8v8 & Junior Kitted Football
DV8 (8 v 8 American Football) was first developed in the USA for smaller High schools & Colleges so they could play American Football. In Ireland it is primarily used for Junior Kitted American Football League (15-19 Year-Olds), Smaller Towns (DV8 Development League) or 2nds Teams of full 11-v-11 American Football teams (DV8 Development League also).
Junior / Youth Kitted American Football
The first Junior / Youth Kitted American Football League was created in 1991, when the Northern Ireland Junior American League made the step up from Two-Touch to Kitted. It lasted two seasons, and from then the Ballymena Wolfhounds played international exhibition games against British opposition as they had no opposition in Ireland.
In the 2000s there were a number of exhibition games played among Junior Kitted teams, and in 2013 the first IAFA Junior Kitted Programme was officially launched, with a 7-team League, playing 7v7, 8v8, 9v9 Kitted Football (depending on the numbers on the day) in 2019.
There has also been 6v6 Junior Kitted American Football.
Junior / Youth Kitted Finals
Junior / Youth Kitted American Football (Decade / Era Overviews):
Junior / Youth Kitted American Football (Seasons):
Youth Internationals (Club):
AFI Youth League (Seasons): 2020
AFAI Junior Kitted Challenge (Seasons): 1994
NIAFA Northern Ireland Junior American League | Kitted (Preseasons): 1991
Junior Two-Touch American Football (1986-1991)
From 1986 to 1991, before Flags were brought in, there were a number of Junior Two-Touch Leagues organised by regional development bodies, such as the East Coast Junior Football Association (Greater Dublin Area) from 1986 to 1987, and the Northern Ireland Junior American League which ran from 1988 to 1990, when it became fully kitted. In 1991, a Junior Two-Touch American Football Blitz took place in Tymon Park, Tallaght. These Leagues were Two-Touch, although it was only the ball carrier who had to be touched twice, all other ;positions were full contact (i.e. Blocking etc.) [References: Andrew Wilson’s reply to Eirball’s post, March 27, 2020 [Internet] Available at : https://www.facebook.com/eirballenda/posts/2433567573622264?comment_id=2696161900696162¬if_id=1612882525056885¬if_t=feed_comment&ref=notif [Accessed 11 February 2021]
ICAF Junior Touch American Football Blitz (Seasons): 1991
Northern Ireland Junior American League (Preseasons): 1990
DV8 Development League / Blitzes
The first DV8 Development Mini-League was created in 1993, for smaller teams like the Ardee Falcons (Co. Louth), and Dublin Tornadoes Vets (2nds team). Blitzes were played over the following 10 years, with another Mini-League (IAFL Division 2) created in 2003. Again Blitzes were employed up until the creation of the DV8 Development League in 2008, which lasted until 2012, when the League became the full 11v11 IAFL 1 Conference. The DV8 format was then used for the Junior Kitted League.
DV8 Development League (Decade / Era Overviews):
DV8 International Blitz
DV8 International Blitz (Seasons): 1995
DV8 Development League / Blitzes (Seasons):
IAFA Irish American Football League Division 2:
AFAI Development Mini-League: 1993
Early Pre-Pads American Football
Beginning with a match in Banbridge between two teams of specially trained Rugby players for American Indeendence Day in 1983 through to the first Irish American Football League season in 1986, non-kitted contact Football was played between Irish teams due to the huge cost involved in getting helmets and padding imported into the country from USA. By 1987 all teams were now fully kittted and the League played its first full season. The non-kitted version of American Football would have been very like the early days of the NFL or Ohio League from 1900 to 1930s, or more modern day pick-up games in parks throughout the United States. These non-pad, non-helmet pick-up games have recently been codified by the American 7s Football League, which has similar rules to 8v8 Football such as Arena / Indoor Football.