IFL Indoor

About Arena Indoor Football

This version of American (or Gridiron) Football has become extremely popular in Mexico.

Indoor Football, also known as Arena Football was developed in 1986 as an 8v8 form of Indoor American Football. After an initial few seasons where the game was developed with a 4 team league, a full seasons League with eventually over a dozen teams was developed in the 1990 which was considered by the Wall Street Journal to be a fifth major.

The Arena Football League over-expanded in the 2000s with a Minor League, and its importance (and number of teams) waned since it first experienced financial diffulties  in 2009, and it ceased operations after the 2019 season due to the legacy debt incurred.

There is now, however, Indoor Football Leagues all over America, all of which would now be considered Minor League or Semi-Pro (AAA, AA, or even A)

Indoor Football is played on a 50-yard field with two 8-yard endzones, and teams have 5 downs (attempts) to reach the endzone or the ball is turned over. 3 of those downs must be passing plays, making Indoor Football highly explosive and high scoring.

The main difference between Arena Football & Indoor Football is the rebound nets either side of the goalposts in Arena Football, which is the only part of the original patent given to the Arena Football League in 1989, that a subsequent ruling in 1998 ruled was copyright, the rest being Football already in other leagues.

7v7 Contact American Football Leagues

This landing page includes links to 7v7 versions of Contact American Football: Legends Football Leagues; American 7s Football League and Fan Controlled Football. Each one of these leagues has had a gimmick associated with it, much like the rebound nets in the original Arena Football League.

The Legends Football Leagues were an “antidote” to the “boring” NFL Super Bowl Halftime Shows as some fans saw it – with female players wearing lingerie initially, and then after complaints crop tops and bicycle shorts. It was aired on rival channels in direct competition with the NFL Super Bowl Halftime Show.

The American 7s Football League is the brainchild of a New Jersey former High School Player, who after High School did not get a College Football Scholarship and continued to play pick-up games of non-pads tackle football in parks. He thought there was a need to codify the non-pads full contact game and it took off from there.

Fan Controlled Football is the latest in the line of 7v7 Football Leagues. This one is more like standard Arena Indoor Football, played in converted Ice Hockey Arenas, but with no kicking and 7v7 rather than 8v8. The big difference is that all fans who have a share in their team can vote online or in the game Arena itself on what plays to use on each and every down.

Note on Grading Systems for League Playing Levels across five Major Sports Leagues

LevelAmerican BaseballUSA College FootballMexican Gridiron FootballEnglish SoccerAmerican Soccer
1Major LeagueDivision I College Football PlayoffLiga MayorFA Premier LeagueMajor League
2AAA LeagueDivision I Football Bowl SubdivisionDivision 1EFL ChampionshipUSL Championship
3AA LeagueDivision I Football Championship SubdivisionDivision 2EFL League 1USL League 1
4A LeagueDivision IIDivision 3EFL League 2USL League 2
5Rookie LeaguesDivision IIIDivision 4National LeagueNational Premier
Grading System for Various Leagues Playing Levels.

Note 3: League in Bold sometimes considered Major Football Leagues.

Major Arena Football Leagues

USA Division 2 Eastern Arena Indoor Football Leagues

The AFL went bankrupt in 2009 following the overextentionof creating af2. While the AFL would return in 2010, the af2 was scrapped and more leagues took over the Division 2 mantle. The Indoor Football League (2009-present) is the most significant of these league and following the cessation of AFL operations in 2019 has taken over the Major Arena Football League position.

ORLANDO – JAN. 24, 2019: Amway Center aerial view at sunset with Orlando modern business district skyline at the background in city of Orlando, Florida FL, USA. This indoor arena is the home to the Or [References: See: 10] PHOTOGRAPHIC CONTRIBUTOR Wangkun Jia Item ID: 2055516044

USA Division 2 East Arena Indoor Football Leagues

IFL; PIFL: NAL

National Arena League (2017-Present)

Formed by former Division 2 Professional Indoor Football League (North East & South) and Division 2 American Indoor Football (North East, Midwest, South & South West) teams

National Arena League 2017-Present

2019 2020

Division 2 Eastern Arena Indoor Football Leagues 2007-2016

Professional Indoor Football League 2012-2015

American Indoor Football 2012-2016 

American Indoor Football Association 2007-2010

Arena Football League af2

ArenaCup 2001: Qu

USA Division 2 Western Arena Indoor Football Leagues

Featured Image: November 25, 2018 San Jose / CA / USA – SAP Center building close to downtown San Jose, south San Francisco bay area; multi-purpose sports and concert venue; home of the San Jose Sharks of the NHL Item ID: 1241602126 Congtributor Sundry Photography [Internet] Available from: https://www.shutterstock.com/image-photo/november-25-2018-san-jose-ca-1241602126 [Accessed 17 March 2022][Edited by Enda Mulcahy for Eirball.ie]

USA Division 2 Western Arena Indoor Football Leagues

IFL; PIFL: NAL

Indoor Football League (2009-Present)

Formed from merger of United Indoor Football (AA Midwest) and Intense Football League (AA South & West) 

Indoor Football League 2013-Present

Indoor Football League 2009-2012

Indoor Football League (Division 1 League)

Indoor Football League (Seasons):

2021 2020 2019

Division 2 Western Arena Indoor Football Leagues 1998-2001

Professional Indoor Football League 1998-2001

D2 Arena Indoor Football Teams

Division 3 North East and Mid-West Arena Indoor Football Leagues

stadium against bridge and rippled river in evening city

Division 3 South Arena Indoor Football Leagues

blue and white plastic packs

Division 3 West and North West Arena Indoor Football Leagues

boise signage

Mexican Arena Indoor Football Leagues (Major League to Division 5)

modern sports arena in nashville at night

Mexico / USA Arena Indoor Football Leagues

white concrete buildings

World Arena Indoor Leagues

a football player tackling the enemy

Ladies Arena Indoor Football

young and pretty millennial athletic girl dressed in a green american football uniform with orange and a background full of plants and trees

Legends Football Leagues

The Lingerie Bowl was first played in 2004 as a rival to the Super Bowl half-time show which was seen by many fans as two long and boring. It was aired on a rival TV network and featured two teams of scantily-clad Women. The Bowl eventually came a fully-fledged league in 2009. The owner of the League admitted it was aimed at beer-drinking college students and following claims of sexism the Lingerie was replaced by bicycle shorts and crop-tops, and the League renamed the Legends Football League. It is 7v7 American Football with very little in terms of protective clothing.

woman wearing shoulder pads

American 7s

The idea for American 7s came to Ryan DePaul late in 2002. His High School Football playing career was over and there was no possibility of playing College Football. He was playing pick-up, no pads or helmet football in parks and thought it needed codifying, so in 2005 he began to develop 7v7 No Pads, No Helmet, Tackle American Football.

From the A7FL website: “The A7FL field size is 100 x 37 yards and does not utilize the field goal posts. The narrower field width increases the pace of the action with fewer men on the field making for vicious hits while the 100-yard length maintains the grind. The quarterback has 4 eligible targets with 2 down linemen. Offenses can run bone or pistol, and there are no blitz restrictions for the defense.” [Internet] Available from: https://www.a7fl.com/about-a7fl/ [Accessed 17 March 2022]

In 2014 he was approached by lifelong friend and entrepreneur, Sener Korkusuz about launching the League to Major League level. Soon afterwards the American 7s Football League was born, starting its first season in March 2015. [Ref: 1]

American 7s is neither 8v8 Arena Indoor Football, nor standard 11v11 American Football, rather a 7v7 hybrid of the two major American formats, played without pads.

shallow focus photo of man playing american football

Fan Controlled Football

Fan Controlled Football is a 7v7 Arena Indoor League where fans decide by vote which plays to make throughout the game.

photo of person dropping a vote