Polish American Football League
|Current season, competition or edition:
2016 PLFA season
|Inaugural season||2006 season|
|No. of teams||21|
|Panthers Wrocław (2nd title)|
|Most titles||Giants Wrocław (3 titles)|
The Polish American Football League or shortly PLFA (Polish: Polska Liga Futbolu Amerykańskiego) is a structured system for the American football competitions in Poland founded in 2006 by the Polish federation PZFA. In 2012, the Topliga was created as a major league with a bid (invitation) rule. The remaining teams are divided into two leagues (PLFA I and PLFA II) between which there is promotion and relegation. There are two eight-man football competitions: PLFA 8 for reserve teams and smaller clubs, and PLFA J for under-17 players.
The top four teams from the Topliga regular season enter the playoffs and the winners meet in the championship game called the SuperFinał (more commonly known as the Polish Bowl). The PLFA I championship game is called the PLFA Cup Game.
In the 2013 season there were 74 teams in 5 leagues. 57 teams played 11-man football (8 teams in the Topliga, 8 teams in the PLFA I and 21 teams in the PLFA II) and other 37 teams played 8-man football competitions: 20 senior teams and 17 junior teams). The TopLiga and PLFA I are divided into two divisions, PLFA II into three divisions, and PLFA 8 and PLFAJ into five divisions based on geographical reasons.
American football is arguably the fastest growing sport in Poland, which appeared in Poland in 1999, when a pioneer initiative was established in Warsaw. The Polish American Football Association (Polish: Polski Związek Futbolu Amerykańskiego or PZFA) was created in November 2004, initiated by the first two American football teams: Warsaw Eagles and 1. KFA Wielkopolska. Its founding was a response to the dynamic growth of the American football movement in Poland.
The first game between Polish teams (still without professional equipment) was played in December 2005 in Poznań. The first international game, officiated by professionals, was played in March 2006 – The Warsaw Eagles took on Czech team Pardubice Stallions in a game played in Warsaw. From that moment on, teams began to be established in different parts of the country.
The Polish American Football League started in October 2006 with just 4 teams. There were 9 teams competing for the second championship in 2007. In 2008, the league split into two divisions - PLFA I (8 teams) and PLFA II (9 teams). There were 22 teams competing for the 2009 season and 21 for the 2010 season. 2011- 34 teams, 2012- 42 teams, and 2013- 74 teams.
The regular season in the Topliga starts in March/April and ends in June/July. Each team plays nine games competing against every other team in the division (4 or 5 home games and 5 or 4 away games). A team is awarded two points for a win, one point for a tie, and zero points for a loss (a tie only occurs if the overtime can not be played). After a regular season, the top four teams qualify for the play-offs (1st place against 4th place and 2nd against 3rd) and the Semi-Final winners meet in the championship game called SuperFinal; there is no 3rd place game.
- 12-minute quarters
- minimal field markings
- unsportsmanlike conduct for excessive celebration after plays, similar to the NFL rules
- no Instant replay
|Season||PLFA I||PLFA II||—||PLFA 8
|2007||The Crew Wrocław||—||—||—||—|
|2008||Warsaw Eagles||Lowlanders Białystok||—||—||—|
|2009||Silesia Miners||Zagłębie Steelers||—||—||—|
|2010||Devils Wrocław||Bielawa Owls||—||—||—|
|2011||The Crew Wrocław||Warsaw Spartans||—||Warsaw Eagles B||—|
|Season||Topliga||PLFA I||PLFA II||PLFA 8
|2012||Seahawks Gdynia||Warsaw Spartans||Tychy Falcons||Seahawks Gdynia||Warsaw Eagles|
|2013||Giants Wrocław||Husaria Szczecin||Królewscy Warszawa||Zagłębie Steelers||Bielawa Owls|
|2014||Seahawks Gdynia||Husaria Szczecin||Silesia Rebels||Warsaw Eagles C||Panthers Wrocław|
|2015||Seahawks Gdynia||Kraków Kings||Outlaws Wrocław||OldBoys Warszawa||Panthers Wrocław|
|2016||Panthers Wrocław||Tychy Falcons||Panthers Wrocław B||OldBoys Warszawa||Bielawa Owls|
|2017||Panthers Wrocław||Warsaw Sharks|
Topliga Teams 2017
- Panthers Wrocław
- Outlaws Wrocław
- Seahawks Gdynia
- Warsaw Eagles
- Tychy Falcons
- Husaria Szczecin
- Lowlanders Białystok