BAFA National Leagues

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BAFA National Leagues
FormerlyBritish American Football League (1987–2010)
SportAmerican football
Founded2010; 11 years ago (2010)
Inaugural season2010
CommissionerPete Ackerley
No. of teams70
Country England (60 teams)
 Scotland (8 teams)
 Wales (1 team)
HeadquartersKidderminster, Worcestershire, England[1]
Most recent
champion(s)
Britbowl: London Warriors
Premier North: Tamworth Phoenix
Premier South: London Warriors
Division 1 Bowl: Solent Thrashers
NFC North 1: Northumberland Vikings
NFC South 1: Sandwell Steelers
SFC Central 1: Solent Thrashers
SFC East 1: Cambridgeshire Cats
Division 2 North Bowl: Inverclyde Goliaths
NFC Central 2: Halton Spartans
NFC North 2: Clyde Valley Blackhawks
NFC South 2: Birmingham Bulls
Division 2 South Bowl: South Wales Warriors
SFC East 2: Essex Spartans
SFC South 2: London Blitz B
SFC West 2: South Wales Warriors
Most titlesLondon Warriors
(6 titles)
Related
competitions
Britbowl
Official websitebritishamericanfootball.org

The BAFANL (BAFA National Leagues) are the primary American football domestic League competition in Great Britain. The League is run by the British American Football Association to coordinate contact football within England, Scotland and Wales.

The League was formed in 2010 following the collapse of the British American Football League, which had run in a number of different guises since the 1980s. Previous names of the League were the UKAFL (UK American Football League), the Budweiser League and the BNGL (British National Gridiron League). From 1998 until 2005 the League was known as the BSL (British Senior League). Tensions grew between the directors of BAFL and those of the British American Football Association, the governing body throughout 2009 and at the beginning of 2010, BAFL formally, but unconstitutionally, withdrew from BAFA. This led to uproar from the teams within BAFL, ultimately signalling the end for BAFL as an entity. The league ceased operations on 1 April 2010 and was replaced by the BAFA Community Leagues for the 2010 season, rebranding in 2011 to become the BAFNL. Notable players to have come from the BAFANL who have gone on to play in the NFL are Efe Obada, Aden Durde, Jermaine Allen and Marvin Allen.

Pete Ackerley currently heads the day-to-day operations of the BAFANL, The League operates is a summer season and begins in April and plays through until August, with Play-off games running into September. There are currently 70 teams who compete in 12 regional divisions across three levels of football. The 12 teams who contest both the two BAFA Premier Division's compete to reach the annual Britbowl final, whereas teams in the second and third level aim to earn promotion to the Division above attempting to reach one of the six regional bowl finals. The current champions are the London Warriors who won the 2019 Britbowl as well as the Premier Division South, they are also the most successful team having won 6 titles since the League's reformation in its current guise. The 2020 season was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with a return to full operations signalled for June 2021.

History[edit]

The London Blitz prior to their 2011 EFAF Cup match in Spain

American football was introduced to the United Kingdom during the early part of the 20th century by American servicemen stationed in the country. The first recorded match took place on 23 November 1910 at Crystal Palace, London, where a team made up of the crew from USS Idaho defeated their counterparts from USS Vermont 19–0.[2][3] During the Second World War, matches were played by American and Canadian servicemen stationed in the UK at venues throughout the country. This included the 'Tea Bowl' game played at the White City Stadium in 1944,[4] and this was followed by the creation of the United States Armed Forces Europe (USAFE) league in 1946. This league consisted of teams from American military bases throughout Europe, with one of the league's three conferences made up of teams based in the UK – teams from this conference won the league championship thirteen times until the competition ceased in 1993.[5][6]

The first teams open to British players were established in 1983, and competition began the following year in the form of a series of one-off games. The match results were compiled into a 'Merit Table', with teams playing more than three games eligible for the championship—the first champions were the London Ravens, who won all ten of their matches.[7][8]

Tensions grew between the directors of British American Football League and those of the British American Football Association, the governing body throughout 2009 and at the beginning of 2010, BAFL formally, but unconstitutionally, withdrew from BAFA. This led to uproar from the teams within BAFL, ultimately signalling the end for BAFL as an entity. The league ceased operations on 1 April 2010. The league was replaced by the BAFA Community Leagues for the 2010 season. This organisation, run under the umbrella of the governing body, rebranded in 2011 to become the BAFA National Leagues. Hundreds of clubs have since been formed, playing both full contact football and flag football at senior, university and youth level. Many of these clubs have since folded, renamed or merged with other local teams, but a few of the older clubs survive today.

Season format[edit]

British counties with BAFA teams in 2020
  NFC (Northern Football Conference)
  SFC Southern Football Conference

The BAFANL season format consists of two Conferences, the Northern Football Conference (NFC) and Southern Football Conference (SFC), within each Conference there are three levels of competition starting at Premier Division and filtering down to Division's One and Two. Teams can be switched between the NFC and SFC depending on the geographic location of each teams at the beginning of the season. In the past when Division One has been loaded with teams from the middle of England there has been a designated Midlands Football Conference (MFC), although this is currently defunct. The current format consists of a ten-game season for Premier Division teams and First Division teams, with the Second Division now playing eight games. The League is a summer sport in the UK and runs opposite to the NFL, with teams beginning pre-season training in January to compete in the regular season that takes place between April and August. The play-off games usually running into September, with the finals taking place towards the middle of the month. Following the climax of the regular season, the eventual winners and runners-up from both Premier Division's make up the semi-final in which they will compete to win a place in the Britbowl. Since 2014, The Britbowl winners will automatically qualify to play in the IFAF Europe Champions League for the following season. European games run aside the clubs domestic season, prior to 2014 qualification was for the EFAF Cup.

Unlike American Football competitions in North America such as the NFL, NCAA and CFL, American Football in the UK runs a similar promotion and relegation format to that of Association football (soccer) in the United Kingdom. Teams from the First and Second Division aim to win promotion to the division above by attempting to reach their respective play-off final. The team that finishes bottom of their Division (excluding Division Two) are relegated to their relevant Regional division in the level below. Although there is no active on-the-field promotion process to Division Two, there are a number of Non-League sides who operate in the "Associate Process" that are active but instead of playing to win promotion to the League they must gain entry by application to the British American Football Association in which each applying team must meet a number of different criteria from playing a number of assessed exhibition games, sustainability, facilities and good coaching practice. BAFA have the ability to relegate any BAFANL team back to Associate Status if that club are failing to make the standard expected of them. If a team withdraw from the season but indicate their wish to continue operating then they will spend the following season at Associate level.[9]

The game itself is run following the latest NCAA rules,[10] this has been in practice since the 2005 season. There is currently no limit on Roster size, unlike the NFL's 53 man setup. Unlike the majority of European leagues, British American football is currently amateur as opposed to semi-professional.[11] Clubs largely operate and turnover financially through sponsorship and player subscriptions. Where as it is not currently illegal for a team to pay a wage to coaches, they are forbidden from paying a wage to players. Players currently have to pay a yearly fee to BAFA as well as contributing to the club they play for, regardless of stature or whether the player has been a professional elsewhere. The transfer window for players being allowed to move teams usually opens in October and closes midway through the season in July. Transfers are all handled through an online portal registration system in which the player requests the move and has to wait for both teams to accept the deal before finalisation is sent to BAFA.

Players[edit]

Players in the BAFANL are largely made up of British nationals who due to the League's current amateur status have to pay a subscription fee to both the League and their respective clubs. Clubs are currently not permitted to pay a wage to any player, but coaches and other staff members are able to receive a wage. There are currently no limits on Roster size unlike the NFL's 53 man roster. The minimum age of BAFANL contact player is 18 years old, however players are allowed to play to Youth football until the age of 19. Female players are currently permitted to participate in the League as well as the BAFA ran Womens National Football League. Premier League and some Division One sides tend to operate a try-out basis to recruit potential players over several training sessions, where as other sides tend to operate an inclusive grassroots approach with any player wishing to compete taken on board as long as they are fit enough to do so. A lot of Football recruitment tends to come from other sports largely former Rugby Union players.

In 2019 BAFA announced all Non-British players who play within League have to have a permanent residence address in the UK and had to have been residing in the country for six months and suspended all players who did not meet this criteria,[12] this was largely brought in due to Leicester Falcons partnership with US College side Baker Wildcats who in turned signed a significant number of US Athletes to their side following promotion to the BAFA Premier North.[13] Tamworth Phoenix flagged an incident with BAFA in which a Baker player had attempted to broker a deal to play with them, with the player reported Leicester had offered to pay a wage of £1,000 per month and a free University masters degree.[14] Leicester were forced to cut ties with the Baker athletes prior to the first game of the 2019 season, they were eventually relegated back to Division 1 with a 2-8 record.[15]

Famous players to have played in the BAFANL include Efe Obada who played for the London Warriors in 2014, later moving into a career within the NFL.[16] Aden Durde and Jermaine Allen of the London Olympians played in both the NFL Europe and the NFL, with Durde later staying in the NFL as a positional coach. Marvin Allen of the London Warriors also later moved to play in the NFL. Players to have come from the NFL to the BAFANL include Denver Broncos quarterback Bradlee Van Pelt and San Diego Chargers linebacker Jason Brisbane.

England's Rugby Union World Cup winning captain Martin Johnson and GB Olympics sprinter Dwain Chambers also played the sport briefly, as well as Television presenter Vernon Kay and actors Ricky Whittle and Chris Fountain.[17]

Media coverage[edit]

The Britbowl as well as the Divisional Play-off finals are live streamed on YouTube via DblCoverage.com and Onside Productions. The programmes feature in-game commentary and interviews. Onside began operating by streaming Nottingham Caesars games coined as "Caesars TV" in 2016 before being brought on by DblCoverage.com to broadcast the National finals as well as Great Britain national American football team games [18]

DblCoverage.com is the largest British American Football-focused media outlet and community hub, featuring news, league results and standings for all formats of the contact game, as well as opinion articles and editorials.[19]

Their social media pages represent the largest online community of British American Football players and fans.[20]

In 2019, Onside provided the livestream of the U19 Junior National Championship and BritBowl XXXIII for BBC Sport.[21]

Stadiums[edit]

The use of Stadiums in the BAFANL is sporadic due to most clubs running on a budget that relies heavily on sponsorship and subscriptions. Most BAFANL clubs operate from Rugby Union clubs, University or High Schools sports fields or local athletics parks, however some teams do play inside larger sports stadiums which have seating capacities for spectators. The Britbowl itself has recently been played at Allianz Park in London and the Sixways Stadium in Worcester, while Division 1 and 2 finals are often hosted at the South Leeds Stadium. At present the Halton Spartans ground share of the Select Security Stadium with Rugby league team Widnes Vikings constitutes as the highest capacity stadium within the BAFANL with 13,350 seats. Other prominent stadiums that are currently in use in Britball include Manchester Titans home field at the National Speedway Stadium. Notable stadiums that have been used in the past includes Doncaster Mustangs use of the Keepmoat Stadium, London Olympians former home at the Crystal Palace Athletics Stadium, the AJ Bell Stadium by the Manchester Titans and De Montfort Park by Leicester Falcons.

Rank Stadium City Capacity Tenant Used For Years
1 Don Valley Stadium Sheffield, South Yorkshire 25,000 None Britbowl, Division 1 & 2 Finals 2012
2 Crystal Palace Athletics Stadium Crystal Palace, London 24,000 London Olympians BAFANL Regular Season games, Britbowl 2011
3 Keepmoat Stadium Doncaster, South Yorkshire 15,231 Doncaster Mustangs BAFANL Regular Season games 2014–2016
4 DCBL Stadium Widnes, Cheshire 13,350 Halton Spartans BAFANL Regular Season games 2014–
5 AJ Bell Stadium Salford, Greater Manchester 12,000 Manchester Titans BAFANL Regular Season games 2014
6 Sixways Stadium Worcester, Worcestershire 11,499 None Britbowl 2010, 2016–2017
7 Allianz Park Hendon, London 10,500 None Britbowl 2015
8 National Speedway Stadium Manchester 6,700 Manchester Titans BAFANL Regular Season games 2018–
9 New River Stadium Haringey, London 5,000 None Britbowl 2019
10 Meggetland Sports Complex Edinburgh, Scotland 4,388 Edinburgh Wolves BAFANL Regular Season games 2018–
11 De Montfort Park Hinckley, Leicestershire 4,329 Leicester Falcons BAFANL Regular Season games, Division 1 & 2 Finals 2015–2018
12 South Leeds Stadium Leeds, West Yorkshire 4,000 Yorkshire Rams BAFANL Regular Season games, Britbowl and Division 1 & 2 Finals 2016–
13 Meadow Park Irvine, North Ayrshire, Scotland 3,500 West Coast Trojans BAFANL Regular Season games 2016–2018
14 Blackwell Meadows Darlington, County Durham 3,271 Darlington Steam BAFANL Regular Season games 2019–
15 Bedford International Athletics Stadium Bedford, Bedfordshire 2,500 Ouse Valley Eagles BAFANL Regular Season games 2011–
16 Harvey Hadden Stadium Nottingham, Nottinghamshire 2,500 Nottingham Caesars BAFANL Regular Season games 1989–2015, 2017–
17 Druid Park Newcastle Upon Tyne 2,500 Northumberland Vikings BAFANL Regular Season games, Division 1 & 2 Finals 2018–
18 Quibell Park Stadium Scunthorpe, North Lincolnshire 2,000 Scunthorpe Alphas BAFANL Regular Season games 2019–
19 Braidholm Glasgow, Scotland 2,000 East Kilbride Pirates BAFANL Regular Season games 2018–
20 Well Hall Greenwich, London 1,650 London Olympians BAFANL Regular Season games 2014–
21 Finsbury Park Stadium Finsbury Park, London 1,500 London Blitz BAFANL Regular Season games 1995–
22 Stoke Gifford Stadium Filton, Gloucestershire 1,500 Bristol Aztecs BAFANL Regular Season games 2018–
23 Frant Road Thornton Heath, London 1,400 London Warriors BAFANL Regular Season games 2007–
20 Tipton Sports Academy Tipton, West Midlands 1,000 Sandwell Steelers BAFANL Regular Season games 2015–
24 Pack Meadow Coleshill, Warwickshire 1,000 Tamworth Phoenix BAFANL Regular Season games 2018–
25 Wilkinson Way Farnham, Surrey 500 Farnham Knights BAFANL Regular Season games 2013–
26 Tilsley Park Abingdon, Oxfordshire 500 Oxford Saints BAFANL Regular Season games 2016–
27 Beltane Park Wishaw, North Lanarkshire 500 Clyde Valley Blackhawks BAFANL Regular Season games 2018–
28 Monkton Stadium Jarrow, Tyneside 500 Gateshead Senators BAFANL Regular Season games 2015–

Teams[edit]

There are currently 70 teams in the BAFANL who have full membership status. Over the years many teams have formed and folded with only a small handful of original teams from the early 1980s remaining. A lot of teams trace their heritage back through predecessor teams and a large number of BAFA sides have changed their identity on one or sometimes two occasions. Colchester Gladiators (formed in 1983) of Division Two are the oldest team to be operating in their original identity. Other original sides include the Birmingham Bulls, Chester Romans, Nottingham Caesars, East Kilbride Pirates and the Crewe Railroaders. Although the London Olympians are the most successful British side, the London Warriors hold the title following on from the BAFANL's official formation in 2010.

Temporary Alignment 2021[edit]

Having missed the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, BAFA announced that for the 2021 season the BAFANL would be not using the three tier league system and operating from localised Divisions to minimize travel. This means that clubs will not return to their respective divisions until the 2022 season.[22]

Premier Division[edit]

The BAFANL Premier Division for the 2020 season comprises twelve teams, split into the North and South Divisions. The BAFA Premier Division North and the BAFA Premier Division South. Within each division each team plays each other twice. There will be 2 rounds of playoff football with the top ranked team in the North will host the second ranked team in the South whilst the top ranked team in the South will host the second ranked team in the North. The winners will then compete for the BritBowl. The team who finishes bottom of each division are relegated to Division 1 for the following season and are replaced by both of the Division 1 winners. Teams can be swapped between the North and South Division's for a following season depending on the geographical location of teams that may be promoted to the division.

Premier North[edit]

Team City Stadium / Home Field Founded Head Coach Temporary 2021 Division
   
   
Edinburgh Wolves
Scotland Edinburgh, Scotland Meggetland Sports Complex 2002 Martin Harrison BAFANL Scotland A
   
   
Manchester Titans
England Gorton, Manchester National Speedway Stadium 2003 Jon Homer BAFANL North West
   
   
Merseyside Nighthawks
England Skelmersdale, Lancashire JMO Sports Park 1984 Craig Pennington BAFANL North West
   
   
Sandwell Steelers
England Tipton, West Midlands Tipton Sports Academy 2013 Maxwell Petitjean BAFANL Mercia
   
   
Sheffield Giants
England Sheffield, South Yorkshire Sheffield Olympic Legacy Stadium 2008 Toby Chesters BAFANL North East
   
   
Tamworth Phoenix
England Coleshill, Warwickshire Pack Meadow 2004 Jason Scott BAFANL Mercia

Premier South[edit]

Team City Stadium / Home Field Founded Head Coach Temporary 2021 Division
   
   
Bristol Aztecs
England Filton, South Gloucestershire Stoke Gifford Stadium 1990 Ben Herrod BAFANL West
   
   
Kent Exiles
England Bromley, Greater London Beaverwood Club 2004 John Moore BAFANL London
   
   
London Blitz
England Finsbury Park, London Finsbury Park Stadium 1995 Damian Anderson BAFANL London
   
   
London Olympians
England Greenwich, London Well Hall Stadium 1984 Riq Ayub BAFANL London
   
   
London Warriors
England Thornton Heath, London Frant Road 2007 Tony Allen BAFANL London
   
   
Solent Thrashers
England Southampton, Hampshire Solent University Test Park Sports Ground 2003 Steve Rains BAFANL Wessex

Division One[edit]

The BAFANL Division One is the second tier of British American Football, for the 2020 season it holds 24 teams, now divided into 4 Divisions. The Divisions are grouped into a North and South Divide with NFC standing for "Northern Football Conference" and the SFC being the "Southern Football Conference". The current individual names of the each Divisions are the NFC 1 North, the NFC 1 South, the SFC 1 Central and the SFC 1 East. Each team plays the others in their Division twice during the regular season as well as all teams playing two opponents on three occasions. There is no inter-division games until the playoffs with the top two teams in each division entering into what is potentially a three-game Play-off campaign with the initial games being played regionally. The winner of both the Northern and Southern Play offs will win promotion to the Premier League and then face each other for the Division One Bowl game in order to take home the trophy.[23] The team who finishes bottom of each division is relegated to Division Two.

NFC 1 North[edit]

Team City Stadium / Home Field Founded Head Coach Temporary 2021 Division
   
   
Aberdeen Roughnecks
Scotland Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Scotland Hazlehead Park 2012 Vacant BAFANL Scotland A
   
   
East Kilbride Pirates
Scotland Glasgow, Scotland Braidholm 1985 Jamie McLaughlin BAFANL Scotland A
   
   
Glasgow Tigers
Scotland Glasgow, Scotland Nethercraigs Club 1986 Ryan McCluskey BAFANL Scotland A
   
   
Inverclyde Golliaths
Scotland Greenock, Renfrewshire Fort Matilda 2016 BAFANL Scotland A
   
   
Northumberland Vikings
England Newcastle upon Tyne Druid Park 2014 Bryce Stevenson BAFANL North Hadrians

NFC 1 South[edit]

Team City Stadium / Home Field Founded Head Coach Temporary 2021 Division
   
   
Chester Romans
England Chester, Cheshire Cheshire County Sports Club 1986 Levi Edwards BAFANL North West
   
   
Halton Spartans
England Widnes, Cheshire DCBL Stadium 2014 Simon Wainwright BAFANL North West
   
   
Lancashire Wolverines
England Preston, Lancashire UCLan Sports Arena 1987 Lea Hall BAFANL North West
   
   
Leicester Falcons
England Leicester, Leicestershire Leicester Forest East Rugby Club 2006 Mike Grossner BAFANL Mercia
   
   
Nottingham Caesars
England Nottingham, Nottinghamshire Harvey Hadden Stadium 1984 Vanden Warner BAFANL Central East
   
   
Shropshire Revolution
England Telford, Shropshire Telford Athletics Stadium 2006 John Angell BAFANL Mercia
   
   
Yorkshire Rams
England Leeds, West Yorkshire South Leeds Stadium 1986 Jason Shaw BAFANL North East

SFC 1 Central[edit]

Team City Stadium / Home Field Founded Head Coach Temporary 2021 Division
   
   
Bournemouth Bobcats
England Bournemouth, Dorset The Bourne Academy 1985 Simon McLean BAFANL Wessex
   
   
Rushmoor Knights
England Farnham, Surrey Wilkinson Way 1985 Peter Fields BAFANL Wessex
   
   
Oxford Saints
England Abingdon, Oxfordshire Tilsley Park 1983 Andrew Day BAFANL Thames Valley
   
   
Portsmouth Dreadnoughts
England Gosport, Hampshire Gosport Park 2012 Luke Head-Rapson BAFANL Wessex
   
   
South Wales Warriors
Wales Llanharan, Mid Glamorgan, Wales The Dairy Field 2001 Geraint Roberts BAFANL West
   
   
Sussex Thunder
England Brighton, East Sussex Brighton Rugby Club 1997 Ian Ellis BAFANL Wessex

SFC 1 East[edit]

Team City Stadium / Home Field Founded Head Coach Temporary 2021 Division
   
   
Cambridgeshire Cats
England Cambridge, Cambridgeshire Coldhams Common 1984 Marco Fasulo BAFANL East Anglia
   
   
Essex Spartans
England South Ockendon, Essex Thames Rugby Football Club 1998 Sean Benton BAFANL South East
   
   
Hertfordshire Cheetahs
England Watford, Hertfordshire Sun Postal Sports & Social Club 1986 Craig Barnes BAFANL Thames Valley
   
   
London Hornets
England Camden Town, London Mill Hill Rugby Club 2011 Paul Holmes BAFANL Thames Valley
   
   
Wembley Stallions
England Harrow, London LPOSSA Club 2013 Warren Smart BAFANL Thames Valley

Division Two[edit]

The BAFA Division Two is the third tier of British American Football with 2020 holding 34 teams across 7 Divisions. The Divisions are grouped into a North and South Divide with NFC standing for "Northern Football Conference" and the SFC being the "Southern Football Conference". The current individual names of the each Divisions are the NFC 2 North, the NFC 2 East, the NFC 2 West, the SFC 2 Central, the SFC 2 West, the SFC 2 South and the SFC 2 East. Each team plays the others in their Division twice during the regular season as well as all teams playing two opponents on three occasions. There are no inter-division games until the playoffs with the top two teams in each division entering into what is potentially a three-game Play-off campaign with the initial games being played regionally. The winner of both the Northern and Southern Play offs will win promotion to Division One and then face other for the Division Two Bowl game in order to take home the trophy.[23]

NFC 2 North[edit]

Team City Stadium / Home Field Founded Head Coach Temporary 2021 Division
   
   
Clyde Valley Blackhawks
Scotland Wishaw, North Lanarkshire, Scotland Beltane Park 2007 Gary Orr BAFANL Scotland B
   
   
Darlington Steam
England Darlington, County Durham Blackwell Meadows 2013 Darren Mitchell BAFANL North Hadrians
   
   
DC Presidents
England Chester-le-Street, County Durham Riverside Leisure Complex 1985 Mark Quinn BAFANL North Hadrians
   
   
Dumfries Hunters
Scotland Dumfries, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland David Keswick Centre 2014 Luke Summers BAFANL Scotland B
   
   
Dunfermline Kings
Scotland Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland Duloch Leisure Centre 2016 Alistair Choat BAFANL Scotland B
   
   
Gateshead Senators
England Jarrow, Tyneside Monkton Stadium 1985 Gary Marshall BAFANL North Hadrians
   
   
Highland Stags
Scotland Inverness, Scotland Parklea Fields 2016 Billy Mill BAFANL Scotland B

NFC 2 West[edit]

~ Denotes B/Reserve Team affiliated to another BAFANL team.

Team City Stadium / Home Field Founded Head Coach Temporary 2021 Division
   
   
Crewe Railroaders
England Crewe, Cheshire Cheshire College Sports Field 1984 Jason Smith BAFANL Mercia
   
   
Leigh Miners
England Tyldesley, Greater Manchester St George's Park 2020 James Higham BAFANL North West
   
   
~ Manchester Bees
England Gorton, Manchester National Speedway Stadium 2018 Chapman BAFANL North West
   
   
Morecambe Bay Storm
England Morecambe, Lancashire Trimpell Sports Club 2016 Scud Fairhurst BAFANL North Hadrians
   
   
Staffordshire Surge
England Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire Trentham Fields 2008 Jon Wyse BAFANL Mercia

NFC 2 East[edit]

Team City Stadium / Home Field Founded Head Coach Temporary 2021 Division
   
   
Doncaster Mustangs
England Doncaster, South Yorkshire Wheatley Hills Rugby Club 2002 Paul Coley BAFANL North East
   
   
Humber Warhawks
England Hull, East Yorkshire University of Hull Sports Field 2014 Alex Moore BAFANL North East
   
   
Knottingley Raiders
England Knottingley, West Yorkshire Marsh Lane 2014 Zak Constance BAFANL North East
   
   
Leeds Bobcats
England Leeds, West Yorkshire West Leeds Rugby Club 2008 Chris Peel BAFANL North East
   
   
Lincolnshire Bombers
England North Hykeham, Lincolnshire North Hykeham Rugby Club 2005 Michael Etheridge BAFANL Central East
   
   
Scunthorpe Alphas
England Scunthorpe, North Lincolnshire Quibell Park Stadium 2018 Alex Robson BAFANL Central East
   
   
South Lincs Lightning
England Bourne, Lincolnshire Bourne Rugby Club 2020 Dan Harriss BAFANL Central East

SFC 2 Central[edit]

Team City Stadium / Home Field Founded Head Coach Temporary 2021 Division
   
   
Birmingham Bulls
England Hopwood, Worcestershire Hopwood Park 1983 Matthew Sheldon BAFANL West
   
   
Hereford Stampede
England Hereford, Herefordshire Greyhound Rugby Club 2016 Paul Kent BAFANL West
   
   
Northants Knights
England Northampton, Northamptonshire Northampton BBO Rugby Club 2016 Matt Godfrey BAFANL Central East
   
   
Ouse Valley Eagles
England Bedford, Bedfordshire Bedford International Athletics Stadium 2013 Nick Benning BAFANL East Anglia
   
   
Worcestershire Black Knights
England Worcester, Worcestershire Perdiswell Leisure Centre 2016 Ian Hughes BAFANL West

SFC 2 West[edit]

~ Denotes B/Reserve Team affiliated to another BAFANL team.

Team City Stadium / Home Field Founded Head Coach Temporary 2021 Division
   
   
~ Bristol Apache
England Filton, South Gloucestershire SGS Sports Field 1990 Pete Jones BAFANL South West
   
   
Cornwall Monarchs
England Newquay, Cornwall Newquay Sports Centre 2005 Richard Atkinson BAFANL South West
   
   
Somerset Wyverns
England Taunton, Somerset Victoria Park 2017 Lydon Ward-Best BAFANL South West
   
   
Torbay Trojans
England Torquay, Devon Foxhole Community Centre 1983 Sean Harris BAFANL South West

SFC 2 South[edit]

~ Denotes B/Reserve Team affiliated to another BAFANL team.

Team City Stadium / Home Field Founded Head Coach Temporary 2021 Division
   
   
Hastings Conquerors
England Hastings, East Sussex Freshfields 2012 BAFANL South East
   
   
Jurassic Coast Raptors
England Dorchester, Dorset Dorchester Rugby Club 2016 Billy Heinrich BAFANL South West
   
   
~ London Blitz B
EnglandFinsbury Park, London Finsbury Park Stadium 2015 Anthony Coverdale BAFANL Thames Valley
   
   
Swindon Storm
England Swindon, Wiltshire Southbrook Playing Fields 2012 Richard Westley BAFANL West
   
   
~ Sussex Thunderbolts
England Brighton, East Sussex Brighton Rugby Club 2020 Ian Ellis BAFANL South East

SFC 2 East[edit]

~ Denotes team who withdrew from the season who have folded during 2020.

Team City Stadium / Home Field Founded Head Coach Temporary 2021 Division
   
   
Colchester Gladiators
England Colchester, Essex Corporal Budd VC Gymnasium 1983 Karl Bourke BAFANL East Anglia
   
   
East Essex Sabres
England Rayleigh, Essex Deanes School 2016 Kirk Beacham BAFANL South East
   
   
East Kent Mavericks
England Canterbury, Kent Simon Langton Grammar School 2002 Glenn Lindley BAFANL South East
   
   
Ipswich Cardinals
England Ipswich, Suffolk Northgate Sports Centre 1986 Ian Girling BAFANL East Anglia
   
   
Norwich Devils
England Norwich, Norfolk Thorpe High School 1984 Andy Starling BAFANL East Anglia
   
   
South East Squadron
England Maidstone, Kent TBC 2020 TBC BAFANL South East

Associate teams[edit]

New teams must undergo an indefinite associate period before they are granted full member status of the national leagues. A number of criteria must be met, involving successfully completing a number of games, recruiting a number of new players, proof of required finances and the creation of a club committee. Associate teams spend their seasons playing each other and League teams in what are essentially friendly fixtures. Some of the current Associate teams are also previous League teams that have dropped out of the BAFANL at some stage.[24][25]

~ Denotes B/Reserve Team affiliated to another BAFANL team.

Team City Stadium / Home Field Founded Head Coach
   
   
Carlisle Kestrels
England Carlisle, Cumbria Sheepmount Sports College 2014 Paul Brady
   
   
Berkshire Renegades
England Reading, Berkshire University of Reading Sports Park 1985 Paul Gordon
   
   
Burnley Tornados
England Burnley, Lancashire Colne & Nelson Rugby Club 2016 David Robins
   
   
Bury Saints
England Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk Red Lodge Sports Pavilion 2013
   
   
King's Lynn Patriots
England King's Lynn, Norfolk West Lynn Sports Club 2016 Chris Wallis
   
   
~ Leicester Falcons B
England Leicester, Leicestershire Leicester Forest East Rugby Club 2018 Mike Grossner

Defunct Teams[edit]

Former teams who competed in the BAFANL and have now ceased operating or have merged with other sides to form a current operating side within the present League structure.

Team City Founded Folded Notes
   
   
Bedfordshire Blue Raiders
England Bedford, Bedfordshire 2006 2013 Merged with the Milton Keynes Pathfinders to form the Ouse Valley Eagles.
   
   
Carlisle Border Reivers
England Carlisle, Cumbria 2009 2013 Following their demise, former members formed the Carlisle Sentinels (renamed Kestrels) in 2014.
   
   
Coventry Jets
England Coventry, Warwickshire 2004 2018 All Jets teams transferred to the Etone Jaguars Youth Academy. The former Jets Adult team folded in 2019.
   
   
Dundee Hurricanes
Scotland Dundee, Scotland 2002 2019 Resigned League status in 2018, dropped into Associate Process and are now dormant.
   
   
Etone Jaguars
England Nuneaton, Warwickshire 2018 2019 Absorbed the Jets team but folded mid 2019. Club renamed to Nuneaton and youth football continues.
   
   
Furness Phantoms
England Ulverston, Cumbria 2011 2020 Resigned from the League prior to the 2020 season.
   
   
Gloucester Centurions
England Gloucester, Gloucestershire 2007 2015 Adult side folding in 2015 with the rest of the programme wound up in 2016.
   
   
Grimsby Scorpions
England Grimsby, North East Lincolnshire 2013 2014 Merged with fellow Associate side Kingston Warhawks to form the Humber Warhawks.
   
   
Hull Hornets
England Kingston upon Hull, East Yorkshire 2005 2010 Former members later formed the Kingston Warhawks.
   
   
Maidstone Pumas
England Maidstone, Kent 1997 2020 Assets handed to the Kent Phoenix Youth side who in turn formed the South East Squadron.
   
   
Northumberland Lightning
England Ashington, Northumberland 2012 2017 Merged with fellow BAFANL side Newcastle Vikings to form the Northumberland Vikings.
   
   
Peterborough Saxons
England Peterborough, Cambridgeshire 2001 2016 Some former members went on to former the South Lincs Lightning in 2020.
   
   
West Coast Trojans
Scotland Irvine, North Ayrshire, Scotland 2004 2018 Full programme wound up in 2018.

Notable people[edit]

Notable Players and Coaches who have featured either in the BAFA National Leagues or any of its predecessor Leagues that have at any time represented the domestic game of American Football in the United Kingdom.

Player Team Notes
United KingdomPhil Alexander Farnham Knights Kicker for the London Monarchs, former professional association football player for Norwich City and chief executive of Crystal Palace.[26]
United KingdomJermaine Allen London Olympians Played in the NFL for Chicago Bears and New Orleans Saints
United KingdomMarvin Allen London Warriors (2008-) Played in the NFL for Pittsburgh Steelers and Miami Dolphins
CanadaMarcel Bellefeuille Crawley Raiders OC at CFL sides including Montreal Alouettes, Hamilton Tiger-Cats and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers[27]
United KingdomRoderick Bradley London Blitz Played "Spartan" on ITV game show Gladiators
United KingdomJason Brisbane London Blitz Played in the NFL for San Diego Chargers.
United KingdomDwain Chambers Farnham Knights British Olympic Athletics track sprinter and former NFL Europe player with Hamburg Sea Devils
United KingdomCharles Dagnall Leicester Falcons Former professional Cricketer and BBC Radio presenter
United KingdomAden Durde London Warriors Defensive Coach in the NFL with Atlanta Falcons and played for Kansas City Chiefs
United KingdomVictor Ebubedike London Ravens, London Olympians NFL Europe player with the London Monarchs.[27]
United StatesMike Grossner Nottingham Caesars, Leicester Falcons Former NCAA coach with Western Colorado Mountaineers
United StatesChristian Holmes Tamworth Phoenix (2016) Played in NCAA Division 1 for Mississippi State from 2011 to 2014.
United KingdomStephen Hutchinson London Blitz Played in NFL Europe for London Monarchs and Hamburg Blue Devils
United KingdomMartin Johnson Leicester Panthers Professional Rugby Union player and World Cup winning captain of the England team.[28]
United KingdomVernon Kay London Warriors (2011-2014) Television presenter, formerly of Channel 4’s NFL show
NigeriaEfe Obada London Warriors (2014) Played in the NFL with Dallas Cowboys, Kansas City Chiefs, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers
United StatesPhoebe Schecter Staffordshire Surge, GB Lions Women Intern Coach in the NFL with the Buffalo Bills.
United StatesBradlee Van Pelt Leicester Falcons (2010) Quarter Back in the NFL for Denver Broncos and Houston Texans. Also Colorado State NCAA graduate.
United KingdomRicky Whittle Manchester Titans Actor who notably had lengthy roles in Hollyoaks and Dream Team.

Winners[edit]

BritBowl[edit]

Winners of the Britbowl since the BAFA National Leagues 2010 formation.

Team Season
London Warriors 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018, 2019
London Blitz 2010, 2011, 2012
Tamworth Phoenix 2017

Division One Bowl[edit]

In 2015 there was a separate Bowl final for both the Northern and Southern sections.

Team Season
Solent Thrashers 2019
Bury Saints 2016
Colchester Gladiators 2013
East Kilbride Pirates 2011
Farnham Knights 2015
Leicester Falcons 2018
Manchester Titans 2017
Merseyside Nighthawks 2014, 2015
Sussex Thunder 2012
Tamworth Phoenix 2010

Division Two Bowl[edit]

Each year there is both a Northern and Southern Bowl winner.

Team Season
Aberdeen Roughnecks 2018
Berkshire Renegades 2017
Bury Saints 2015
Hertfordshire Cheetahs 2018
Leicester Falcons 2016
Oxford Saints 2016
Sandwell Steelers 2015
Shropshire Revolution 2017
South Wales Warriors 2019

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ https://britishamericanfootball.org/Contacts#.X48A89BKiUk
  2. ^ "Britball Firsts". Britball Now. Retrieved 22 October 2010.
  3. ^ "Britbowl XXV Details Announced" (PDF). Inside American Football. July 2011. p. 14. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 27 January 2013.
  4. ^ Dobson, Cathy (27 April 2010). "Two Sarnia war heroes to be honoured". Sarnia Observer. Archived from the original on 2017-10-03. Retrieved 27 January 2013.
  5. ^ Polvino, Andrew. "2009 USAFE Football Reunion Approaching Fast". Andrews Air Force Base: USAF Germany. Archived from the original on 3 October 2017. Retrieved 3 October 2017.
  6. ^ "Military Football in the UK". Britball Now. Retrieved 25 May 2010.
  7. ^ "1984 Table of Merit". London Blitz. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 27 January 2013.
  8. ^ "All Time British American Football Tables – 1984". Britball Now. Retrieved 13 May 2009.
  9. ^ "BAFANL Adult Contact Standings". BAFA National Leagues. Archived from the original on 28 June 2012. Retrieved 9 July 2012.
  10. ^ https://www.bafra.info/rules/ncaa/index.htm
  11. ^ "Podyum Recruit | The Pro Football Recruiting Platform". recruit.thepodyum.com.
  12. ^ "BAFA suspend a number of foreign nationals with potential bans and club fines to follow". April 11, 2019.
  13. ^ "Leicester Falcons announce top US College partnership – Leicester Falcons American Football Club".
  14. ^ "Tamworth Phoenix accuse Leicester Falcons of potentially paying players". March 27, 2019.
  15. ^ "Falcons Relegated – Leicester Falcons American Football Club".
  16. ^ Coles, Ben (September 8, 2018). "The astonishing journey of Efe Obada - the refugee abandoned in London as a child now playing in the NFL" – via www.telegraph.co.uk.
  17. ^ "History | The Club".
  18. ^ http://dblcoverage.com/event/britbowl-xxxi/
  19. ^ http://dblcoverage.com
  20. ^ "Log into Facebook". Facebook. Cite uses generic title (help)
  21. ^ "Britbowl XXXIII games to be live streamed by BBC Sport". British American Football Association. Retrieved 6 September 2019.
  22. ^ "Adult Contact league alignments 2021 – British American Football".
  23. ^ a b "BAFANL League Expansion – Update". Double Coverage. Retrieved 10 January 2016.
  24. ^ "Establishing a Club – British American Football".
  25. ^ BAFA Announces New 2017 League Alignments
  26. ^ <http://www.britballnow.co.uk/History/Where.html/ref> |---- |United KingdomJermaine Allen || London Olympians || Played in the NFL for Chicago Bears and New Orleans Saints
  27. ^ a b "British American Football Where are they now". www.britballnow.co.uk.
  28. ^ "The Greatest: Number four lock". October 29, 2009.

External links[edit]