World Bowl

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For the 1974 championship game of the World Football League, see World Bowl (WFL).
The World Bowl XV trophy in 2007

The World Bowl was an annual American football Championship game, to decide the winning team in each season of the World League of American Football/NFL Europe. The World Bowl was played between 1991 and 2007 each year (except 1993 and 1994).

The game was conceived as the final of the NFL-related spring league, the World League. The first World Bowl was played in 1991 in London. 1995 saw a relaunch of the World League, with the North American teams removed, as it had been unsuccessful there. All subsequent World Bowls were played in Europe between European clubs. The league was renamed NFL Europe in 1998. Thus the only World Bowl to take place outside of Europe was World Bowl '92 in Montreal, Canada.

The World Bowl trophy itself was a globe made of glass measuring 35.5 cm (14 inches) in diameter and weighing 18.6 kg (41 lbs).


When the World League of American Football (WLAF) was founded in 1991, with teams in North America and Europe as well as expansion plans for Asia, the name World Bowl was appropriate. The name was kept after 1995 when the league limited itself exclusively to Europe.

From 1995 to 1997, the World Bowl venue was decided by the standings after 5 weeks of the 10-week season. All venues before, and since, were predetermined before the season. The 2002 World Bowl was hosted in Rhein Fire home town of Düsseldorf as a farewell to the old Rheinstadion. After the new LTU arena was completed, the 2005 World Bowl was hosted there again. It would return in 2006, as a first ever back to back WB site. As Fortuna Düsseldorf spent much of this time in lower tiers of the German soccer pyramid, Düsseldorf was the rare NFL Europe city in which American football held an arguably competitive position.

Nine World Bowls were played on Saturdays and 6 World Bowls were played on Sundays (1991, '96, '97, '98, '99, 2000).

World Bowl (WLAF, NFL Europe, and NFL Europa Championships)[edit]

Date Venue Winner Score Runner-Up MVP
June 9, 1991 World Bowl '91 Wembley Stadium, London, England England London Monarchs 21 – 0 Spain Barcelona Dragons Dan Crossman
Monarchs, Safety
June 6, 1992 World Bowl '92 Olympic Stadium, Montreal, Canada United States Sacramento Surge 21 – 17 United States Orlando Thunder David Archer
Surge, QB
1993 Not Played
June 17, 1995 World Bowl '95 Olympisch Stadion, Amsterdam, Netherlands Germany Frankfurt Galaxy 26 – 22 Netherlands Amsterdam Admirals Paul Justin
Galaxy, QB
June 23, 1996 World Bowl '96 Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh, Scotland Scotland Scottish Claymores 32 – 27 Germany Frankfurt Galaxy Yo Murphy
Claymores, WR
June 22, 1997 World Bowl '97 Estadi Olimpic, Barcelona, Spain Spain Barcelona Dragons 38 – 24 Germany Rhein Fire Jon Kitna
Dragons, QB
June 14, 1998 World Bowl '98 Waldstadion, Frankfurt, Germany Germany Rhein Fire 34 – 10 Germany Frankfurt Galaxy Jim Arellanes
Fire, QB
June 27, 1999 World Bowl '99 Rheinstadion, Düsseldorf, Germany Germany Frankfurt Galaxy 38 – 24 Spain Barcelona Dragons Andy McCullough
Galaxy, WR
June 25, 2000 World Bowl 2000 Waldstadion, Frankfurt, Germany Germany Rhein Fire 13 – 10 Scotland Scottish Claymores Danny Wuerffel
Fire, QB
June 30, 2001 World Bowl IX Amsterdam ArenA, Amsterdam, Netherlands Germany Berlin Thunder 24 – 17 Spain Barcelona Dragons Jonathan Quinn
Thunder, QB
June 22, 2002 World Bowl X Rheinstadion, Düsseldorf, Germany Germany Berlin Thunder 26 – 20 Germany Rhein Fire Dane Looker
Thunder, WR
June 14, 2003 World Bowl XI Hampden Park, Glasgow, Scotland Germany Frankfurt Galaxy 35 – 16 Germany Rhein Fire Jonas Lewis
Galaxy, RB
June 12, 2004 World Bowl XII Arena AufSchalke, Gelsenkirchen, Germany Germany Berlin Thunder 30 – 24 Germany Frankfurt Galaxy Eric McCoo
Thunder, RB
June 11, 2005 World Bowl XIII LTU arena, Düsseldorf, Germany Netherlands Amsterdam Admirals 27 – 21 Germany Berlin Thunder Kurt Kittner
Admirals, QB
May 27, 2006 World Bowl XIV LTU arena, Düsseldorf, Germany Germany Frankfurt Galaxy 22 – 7 Netherlands Amsterdam Admirals Butchie Wallace
Galaxy, RB
June 23, 2007 World Bowl XV Commerzbank-Arena, Frankfurt, Germany Germany Hamburg Sea Devils 37 – 28 Germany Frankfurt Galaxy Casey Bramlet
Sea Devils, QB
  • Note: Roman Numerals were not officially used by NFL Europa until World Bowl IX. Before 2001, the games were billed as World Bowl '99, World Bowl 2000, etc.

Team records[edit]

Team Won Played Winning years Runner-up years
Germany Frankfurt Galaxy 4 8 1995, 1999, 2003, 2006 1996, 1998, 2004, 2007
Germany Berlin Thunder 3 4 2001, 2002, 2004 2005
Germany Rhein Fire 2 5 1998, 2000 1997, 2002, 2003
Spain Barcelona Dragons 1 4 1997 1991, 1999, 2001
Netherlands Amsterdam Admirals 1 3 2005 1995, 2006
Scotland Scottish Claymores 1 2 1996 2000
Germany Hamburg Sea Devils 1 1 2007
England London Monarchs 1 1 1991
United States Sacramento Surge 1 1 1992
United States Orlando Thunder 0 1 1992
Germany Cologne Centurions 0 0
United States Birmingham Fire 0 0
United States San Antonio Riders 0 0
Canada Montreal Machine 0 0
United States New York/New Jersey Knights 0 0
United States Raleigh–Durham Skyhawks 0 0
United States Ohio Glory 0 0

Hosting cities[edit]

City No. hosted Years hosted
Düsseldorf 4 1999, 2002, 2005, 2006
Frankfurt 3 1998, 2000, 2007
Amsterdam 2 1995, 2001
London 1 1991
Montreal 1 1992
Edinburgh 1 1996
Barcelona 1 1997
Glasgow 1 2003
Gelsenkirchen 1 2004

While the Olympic stadiums in Montreal, Amsterdam and Barcelona hosted World Bowls, the league never selected Berlin as a host town, where Thunder played in the Olympiastadion from 2003 to 2007.

Other uses of "World Bowl"[edit]

The former World Football League, a short-lived 1970s competitor to the NFL, was the first to name its championship game the World Bowl. In World Bowl I, the only WFL World Bowl contested, the Birmingham Americans defeated the Florida Blazers 22-21 on December 5, 1974 at Legion Field in Birmingham, Alabama. The game had been scheduled to be played at the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, Florida, but after the Jacksonville Sharks folded mid season the league decided the team with the better record who host the game.

The proposed World Indoor Football League that was to begin play in 1988 also intended on calling its championship the World Bowl. It would have been played on August 29, 1988. The WIFL, however, disbanded eleven days before its season was to begin.

See also[edit]