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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 EBC teams will have to have their rosters locked by start of the season with no possibility to transfer or add players during the season
    • if due to unforeseeable conditions a player cannot play anymore during the season, the same player will not be replaced during the season.
  • All GBC teams will be have evolving rosters and will also be able to transfer players across teams (with conditions)
    • If a club has a team in the EBC and the GBC, players will not be able to transfer players between teams during a season
  • 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)
  • One last but important item. IAFA has signed up to the Women in Sport 20×20 Charter (20×20.ie) and have asked that Flag Football be a involved in a big way so the following changes will apply as of this season:
    • Each team (regardless of being in the EBC or GBC) will have to have 3 female players on their roster at the start of the season, while fielding a minimum of 1 for all games
    • Team not willing to adhere by this will be see the following penalties applied
      • if less than 3 female players show on their roster – 2 points applied to their overall standing points for the season
      • 5 points per missing female player per game (max 5 points per game)
    • If a team manages to meet the requirement the same will be given a full set of

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 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 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.

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!”

Battle of the Rebels – Dublin Rebels win 2017 Atlantic Cup.

Irish Champions, Dublin Rebels had a comprehensive 42-14 victory over their Romanian namesakes, Bucharest Rebels to win the 2017 Atlantic Cup in ALSAA on Saturday. In spite of the very cold weather, the Rebels had a lot of success through the air with touchdown receptions by James Kalis (x2), Ciaran Fitzpatrick and Peter Keely. Three were thrown by veteran quarterback Andy Dennehy and the fourth by backup Jack Fagan. Shamrock Bowl MVP Wello Omorodian continued his good form with a rushing touchdown. A second rushing touchdown was added by Pete McMahon.

Bucharest acquitted themselves well, in what was the first ever European final involving a Romanian team – scoring two touchdowns. This was the Rebels first ever Atlantic Cup victory, having played in the finals tournament on two previous occasions. The Rebels maintained Irelands unbeaten record for finals played in Ireland.

Dublin Rebels Going For European Glory – Atlantic Cup 2017

The Dublin Rebels will play Bucharest Rebels in the final of the Atlantic Cup, in ALSAA, Dublin on Saturday 25th November, kick-off 1pm.

The Atlantic Cup is a competition where the Irish National Champions are invited to compete against the winners of other European amateur leagues in a mini-tournament format to crown the Champions. This years competition sees some change to the usual county line-up with France and Romania replacing the traditional Belgian and Netherlands opposition, who have opted to step up to EFL level. Unfortunately due to flight issues – Ryanair flight cancellations – the French entrant Les Diables Rouges, have had to pull out of the tournament at short notice. This means that this years Atlantic Cup will be a single game final between Dublin Rebels, and 2016 Romanian Champions the Bucharest Rebels (pictured in orange jerseys below).

As winners of the Shamrock Bowl in 2016, the Dublin Rebels return to the competition, having been Irelands inaugural representatives in the competition, and having competed previously in Belgium twice, and the Netherlands. They will be fielding a strong lineup on Saturday as they seek to win their first Atlantic Cup title. The Romanians are coming off a strong domestic season. Their key players are wider receiver Radu Ene (#85) and linebacker Cosmin Zamfir (#50).

GFL International and IFAF Europe have announced that the Atlantic Cup format will be reviewed for 2018 with a view to expanding the tournament to more European countries and adding additional entrants beyond the normal three of four.

Nostalgia – a look at some pictures from the archives.

Here’s some nostalgia – if you’re one of our alumni; or history if you’re currently playing. We’ve looked through some of the picture archives at some snaps from yester year. From the pioneering era of Irish football, when you had to be a real trailblazer to play the sport. Not all the uniforms match – this was before internet shopping and the advent of equipment stores in Europe. The fields may not have been as good many today. But, in spite of appearances, some great football was played by some very committed players. Apologies for the quality of some of the pictures – these were all taken on real cameras with film in them. No auto focus or touching up. Enjoy!

Above is the oldest picture in this batch. Dublin Celts (green) versus Craigavon Cowboys (black) in 1991. Two of the original teams who started playing competitive football in Ireland in the 1980s. Both played in Europe during this era. Greg Loughran, the current Cowboys coach was probably on the field in this game.

This is from the first ever American football game played on the historic campus of Trinity College Dublin. The game was part of the festivities for the colleges 400 year anniversary celebrations in 1992.Dublin Tornadoes (white) defeated Antrim Bulldogs (purple/yellow) with a field goal as time expired. The game was organised by our current Commissioner Cillian Smith during his college days. Interesting piece of trivia – this game took place before the first ever GAA game was played on campus later the same year.

In this picture, we see a familiar face to todays IAFA members. Kevin Sharkey – currently on the Wexford coaching squad and formerly of North Kildare – is player number 67 playing for the Dublin Celts against Dublin Tornadoes in 1993.

The Dublin Tornadoes 1993 Shamrock Bowl winning team. This is the Tornadoes first of 3 consecutive Shamrock Bowls. They were coached by the late Dave Curran (centre wearing blue/white shirt), who previously led the Dublin Celts to Shamrock Bowl success.

Picture of the Dublin Lightning huddle in 1997, when the team was defending its Shamrock Bowl title in the last full season of football before the start of the big shut down in the late 1990s. The opponents were Dublin Bulls – seen in the background – the only company team ever to play in Ireland. They were owned by the Gateway Computing who used to have a large plant in Dublin.

The mid to late 1990s saw flag football come to prominence with the very competitive Irish Flag Football League being played in various parks around Dublin. The league, which had 11 teams playing a 10 game regular season at its peak, played a 7-a-side version of semi-contact flag football. Pictured above is the Northside Devastators team, who won the title in the late 1990s.

A rare photo from the year that competitive football returned to Ireland in 2001. Dublin Rebels (black) play Dublin Dragons (burgundy) in Ringsend Park in Dublin.

 

Another rare snap from 2001 featuring the other two teams who made up the four who restarted in 2001. This is Carrickfergus knights at UL Vikings – believed to be the Vikings first ever home game. Note the blue scrimmage vests with painted numbers – the Vikings first uniforms did not arrive until later in the season.

And finally, from August 2002, Carrickfergus Knights (yellow) versus Team Canada. The Knights, as Irish Champions, represented the league against the touring visitors in a challenge game, which was played at St. Vincents GAA in Dublin.