Central European Football League
|Formerly||Southeast European League of American Football (SELAF)|
|No. of teams||7|
Bosnia and Herzegovina
|Graz Giants (1st title)|
|Most titles||Belgrade Vukovi (6 titles)|
|TV partner(s)||Sport Klub|
The Central European Football League (CEFL) is a regional American football league. Initially, the league was named Southeastern European League of American Football (SELAF), and featured teams from just Serbia and Slovenia, joined by teams from Austria, Croatia, Hungary, Slovakia, Turkey, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Poland and Denmark in the following seasons.
The league completed its first season in October 2006. Since the 2010 season, the league is played during the spring and summer months. This is in contrast to the first four seasons, when the schedule was played out from spring to fall, with a summer break.
2006 – Inaugural Season
The first ever league champions were the Wild Boars who beat the Vukovi 23–12 in SELAF Bowl, played in Belgrade on 8 October 2006.
The second season was already a season of expansion for the league with the two new teams, a top Hungarian team, Budapest Wolves, and CNC Gladiators, then of Austrian Division I, and the Legionaries not returning. For the first time teams were split into two conferences: North and South. North Conference consisted of Gladiators, Silverhawks and Wolves; South Conference consisted of three Serbian teams: Dukes, Vukovi and Wild Boars.
The bowl game was played in Belgrade on 27 October 2007, with the title won by Vukovi, after beating the Wolves 28–27 in a dramatic fashion.
That season was also the first in which the league made it to television: the semifinal and the bowl game were televised on Serbian nationally covered TV Avala.
The league changed its name to Central European Football League and the third season featured three new teams from three different countries: the Bratislava Monarchs from Slovakia, the Budapest Cowboys from Hungary and the Zagreb Thunder from Croatia, while the Wild Boars did not return. The Cowboys and Thunder joined the South Conference, also filling the vacant spot made with the departure of the Wild Boars, while the Monarchs were placed in North Conference.
In the newly named CEFL bowl, Gladiators beat the Vukovi 14–8 in Vienna on 25 October 2008.
In the 2009 season, the Cineplexx Blue Devils of Austria replaced the non-returning Monarchs. They joined a newly formed conference with the Thunder, Vukovi and the Wolves. The other conference consisted of 2008 champions, the Gladiators, along with the Cowboys, the Dukes and the Silverhawks.
The bowl game was again played in Belgrade on 24 October 2009, with the Vukovi reclaiming the title after beating the Blue Devils 39–20.
The season was also a considerable milestone for the league, as multiple league games have been televised on a trans-European channel Sport Klub.
The league changed format again in 2010, with the Turkish national champion Istanbul Cavaliers joining the league and the Cowboys, the Gladiators and the Thunder not returning. The Cavaliers were scheduled to play the Blue Devils in the newly formed wild card cup, with the winner taking the final playoff spot.
The bowl game was played in Ivančna Gorica, Slovenia on 18 July 2010, where the Vukovi beat the Silverhawks 42–20 to become the league champions once again.
In the 2011 season the league saw the departure of the Blue Devils and the Dukes, leaving four teams, all national champions in their respective countries, in competition.
The title was again claimed by the Vukovi who beat the Wolves 34–33 in yet another dramatic bowl game between these two teams, played in Budapest on 23 July 2011.
Croatian top team Zagreb Patriots joined the league and the Blue Devils took part once again. The league changed its name to Sport Klub CEFL and had multiple league games broadcast on Sport Klub television channels. The 2012 season started on 17 March, with five teams from five different countries competing.
CEFL Bowl VII was played in Belgrade on 21 July 2012 where the Silverhawks won their first title after beating the Vukovi, 34–21.
In 2013, the league has seen the return of one of its original teams, the Kragujevac Wild Boars of Serbia. The Wild Boars last played in 2007 and they have also won the trophy in the inaugural season in 2006. The Blue Devils and Patriots have left the league in 2013.
The bowl game was again played in Belgrade on 7 July 2013, with the Vukovi reclaiming the title after the most convincing bowl game win over the Wild Boars 42–0.
The 2014 season was played with four teams, Kragujevac Wild Boars and Belgrade Vukovi from Serbia, Ljubljana Silverhawks from Slovenia and the Docler Wolves from Hungary. Ljubljana Silverhawks hosted Belgrade Vukovi in CEFL Bowl IX. Vukovi won the title beating the Silverhawks 27 to 17 in the final.
The 2015 season will be once again be played with four teams. Belgrade Vukovi and Ljubljana Silverhawks will continue in the league and they will be accompanied by two returning former teams, the Novi Sad Dukes from Serbia and the Cineplexx Blue Devils from Austria. The Kragujevac Wild Boars and The Budapest Docler Wolves were departed from the league. The Wolves failed to win a single match in the last two seasons. The League's 10th season began in April 2015.
The 2016 season marked the expansion of the CEFL with 12 teams. The Belgrade Vukovi, the Ljubljana Silverhawks, the Novi Sad Dukes, and the Cineplexx Blue Devils remained when they joined by the Budapest Cowbells of Hungary and the Projekt Spielberg Graz Giants, as well as former Alpe Adria Football League teams, the Kranj Alp Devils, the Sarajevo Spartans of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Domžale Tigers, the Inđija Indians, and the Niš Imperatori. Also returning to the CEFL is the Zagreb Patriots of Croatia.
In 2017 some former IFAF Champions League teams joined to the CEFL tournament:
- Western Conference: Triangle Razorbacks, Panthers Wrocław, Swarco Raiders Tirol
- Eastern Conference: SBB Vukovi Beograd, Kragujevac Wild Boars, Budapest Cowbells, Koç Rams
This year the league introduced CEFL Cup:
- Western Conference: Kranj Alp Devils, Sarajevo Spartans, Zagreb Patriots
- Eastern Conference: Novi Sad Dukes, Inđija Indians, Sirmium Legionaries, Belgrade Blue Dragons
|2006||SELAF Bowl I||Belgrade||Belgrade Vukovi||12–23||Kragujevac Wild Boars|
|2007||SELAF Bowl II||Belgrade||Belgrade Vukovi||28–27||Budapest Wolves|
|2008||CEFL Bowl III||Vienna||CNC Gladiators||14–8||Belgrade Vukovi|
|2009||CEFL Bowl IV||Belgrade||Belgrade Vukovi||39–20||Cineplexx Blue Devils|
|2010||CEFL Bowl V||Ivančna Gorica||Ljubljana Silverhawks||20–42||Belgrade Vukovi|
|2011||CEFL Bowl VI||Budapest||Budapest Wolves||33–34||Belgrade Vukovi|
|2012||CEFL Bowl VII||Belgrade||Belgrade Vukovi||21–34||Ljubljana Silverhawks|
|2013||CEFL Bowl VIII||Belgrade||Belgrade Vukovi||42–0||Kragujevac Wild Boars|
|2014||CEFL Bowl IX||Ivančna Gorica||Ljubljana Silverhawks||17–27||Belgrade Vukovi|
|2015||CEFL Bowl X||Novi Sad||Novi Sad Dukes||25–23||Belgrade Vukovi|
|2016||CEFL Bowl XI||Graz||Graz Giants||52–49||Belgrade Vukovi|
|Belgrade Vukovi||6||2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014|
|Kragujevac Wild Boars||1||2006|
|Novi Sad Dukes||1||2015|
|SBB Vukovi Beograd||2006–present|
|Novi Sad Dukes||2006-2010, 2015–2016|
|Kragujevac Wild Boars||2006-2007, 2013-2014, 2017|
|Budapest Cowbells||2008-2009, 2016–present|
|Cineplexx Blue Devils||2009-2010, 2012, 2015–2016|
|Zagreb Patriots||2012, 2016|
|Kranj Alp Devils||2016|
|Swarco Raiders Tirol||2017|
- Note: those in bold are current participants.