Champions Indoor Football
|Current season, competition or edition:
2017 Champions Indoor Football season
|Commissioner||Ricky Bertz (interim)|
|No. of teams||14|
|Most titles||Sioux City Bandits
& Wichita Force (1 title)
|Domestic cup(s)||Champions Cup|
|Indoor Football League
National Arena League
Champions Indoor Football (CIF) is a professional indoor American football league created in 2014 out of the merger between the Champions Professional Indoor Football League (CPIFL) and Lone Star Football League (LSFL), plus one team from the Indoor Football League and two expansion teams.
The Gary Dawgs, originally announced as a charter member of the CIF, rebranded as the Illiana Eagles (now the Chicago Eagles) after a change in ownership and delayed their entry into the league until 2016. On February 21, 2015, the new owners of the New Mexico Stars announced that the team would not enter the league as planned after head coach Dominic Bramante resigned two weeks before the scheduled start of training camp. On March 3, the Albuquerque-based Duke City Gladiators announced they were joining the CIF for the 2015 season and would play an abbreviated 11-game schedule as a partial replacement for the New Mexico Stars. At the end of the regular season, the four teams (ordered by seeding) that made the postseason were the Sioux City Bandits, Texas Revolution, Wichita Force, and Amarillo Venom. On Thursday, June 11, Texas defeated Wichita 39-27. Two days later, Sioux City beat Amarillo 83-52. This pitted Texas against Sioux City in Champions Bowl I on June 20 in Iowa. It was a highly-anticipated event in both Siouxland and the Dallas-Fort Worth area, as the number one offense (Sioux City) faced the top defense (Texas). It was a well-fought game, especially at halftime, as the score was tied 35-35. But a rushing touchdown for eventual Champions Bowl MVP Andrew Prohaska and a Rahn Franklin interception sealed the deal for the Bandits as they defeated the "Revs", 76-61 in front of a raucous crowd of 3,757.
The Mesquite Marshals, Salina Liberty, and Bloomington Edge have announced their entrance into the league, bringing the total amount of teams to 12. The league meetings were on August 19 in Dodge City, Kansas. Many league changes were announced, including Darlene Jones resigning as commissioner citing personal health-related reasons. Ricky Bertz was then appointed interim commissioner, with the help of Indoor Football League Hall-of-Famer, Tommy Benizio (who was the IFL's commissioner). Stephanie Tucker also joined Bertz and Benizio. Also announced at that time was the Northern/Southern divisional alignment. Later, on January 11, 2016, Bertz stepped down to focus on his team's sales, and Randy Sanders was named the interim commissioner. The updated alignment had each division with six teams. The top three teams reaching the playoffs and the team with the best record in each division received a bye in the first round. The division leader would then play the winners of the 2 vs. 3 seeds playoff game.
At the end of the 2016 season the Mesquite Marshals changed their name to the Dallas Marshals. Later, the San Angelo Bandits folded but were immediately replaced by an expansion team called the CenTex Cavalry out of Belton, Texas. The CIF continued to expand for the 2017 season by adding the River City Raiders and West Michigan Ironmen from the recently defunct American Indoor Football and two expansion teams in Kansas City Phantoms and Bismarck Bucks. The CIF has also announced the league will realign from two to four divisions. In November 2016, the Chicago Eagles announced that they had suspended operations for the 2017 season. Following the Eagles departure, the River City Raiders left the league citing the adverse effects on their schedule due to losing a regional opponent, although there had been claims that the Raiders were actually asked to leave due to non-payment of league fees. With the departure of the two teams, the league realigned back into two conferences of seven teams.
During the league winter meetings, Bertz returned to his former position of interim league commissioner. Sonny Clark of the Texas Revolution was named as director of operations.
Map of teams
- Chicago Eagles (Chicago, Illinois) — Played in the CIF in 2016 but suspended operations after one season with hopes to return for the 2018 season.
- San Angelo Bandits (San Angelo, Texas) — Played in the CIF in 2015 and 2016 after joining from the LSFL. Folded and replaced by the CenTex Cavalry for 2017.
- New Mexico Stars (Rio Rancho, New Mexico) — Joined from the LSFL but left the league prior to the start of the 2015 season following the resignation of the team's head coach. The team was most recently a member of the now defunct AIF.
- River City Raiders (St. Charles, Missouri) — Joined from American Indoor Football after the 2016 season. Left the CIF prior to their first season apparently due to non-payment of league fees. However, the Raiders claimed the departure of the Chicago Eagles caused too many adverse effects on their schedule.
- Salina Bombers (Salina, Kansas) — Joined from the CPIFL. Suspended by the league on May 28, 2015, for failing to meet league obligations with one game left to play. The organization folded later the same day.
When the CPIFL started in 2013, the championship game was known as the "Champions Bowl", so the CIF used the same name for their title game.
|Year||Title||Home Team||Away Team||Score|
|2015||Champions Bowl I||Sioux City Bandits||Texas Revolution||76-61|
|2016||Champions Bowl II||Wichita Force||Amarillo Venom||48-45|
- Krieger, Dan (September 22, 2014). "Weekly Sports League and Franchise Report". Our Sports Central. Retrieved October 1, 2014.
- Ewing, Shane (August 22, 2014). "CPIFL and LSFL merger creates league called "Champions Indoor Football"". Wichita, KS: KAKE. Archived from the original on August 27, 2014. Retrieved August 26, 2014.
- "Two indoor football leagues talk merger". San Angelo Standard-Times. San Angelo, TX: Scripps Media, Inc. July 31, 2014. Retrieved August 26, 2014.
- Hamnik, Al (October 14, 2014). "Northwest Indiana's CIFL Dawgs to sit out the 2015 season". The Times of Northwest Indiana. Munster, IN: Lee Enterprises. Retrieved November 26, 2014.
- Burbridge, John (January 23, 2015). "Illiana Eagles set indoor football flight plan for the CIF 2016 season". The Times of Northwest Indiana. Munster, IN: Lee Enterprises. Retrieved February 26, 2015.
- Christ, Bob (February 22, 2015). "NM Stars owners pull plug on season". Albuquerque Journal. Albuquerque, NM. Retrieved February 26, 2015.
- "Sanders Named Interim CIF Commissioner". www.oursportscentral.com. OurSports Central. January 11, 2016. Retrieved January 12, 2016.
- "2017 CIF Schedule". CIF. October 11, 2016.
- "Chicago Eagles suspend operations for the 2017 Season". Chicago Eagles. November 18, 2016.
- "Weekly Sports League & Franchise Report". OurSports Central. November 28, 2016.
- "CIF Announces New Front Office Changes for the 2017 Season". CIF. January 14, 2017.