Arena 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

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]

The Arena Football League was founded in 1985 as the first successful Indoor Football League. It lasted until 2019 and was the only Arena Indoor Football League to be a Major League or Alternative League to the NFL (National Football League) until the Indoor Football League added Massachusetts Pirates in 2021, thus going Coast to Coast.

USA Division 1 Arena Indoor Football Leagues

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

The Professional Indoor Football League of 1998 was the first Indoor League to challenge the Arena Football League. In 2002 the Arena Football League met ther challenge by creating the af2 – Arena Football 2 League – a second division to the AFL.

USA Division 1 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

USA Division 2 Arena Indoor Football Leagues

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

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.

USA Division 2 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

Champions Indoor Football (Texas & Prairie States)

Champions Indoor Football 2015-Present

2021 2020 2019 

Division 2 Western Arena Indoor Football Leagues 1998-2001

Professional Indoor Football League 1998-2001

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

Champions Indoor Football
Champions Indoor Football

Picture Credit: [9] Champions Indoor Football (2019) logo [Internet] Available from: http://gocif.net/images/logo.png %5BAccessed  26 November 2019]

Leagues primarily located in the Midwest but also taking in parts of the Atlantic, West & Texas.

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

CIF; CIFL: UIF; IFL

American Arena League

American Arena League 2018-Present

American Arena League (Seasons):

2021

Midwest Arena Indoor Football Leagues 2005-2014

Champions Professional Indoor Football League 2013-2014

Continental Indoor Football League 2007-2012

United Indoor Football 2005-2008

Indoor Football League 2000

Division 3 South Arena Indoor Football Leagues

Picture Credit: [3] Supreme Indoor Football Twitter (2017) Profile Picture [Internet] Available from: https://pbs.twimg.com/profile_images/632384925950341121/fcRIgzt5_400x400.png [Accessed 19 February 2020]

Leagues primarily located in the South but also taking in parts of the Northeast & Midwest.

Division 3 South Arena Indoor Football Leagues

LSFL; XLIF; SIF; SIFL; IFL

Elite Indoor Football (Seasons):

2021

National Gridiron League (Seasons):

2020

South East

United Arena League (Seasons):

2021

Supreme Indoor Football 2017

Southern Arena Indoor Football Leagues 2004-2015

X-League Indoor Football 2014-2015

Lone Star Football League 2012-2014

Southern Indoor Football League 2009-2011

Intense Football League 2004-2008

Division 3 West Arena Indoor Football Leagues

Champions Indoor Football
Champions Indoor Football

Picture Credit: [9] Champions Indoor Football (2019) logo [Internet] Available from: http://gocif.net/images/logo.png %5BAccessed  26 November 2019]

Leagues in other smaller markets in USA.

Division 3 West Arena Indoor Football Leagues

Texas; North West; California & South West; South East

North West

American West Football Conference (Seasons):

2020 2019 

Arena Indoor Football Teams

Mexican Arena Indoor Football Leagues (Divisions 1-4)

LEXFA Lega Extrema de Football Americano Logo [References: 1]

Picture Credit: [1] LEXFA Wayback Machine (2020) Lexfa-ORO-2 [Internet] Available from: https://arenafootball.com.mx/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/Lexfa-ORO-2.png [Accessed 8 August 2020]

LEXFA – Lega Extrema de Football Americano is the biggest Arena Indoor Football League in the World comprising four levels of play in Mexico with inter-locking schedules between the Divisions.

LEXFA (Divisions 1-4)

LEXFA

Lega Extrema de Football Americano (LEXFA)

LEXFA season Standings (All Arena Divisions):

2019

LEXFA Spring / Primavera (All Arena Division Standings):

2020

Lega Extrema de Football Americano Mexico

Lega Extrema de Fútbol Arena México (LEXFA) Division I Otoño 2013-2019

Liga Extrema de Football Arena Mexico (LEXFA) Autumn Division II 2013-2016

LEXFA Zona Golfo de Mexico (Seasons): 

Spring 2013

LEXFA Zone Occidente (Seasons): 

Spring 2013

Mexico / USA Arena Indoor Football Leagues

Super 8 Football League Logo

Picture Credit: [5] Super 8 Football League (2018) Super 8 Football League Logo [Internet] Available from: http://super8footballleague.info/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/10378207_1545248759045177_2010222216677056541_n.jpg [Accessed 20 July 2019]

Super 8 Football League

Baja California; California; Nevada; Texas

Super 8 Football League Baja California (Arena):

Super 8 Football League Baja 2012-Present

Super 8 Football League Baja Series (Seasons):

2019

Super 8 Football League West Coast (Arena):

Super 8 Football League West Coast 2016-Present

Super 8 Football League West Coast Series (Seasons):

2020

Super 8 Football League Baja-California-Nevada Tournaments (Arena / Outdoor):

Super 8 Football League Bowls & Tournaments 2010-Present

Arena League 2020

Eight Man Outdoor 2020

Battle 4 San Diego 2019

Copa Tijuana 2017

Winter Bowl 2014  

World Arena Football Leagues

China Arena Football League Logo

Picture Credit: [10] China Arena Football League (2019) CAFL 2019 Competition Medal [Internet] Available from: http://caflfootball.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/CAFL-2019-Competition-Medal-768×768.png [Accessed 10 December 2019]

Arena and Indoor Football Leagues located outside of the USA.

World Arena Football Leagues

CAFL;

World Arena Leagues (Standings and Playoffs)

China Arena Football League 2016-2019

China Arena Football League (Results)

2019

FIAF Italian Federation of American Football (Bowl Results)

Federazione Italiana American Football FIAF Winter League Snowbowl 1992-2002

Ladies Arena Indoor Football

flag of mexico
Photo by Hugo Entrepreneur on Pexels.com

Ladies Arena Indoor Football Leagues (8v8)

LEXFA; S8FL

Indoor or Arena Football Leagues are 8v8 Full Contact Kitted Leagues played in converted Ice Hockey Arenas.

Liga Extrema de Football Arena Mexico Femenil

Liga Extrema de Football Arena Mexico (LEXFA) Femenil 2011-2019

Liga Extrema de Football Arena Mexico (Seasons): 

2011

Super 8 Football League Ladies Baja (Mexico):

Super 8 Football League Ladies Bowls 2016-2017

Super 8 Football League Ladies Championship 2016-2017

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
Photo by Gerardo Aguilera on Pexels.com

X – Legends Football Leagues (7v7 Arena Indoor Leagues)

LFL USA; LFL Global

United States Legends Football League (Bowls)

Legends Football League Legends Bowls 2004-2019

US Legends Football League (Overviews)

Legends Football League United States 2013-2019

Lingerie Football League (Overviews)

Lingerie Football League 2009-2012

Lingerie Bowl 2004-2009

X-League (Seasons): 

2021 * 2020 * (*Cancelled due to Covid)

Legends Football League United States (Seasons):

 2019

World Legends Football Leagues

Legends Football League Global 2012-2014

Legends Football League Pacific Cup 2012-2013

LFL Global (Seasons): 

Australia 2013-14 (Irish-Born Linda Holland) Canada 2012-13 

Legends Football League Australia 2013-2014

Pretty Girls Football League (Mexico – Overviews)

Pretty Girls Football League (Mexico) 2014-2017 (Irish Connection Morrigans CDMX)

Fan Controlled Football

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

Picture Credit: [1] Fan Controlled Football League Facebook (2021) Profile Picture, 19 September 2020 [Internet] Available from: https://www.facebook.com/FCFL/photos/a.1232640490095873/3913614228665139/ [Accessed 28 February 2021]

Fan Controlled Football (7v7)

FCF

Fan Controlled Football (Seasons):

2021

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.

Picture Credit: [4] A7FL Facebook (2020) Photo, August 22, 2020 [Internet] Available from: https://i0.wp.com/www.a7fl.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/A7FLBackInMotionFINAL.png?resize=294%2C300&ssl=1 [Accessed 12 September 2020]

American 7s

American 7s Football League

American 7s Football League (Overview):

American 7s Football League 2015-2019

American 7s Football League (Seasons):

2021 2020

References: [1] A7FL (2020) About [Internet] Available from: https://www.a7fl.com/about-a7fl/ [Accessed 23 May 2020]