American Flag Football League
|Sport||Professional Flag football|
|Inaugural season||2018 (tentative)|
|Official website||American Professional Flag Football|
The American Flag Football League is a newly-formed professional flag football league started in 2017. The league was founded by Jeff Lewis in May 2017. Lewis spent nine months building the league, getting investors, setting the rules, and finding players and broadcasting partners. The league has signed a deal to air its games on the NFL Network.
- 7-on-7, with 12-man roster
- 60-minute game
- 1st half: 30 minutes total; running clock for the first 29 minutes and in the final minute, clock stops only for scoring plays and penalties
- 2nd half: 30 minutes total; running clock for the first 28 minutes and traditional clock stoppage for the final two minutes
- Field will be divided into four 25-yard boxes, and first downs are awarded each time the offense reaches the next box
- No blocking, no kicking, no fumbles Kickoffs are replaced with a long throwoff. No touchbacks.
- Only 1 lateral allowed per play; 2 laterals on throw off and punt returns
- Incidental contact is permitted
- Winners moves on to the next round, losers are eliminated in a knockout tournament.
- Once the ball is snapped, the defense has to wait two seconds to rush and the quarterback will have a total of four seconds to release the ball or cross the line of scrimmage. Laterals turns the Go clock off as the ball is out of the quarterbacks hands.
- The quarterback cannot run unless rushed
- All players are eligible downfield, except for the designated center on offense, who must stay on the spot to mark the line of scrimmage.
- North-south handoffs are not allowed, but pitches and handoffs to runners running east–west are permitted
- The defense can blitz three times per half without waiting for two seconds
- 6 pts per touchdown under 50 yards, 7pts for touchdowns over 50 yards
- Teams will have option based on distance to convert PATs of 1, 2 or 3 points. If that pass is picked off, and returned to the opposite endzone, 2 points will be scored.
- Most penalties will not award yardage, but rather a free play or loss of down
- Ball will generally go into play at the spot of the foul or the previous spot
Its first official game was an exhibition played between Team Vick (led by former NFL quarterback Michael Vick) and Team Owens (led by former NFL wide receiver Terrell Owens) on June 27, 2017, at Avaya Stadium in San Jose, California and was broadcast live on the league's website and rebroadcast on their official YouTube channel.
In 2018, the league began formal play with its first US Open of Football tournament. The tournament format was broken into two converging, single-elimination brackets, with 32 teams of primarily amateurs on one side vying for the title of America's Champion and 4 teams of primarily professional gridiron football players on the other. The two champions would then meet in the Ultimate Final to decide the US Open champion. Prior to the US Open, the amateur bracket was narrowed down to 32 teams from a field of 124 teams via regional qualifiers. The winning team will take home a $1,000,000 prize.
|Year||America's Champion||Pro Champion||Ultimate Final score|
(Captain(s): M. Johnson/J. Forsett)
|26 - 6 (Fighting Cancer)|
|2019||Fighting Cancer||Texas Money Team||22 - 14 (Fighting Cancer)|
In 2018, the league reached a broadcast deal with NFL Network, covering the final 11 games of the U.S. Open of Football tournament. The league is leveraging technologies such as using a skycam as the primary angle, on-field graphics (such as a color-changing line of scrimmage and clock) for the league's "Go Clock" rule, and microphones on players.
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- Weiner, Natalie (May 26, 2017). "Michael Vick, Other Former Players Talk New Flag Football League". Bleacher Report. Retrieved July 22, 2017.
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- "Pro Flag Football—Just Like the NFL, But Exciting!".
- "High-Tech Pro Flag Football To Launch, Will American Flag Football League, SMT Succeed?". 18 May 2017.
- "Home - American Flag Football League". American Flag Football League.
- Taylor, Tom (June 29, 2017). "Star-studded flag football league leans on NFL influences in debut". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved July 22, 2017.
- The American Flag Football League - Full Launch Game, League's YouTube channel
- Leung, Diamond (May 18, 2017). "A Pro Flag Football League Is Launching And It Might Be The Most High-Tech League In The World". SportTechie. Retrieved July 22, 2017.
- Rovell, Darren (May 18, 2017). "Michael Vick to play in trial game for American Flag Football League". ESPN. Retrieved July 22, 2017.
- editor, Derek Redd Sports. "Derek Redd: WV Ruckus hopes to make some noise in major flag football tournament".
- "NFL Network set to air 11 flag football games". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2018-07-09.
- "AFFL Production Style Is Back With U.S. Open of Football on NFL Network". Sports Video Group. Retrieved 2018-07-09.