries contact

Annual General Meeting

AGM of Irish American football association

The AGM was held on Sunday the 28th of January at the Louis Fitzgerald Hotel in Dublin. A full report on topics discussed and outcomes of submissions by teams, board members & officials will come in time.  A number of new people were elected to the Board of Managment and as a result, there has been a significant change to the makeup of the governance of the organisation. 

First, it is important to acknowledge the contributions of those outgoing members and the service provided to the Association this year and in years past. Particularly Cillian Smith, who stepped down as Commissioner of the League, for his long and faithful service in that role. Cillian will continue as an ordinary Board Member. Also, thanks must go to outgoing President Michael Smith, following the expiration of his term.

The new members of the Board are, Liam Ryan, from University of Limerick Vikings, who was elected to a three-year term after topping the poll. Stuart Donaldson of the Cork Admirals, who was also elected to a three-year term. Stevie McCrystal of the Belfast Knights, who was elected to complete the remaining two years of one of the vacated seats and Donncha Ó Conmhuí, of the Dublin Rebels, who was also elected to complete the remaining two years of one of the vacated seats. 

Orla McAleese, previously Team Ireland General Manager and of the North Kildare Reapers was elected as President to serve a three-year term, the first female President of IAFA. President McAleese had the following message for the membership.

My plan for the association is very simple and has three key components. The first is communication. It is important that you are being heard. I will answer my phone and my emails. I am eager to hold conversations and I listen to hear, not to merely answer. As President, I can guarantee you that you will be heard and you will be answered. Nobody in this association will be ignored or forgotten about.

The next component is the Board of IAFA. The Board works for you, the membership. We will be accountable to  you. We are just the custodians of your association and we will remain so at your discretion. The Board should lead by example and by what the membership wants, not the other way around. As President, I will guarantee that board meetings will be productive, positive and professional. We are all individuals, from varied backgrounds and skillsets, we all have the same priority; football on this Island. 

Last but not least, Transparency. Now that I am your President. IAFA will be transparent in its operation. If the board works for you then they are accountable and accountability is reliant on transparency. From our finances to national and international matters, we will be clear in our dealings. The age of secrecy has ended. 

I firmly believe that if we work together on these three key components that everything else we work for will come together. It will make a difference to how football is perceived and played on this Island, Everyone involved in this sport, be it coaches, players, admin, officials and board members will get the support they need to help make their club or organisation better. Whether it is education for coaches and players, administrative or fiscal knowledge to run a club. We can go back to grassroots to help our clubs be strong and football will be strong as a result. 

We need to remember what this association is based on, football and the love people have of the game. 

Thank you for electing me your president and your time in reading this message. 

– Orla McAleese,
Irish American Football Assocation.

Notice of Annual General Meeting of IAFA

The Annual General Meeting of the Irish American Football Association will take place on Sunday 28th January 2018 at 2pm. The venue is the Louis Fitzgerald Hotel in Dublin – close to Red Cow Junction of M50.

Proposals for inclusion on the Agenda must be received at least 14 days in advance of the meeting.

Nominations for Elections must be received, on the Candidate for Election form (sent to each club/appended to By-Laws) at least 14 days in advance. The following positions are due for election:

  1. President – the current President has reached the end of his second term and cannot run for re-election.
  2. Board Elections  – 5 positions as follows:
    1. Two positions for a full 3 year term as part of the regular rotation. (Previously occupied by Declan McNally and Derek Ward/Fergal O’Hanlon)
    2. Replacement for Janice Ward (Russell Kerley was co-opted to temporarily replace, but also resigned) – remaining 2 years of term.
    3. Replacement for Emma Burrows (was ineligible to run for election due to not meeting minimum length of membership criteria) – remaining 2 years of term.

The document pack including the Agenda and other documents will be sent out seven days in advance of the meeting.

Yours sincerely,

Cillian Smith


Irish American Football Association