American Expeditionary Force (1918-1919), US Armed Forces Football (World), World Gridiron

American Expeditionary Force Football League 1918-1919

AEFFL 1918-19

DateVenueWinning TeamRunners-Up
SOS Football Championship
25.12.1918Saint-Pierre-des-Corps (Fra)Saint-Nazaire17Bordeaux0
First Army DivisionPlayoff
25.12.1918Tonnerre (Fra)Panther (36th) Division38Lightning (78th) Division0
First Army Division Championship
31.12.1918Tonnerre (Fra)Panther (36th) Division20Blue Ridge (80th) Division0
AEF Championship
19.01.1919Colombes Stadium (Fra)Saint-Nazaire12Panther (36th) Division0

Reference: [1]

AEFFL 1919

How they Qualified:

First Army: 36th (Panther) division won 3-0 in a replay against First Army Corps

Second Army: After a marathon qualification series 7th (Hourglass) Division were declared Champions over the 28th (Keystone) Division based on Yards gained after the game finished level.

Third Army: the 89th (Rolling W) Division beat the 4th (Ivy) Division 14-0 in the Final.

S.O.S. Base Sections: Saint-Nazaire, the unofficial Champions of 1918, were given an automatic Playoff berth.

S.O.S. Intermediate Sections: SOS Tours won the Final 19-0 against SOS Base Section 2.

General Headquarters: GHQ Chaumont and GHQ Le Mans got the Final two Playoff births having played almost no Qualification games.

DateVenueWinnersRunners-Up
Quarter-Finals
14.03.1919Colombes Stadium, Paris89th (Rolling W) Division13Saint-Nazaire0
15.03.1919SOS Tours25GHQ Chaumont0
15.03.1919Auteil Velodrome, Paris36th (Panther) Division13HQ Le Mans0
Semi-Finals
21.03.1919Bar-sur_Aube Stadium36th (Panther) Division77th (Hourglass) Division0
22.03.1919Auteuil Velodrome, Paris89th (Rolling W) Division17SOS Tours3
AEFFL Championship
29.03.1919Velodrome Parc des Princes, Paris89th (Rolling W) Division1436th (Panther) Division6

Reference: [1]

Report

The American Expeditionary Force, before heading home from World War I, played a series of morale-boosting games at the end of 1918 and first half of 1919.

In the Unofficial 1918 Championship, matches were played on Christmas Day & New Year’s Day deciding the Service of Supplies (SOS) and First Army Divisions Championships, with a Final following this on the 19th January 1919, which was won 12-0 by SOS Saint-Nazaire.

The following Spring (1919), the remaing Army men in France were not due to return home until July, so the General of the Armed Expeditionary Force, General John J. Persching, gave General Order 241, which stipulated the formation of sports Championships in American Football, Baseball, Basketball, Soccer, Track & Field and Boxing. No one could not participate and the slogan was “Everybody in the game!”.

A budget of $1 Million (doubled to $2 Million by Washington) was made for uniforms – the Equivalent of $27 Million in 2014.

The Championships were organised in Qualifying Rounds for the Various Armies and Divisions, with Playoffs from Quarter-Finals onwards played at large Stadiums in Paris. A Total of 1, 335, 732 Football Players and Spectators took part in the Football Section, making it the Most popular, just ahead of boxing.

The Championship was won by the 89th (Rolling W) Division 14-6 over the 36th (Panther) Division.

These were among the earliest documented Football games in Europe, of the American Code.

References

Bibliography

[11] Foglio, Massimo & Ford, Mark L. (2017) Touchdown in Europe How American Football Came to the Old Continent. pg. 21-34. Published by the author.

Acknowledgements

Thanks to Todd Zboyan & Tim Leadingham.

About this document

Researched, compiled and written by Enda Mulcahy for the

Eirball | Irish North American and World Sports Archive

Last Updated: 7 November 2019

(c) Copyright Enda Mulcahy and Eirball 2019

You may quote this document in part provided that proper acknowledgement is given to the authors. All Rights Reserved.

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