|Founded||2014 (play began in 2015)|
|Motto||"The Game America Wants"|
|No. of teams||16|
|TV partner(s)||Eleven Sports Network (United States)|
American 7s Football League ("A7FL") is a semi-professional traveling league in the United States which plays a seven-man version of American football named American 7s Football. Launched in 2015, its games are played without football helmets or other protective equipment. The A7FL is the highest level of competition in American 7s football.
Founded in 2014 with play commencing the following year, the A7FL plays an eight-game schedule running from March to June. It primarily attracts semi-professional football players seeking opportunities to stay in-shape during spring. In 2016, the league participated in a safety study led by the New Jersey Institute of Technology.
As of 2016, the league reported it had four teams in New York City (in Brooklyn, Long Island, Queens, and The Bronx), four teams in Florida (in Miami, Tampa, Orlando, and Jacksonville), four teams in the deep South (in New Orleans; Baton Rouge; Montgomery, Alabama; and Jackson, Mississippi), and four teams in the northeast (in Newark, New Jersey; Trenton, New Jersey; Philadelphia, and Baltimore). The league says it seeks to expand to 32 teams by 2017. There are also considerations towards expanding outside of the United States.
Eleven Sports Network (United States) acquired the exclusive United States and International rights to broadcast the A7FL 2017 Championship on July 9, 2017 from Palisades Credit Union Park in metro New York City. Through ELEVEN Sports Network distribution with DirecTV, Verizon FiOS, and AT&T uVerse the A7FL 2017 Championship will be accessible by over 70MM homes worldwide.
Differences from mainstream American football
A7FL players play without pads or helmets as part of what the league describes as an effort to reduce the potential of head injuries resulting from helmet-to-helmet contact. League games also do not include kickoffs or punts, and instead implement a unique version of special teams called a 3-on-1 throw off. Games are played on narrow fields of 37 yards width to accommodate fewer players on the field on each team. A7FL games are played between two seven-man teams; teams are, additionally, required to cap their rosters at 25 active players with 5 alternates.
Athletes playing in the A7FL are required to sign a player injury waiver and be 18 years of age or older.
Once expanded to 32 teams the league will be structured around eight groups divided into two divisions. The teams play each other twice in the group stages with the top two teams going forward to a divisional championship. The winners of the divisional championships will play each other to decide the winner of the championship, for which there is a $10,000 prize.
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