The Irish American Football League has been running since 1986 when the first Shamrock Bowl was played. For the first three seasons the League operated in Ireland only, and then in 1989 became part of the Combined Gridiron League which operated throughout Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales.
In 1990 the League returned to an Ireland-only league, but only in Northern Ireland, with the sole Republic of Ireland representatives, the Dublin Celts, playing in the UK Second Division (NCMMA) and playing a series of exhibition matches against the Northern Irish teams. Following on from the Irish League Final, the Champions of the Irish League played against the Dublin Celts in the Shamrock Bowl.
In 1991 an All-Ireland American Football League was re-established, under the American Football association of Ireland banner, which became the Irish Senior League in 1997, under new management. This was a time when the initial excitement for the new sport faded, and the NFL was no longer on terrestrial TV in Ireland or Britain, and the number of teams dropped to 3 in 1999, and then in 2000 there was no league.
In 2001, a new administration – the Irish American Football Association – re-established the Irish American Football League, as a Winter League in 2001, and a Spring League in 2002, and then in 2003 as ‘Division 1’ with an 8-Man Division 2.
Divisions 1 & 2 were merged into one 11-Man, 6-team IAFL in 2004, and the League expanded to 11 teams by 2008, when a new 8-Man Development League was again re-introduced, to help newer teams starting out, and help existing clubs field second teams.
the Development League became a full 11-Man Second Level in 2013, with the two tiers renamed the Shamrock Bowl Conference & IAFL 1 Conference. A third Tier, the IAFL 2 Conference was introduced in 2014, leading to a 23-team League at its height.
Irish American Football League Bowls
Irish American Football League (Decade/Era Overviews)
Irish American Football League Tiers 2 & 3 (Decade / Era Overviews):
Irish American Football Seasons (Results & Tables):
IAFA Irish American Football League (1986-1991):
AFAI All-Ireland American Football League (1991-1996)
AFAI Irish Senior League (1997-1999):
IAFA Irish American Football League Division 1 (2001-2003):
IAFA Irish American Football League (2004-2012):
IAFA/IAFL Shamrock Bowl Conference (2013-present):
IAFA/IAFL 1 Conference (2013-present):
IAFA/IAFL 2 Conference (2014-present):