American Football Association of Germany

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
American Football Association of Germany
American Football Verband Deutschland logo.svg
Formation 16 October 1982
Type American football
Headquarters Frankfurt, Germany
Membership 40,051
Official language German
Website www.afvd.de/

The American Football Association of Germany (German: American Football Verband Deutschland) is the governing body of the sport of American football in Germany.

Formed in 1982,[1] the association oversees the German league system, the various German Bowls and the national selections.[2]

History[edit]

The history of American football in Germany, outside the US Army bases in the country, began in 1977, when the Frankfurter Löwen were formed as the first club to play the game in Germany.[3]

In March 1979, the AFBD, the American Football Federation of Germany (German: American Football Bund Deutschland), was formed, the first of its kind in Europe. This organisation, in 1982, was replaced by the AFVD, the American Football Association of Germany.[4]

A national league, originally the American Football Bundesliga, later to be renamed the German Football League,[5] was formed in 1979, consisting of six clubs, the Frankfurter Löwen, Ansbach Grizzlies, Düsseldorf Panther, Munich Cowboys, Berlin Bears and Bremerhaven Seahawks.[3] The first-ever league game was held on 4 August 1979, played between the Frankfurter Löwen and the Düsseldorf Panther, and ended in a victory for Frankfurt.[4] The first ever German Bowl was held on 10 November 1979 and also ended in a victory for the Frankfurter Löwen.[6]

In 1980 and 1981, the league and American football in Germany saw a split with Düsseldorf and Bremerhaven leaving the competition to take part in a separate, short-lived competition, the Nordwestdeutsche Football-Liga - NFL, but, by 1982, union was restored and the renegade teams returned.[7]

In 1981, the German national team was formed, winning its first-ever international, a game against Italy, 12-6.[3]

On 16 October 1982, the AFVD was officially formed and, in the following year, it was decided to form regional associations as well. The German national team, also from 1983 onwards, started to participate in the European Championships. In 1986, women's American football began to develop, with the first official game held in 1987.[1]

American football started to boom in Germany from the early 1990s onwards, initiated through the Frankfurt Galaxy, which attracted many younger fans to the sport and also provided some media attention.[8]

As of 1 January 2010, the AFVD announced a new record membership of 40,051, and increase of 7.31 percent in comparison to the previous year. The associations growth since the year 2000, when it had 18,875 members, is mainly due to the improved youth programs of its clubs. While, in the early years, very few clubs had a youth team, it is now common place to have a number of junior teams in every club.[9]

League system[edit]

The league system in American football in Germany operates as a pyramid, with clubs in every league being able to achieve promotion and relegation, subject to their final standings and the promotion and relegation games.

Men[edit]

In 2010, the pyramid consisted of six levels, however, tier six leagues did only exist in some regions.

The top level of the league system, the GFL, is a national league with inter conference games between the two regional divisions. The second level, the GFL 2, is divided into two regional divisions without inter conference games. The third level is the Regionalliga (English: Regional League), divided into five separate leagues. Below this, the seven Oberligas (English: Premier League) are set, followed by the Verbandsligas (English: Association League), Landesligas (English: State League) and Aufbauligas (English: Development League):

Level

League

I

German Football League
Northern Division
6 clubs
Southern Division
6 clubs

II

German Football League 2
Northern Division
8 clubs
Southern Division
8 clubs

III

Regionalliga North
8 clubs

Regionalliga West
6 clubs

Regionalliga East
6 clubs

Regionalliga Central
8 clubs

Regionalliga South
7 clubs

IV

Oberliga North-HH/SH
5 clubs

Oberliga North-LS/B
4 clubs

Oberliga NRW
6 clubs

Oberliga East
6 clubs

Oberliga HE/RP/SA/TH
7 clubs

Oberliga Baden-Württemberg
7 clubs

Bayernliga
12 clubs

V

Verbandsliga North-HH/SH
4 clubs

Verbandsliga North-LS/B
North
4 clubs
South
4 clubs

Verbandsliga NRW
5 clubs

Oberliga East
7 clubs

Landesliga Central
6 clubs

Verbandsliga Baden-Württemberg
8 clubs

Verbandsliga Bavaria
North
6 clubs
South
5 clubs

VI

Landesliga NRW
North
4 clubs
South
4 clubs

Landesliga Baden-Württemberg
6 clubs

Aufbauliga Bavaria
5 clubs

Legend[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Gründung des AFVD (German) AFVD website- Formation of the association, accessed: 20 January 2011
  2. ^ Verband (German) AFVD website - Association, accessed: 20 January 2011
  3. ^ a b c Geschichte (German) AFVD website - Early years, accessed: 20 January 2011
  4. ^ a b Google book review: Turnen and sport: transatlantic transfers author: Annette R. Hofmann, accessed: 12 January 2010
  5. ^ GFL German Football League (German) AFVD website, accessed: 29 December 2010
  6. ^ Football History (German) Historic American football tables from Germany, accessed: 2 January 2010
  7. ^ TEAMGEIST - STOLZ - ENTHUSIASMUS (German) Düsseldorf Panther website - Club history, accessed: 3 January 2010
  8. ^ Der Verband etabliert sich (German) AFVD website, accessed: 20 January 2011
  9. ^ Neuer Mitgliederrekord: 40.051 Mitglieder im AFVD (German) AFVD website - Record membership, published: 20 December 2010, accessed: 20 January 2011

External links[edit]