World American Football

Canadian Football Leagues

Canadian Rugby Union (1907-1958)

The Interprovincial Rugby Football Union (IRFU), the Big Four (Hamilton Tigers, Toronto Argonauts, Ottawa Rough Riders and Montreal Football Club), The Grey Cup was donated in 1909 by the Earl of Grey, for which only Canadian Rugby Union members may play for. The CFL’s version of the Super Bowl, and since the 1950s has been in the sole possession of the CFL, when the sport broke away from the Canadian Rugby Union and formed its own League, with the Cup dating back to the late-nineteenth century.

Canadian Football is 12-a-side as opposed to 11-a-side in standard American Football, with a 110-yard field, with two 20-yard endzones (whereas in American Football it is 100-yards long with two 15-yard endzones). in Canadian Football teams also have only three downs (attempts) in which to gain 10 yards before the ball is turned over as opposed to 4 in American Football. There is also the “Rouge” – 1 Point scored when the ball is kicked out the back of the endzone.

For more on Canadian Football, including Minor Canadian Football Leagues, matches played between Canadian teams and other countries teams, and Internationals featuring Canadian U21 and Minor League teams see https://eirball.ie/canadian-football-leagues/

Canadian Football League 1950-1959

Canadian Football League Internationals:

National Football League v Canadian Football League 1950-1969

Canadian Football League Major Era (1958-Present):

Canadian Football League 1993-1995

Canadian Football League 2001-2009

Canadian Football League (Seasons):

2019 2020

Canadian Football League Timelines:

Canadian Football League Timeline 1869-present

Canadian Football League Expansion 1869-present

Mexican American Football Leagues

for more on Mexican American Football, including State Leagues, and 8-v-8 Leagues across the US-Mexican Border see https://eirball.ie/mexican-american-football-leagues/

Mexican Pro-Leagues:

Major Mexican American Football Leagues:

Liga Futbol Americano (Mexico) 2016-2019

Liga Football Americano (Mexico) (Seasons): 2016 2019 2020

AAA Mexican American Football Leagues:

Futbol Americano de Mexico 2019-Present

Futbol Americano (Mexico) Asociacion 2014-2016

Futbol Americano de Mexico (Seasons): 2020 2019

Mexican College American Football

Mexican College Bowls:

Tazon Azteca (Aztec Bowl – Mexican v US American Football) 1947-Present

Organizacion Nacional Estudiantil de Futbol Americano (ONEFA Mexico) | Campeones Nacional de Liga Mayor 1933-2017

Organizacion Nacional Estudiantil de Futbol Americano ONEFA Liga Mayor (Overviews):

Organizacion Nacional Estudiantil de Futbol Americano Liga Mayor Conferencia de los Diez Grandes (ONEFA Mexico Major League Big 10) 1996-1999

Japan American Football

Japan Rice Bowl (Universities v Social Champions):

Japan American Football Association | Japan American Football Championship | Rice Bowl 1984-2019

Japan X-League (Social / Business League)

Japan American Football Association | X-League 2017-2019

Japan Universities (Student Leagues)

North Japan University Championship (Japan) Pine Bowl 2012-Present (Tohuku Region v Hokkaido University)

Tohoku Collegiate American Football Association TCAA (Japan) Champions 1976-Present (Tohoku Region – Northeast Japan)

Tohoku Collegiate American Football Association (TCAA – Northeast Japan – Seasons):

2019-20 2018-19

Japan Private Football Association JPFF (Private / Clubs League):

Japan Private Football Association JPFF All Japan Championship Ocean Bowl 2016-Present

International American Football

The first match that could be described as an International Gridiron or American Football mstch is the one between two AFL teams in Canada in 1926. Following this the NFL and AFL played a series of matches between the Leagues in the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s.

In 1941 the first Canadian Football League v American Football League matches were held, and in 1950 the first match between a National Football League team and a Canadian Football League team.

Beginning in the 1970s, there were attempts at promoting American Football in Europe, through the Intercontinental Football League, and from there the World. In 1976 the St. Louis Cardinals and San Diego Chargers played in Tokyo. In 1984 two United States Football League teams played in London, and in 1986 the first NFL American Bowl preseason game was held in London.

In 1999 the first World Cup was held, involving USA, Canada, as well as four other Nations which have to qualify through a series of matches.

In 2007 the NFL decided to promote the NFL in London, Mexico City and Toronto with the International Series of Regular Season games, which have run until the present.

For more on International American Football, including Minor League internationals (US & Canadian Teams), Internationals involving Colleges (US & Canada) and Internationals between countries see: https://eirball.ie/international-american-football/

Major American Football Leagues Internationals

American Football League International (1926)

American Football League International 1926

National Football League v American Football Leagues (1927-1937):

Whilst not strictly speaking International matches, the National Football League has also played matches against American Football League teams in the 1920s, 1930s, & 1940s.

National Football League v American Football League 1927-1928

California Winter League 1927-1928

Memphis Tigers | AAA Independent American Football 1929-1933

National Football League v Pacific Coast Football League 1936

Pacific Coast Football Leagues (Seasons): 1927 1928

Canadian Football League v Major American Football Leagues (1941-1969)

Canadian Football League v American Football League Matches 1941-1948

National Football League v Canadian Football League 1950-1969

Major American Football Leagues International (1972-Present)

The National Football League began playing matches abroad in 1950, with a series of matches in Canada and against Canadian opposition, which lasted until 1969. Then it played a match in Paris in 1972, as well as matches in the 1970s in Tokyo in partnership with the Intercontinental Football League. In the 1980s it started playing preseason matches in Europe (the American Bowl) and after the NFL Europe Development League experiment (1991-2007) it scheduled Regular Season NFL games in London, as well as preseason games in Japan, Mexico & Toronto.

In the meantime there has also been matches between NCAA and Minor League teams and teams from Leagues around the World.

National Football League International Games

National Football League Intercontinental 1972-1978

United States Football League | Postseason Exhibition Game in London 1984

National Football League | American Bowl Pre-Season Games in Europe 1986-1997

National Football League American Bowl Preseason Games in Mexico 1994-2001

National Football League International | Regular Season Games in London 2007-Present

Minor American Football Leagues Internationals

Intercontinental Football League European Championship 1976-1978

Proposed American Football League in USSR 1979

Intercontinental Football League European Championship (Seasons): 1978 1977 1976

The Spring League Internationals 2020

American Football World Cups

American Football World Cup:

1999 2003 2007 2011

World Football Leagues (AAA) (1990-Present)

The first American Football teams outside North America were formed in Mexico in the 1930s and Japan soon after WWII.

Mexican & Japanese American Football Leagues are considered Major League as the constitute, along with Canada & USA, the four Major Gridiron Football playing countries.

(see Mexican American Football Leagues and Japanese American Football for more details)

In 1970 the film M*A*S*H with its climactic end sequence featuring an American Football game among GI’s was a big hit in Europe, and the first attempts to start a Pro League on the continent were staged in the early 1970s in the EEC and late 1970s in the USSR. In the Late 1970s and early 1980s the first TV Programmes showing American Football in Europe caused a surge in interest and League, involving mostly European Players have since taken off in most European Countries.

(see European American Football and for more on European American Football, including National Leagues, and the Euro Bowl)

The first American Football Leagues outside the Major 4 of USA, Canada, Mexico and Japan were created in Korea in the 1950s).

Starting in the 1980s the first League started in Australia, then in the 1990s, the CIS (Russia and the former USSR), and South and Central America in the 2000s, and Africa in the 2010s.

These, as well as other Asian Countries are dealt with on this page.

World Pro American Football Leagues (AAA) (1990-Present)

The first attempts to start American Football League with a truly World Outlook were which actually played a game were started in Europe, Canada and USA in 1991: The World League of American Football was the National Football League’s first attempt at starting both a World League and Development League (AAA in American terms). It lasted two seasons an was brought back as a Europe-only League in 1995, which lasted until 2007.

Since then there has been numerous Pro Leagues around the World which have been started by, or have had some involvement with, former NFL Coaches and Players.

International League of American Football 1990 : https://eirball.ie/2020/02/23/international-league-of-american-football-1990/ [E]

World League of American Football 1991-1992

American Football League of Europe 1994-1995 [E]

World League of American Football 1995-1997 [E]

National Football League Europe 1998-2007 [E]

Elite Football league of India 2012

Lingerie Football League Canada 2012-13 [L]

Legends Football League | Australia 2013-2014 [L]

Pretty Girls Football League | Mexico 2017 [L]

China Arena Football League 2016-2019 [AI]

China Arena Football League (Seasons): 2019

Note: [E] Also considered part of the European Football Leagues

[L] Also considered part of the Legends Football Leagues.

[AI] Also considered part of the Arena / Indoor Football Leagues.

European American Football

National Football League International & Development Leagues (Major & AAA):

After the US Air Force & Army Leagues, the National Football League set about promoting the NFL in Europe. In 1970 the film M*A*S*H saw the first mainstream exposure of American Football in Europe with its climactic Football game at the end. Immediately following this there were expressions of interest from Europeans about setting up a League, and what followed was the Intercontinental Football League, which was to feature 6 teams, including the Rome Gladiators, owned by Bruno Beneck, the director of the most popular TV Sports Show in Italy, who had successfully introduced Baseball 20 years earlier. The League never got off the ground due to the oil crisis and the spectre of Terrorism, but the IFL continued to promote the game, playing a game in 1972 in Paris featuring NFL players, as well as bringing College teams and Semi-Pro Teams from 1976-1978 to play a best-of-5 European Championship.

TV stations started showing American Football in the late-1970s and early 1980s and the first Leagues sprang up, including the Rome Gladiators in Bruno Beneck’s Italy. By 1986 the National Football League had begun to play Pre-Season games in London, Barcelona, Berlin and Dublin. The European audiences soon wanted more so the World League of American Football, featuring 3 European teams, 6 American and one Canadian, was started in 1991. It lasted two seasons before being shelved by the NFL due to the lack of interest from American fans in a Development League. The American Football League of Europe, which ran from 1994-1995 filled in the gap in Pro Football, with its mix of start-up teams and teams from the European National Leagues bolstered by American imports.

The World League returned in 1995 as a 6-team Europe-only League and was renamed the NFL Europe League in 1998. After initial success, attendances dwindled – the fans wanted an NFL franchise – so in 2007 the NFL folded the League and focused on promoting the NFL in Europe through the NFL International Series – starting with one NFL Regular Season game a year played in London, growing to 4-per-year by 2020, with the stated intention of putting a team in London permanently by 2022.

For more on European American Football, including AA Leagues (Northern, Western, Southern, Central, Eastern Europe) and National Leagues see https://eirball.ie/european-american-football/

European Pro Football Leagues (Level 1):

Intercontinental Football League 1974-1975

Intercontinental Football League European Championship 1976-1978

Proposed American Football League in USSR 1979

United States Football League | Postseason Exhibition Game in London 1984

National Football League | American Bowl Pre-Season Games in Europe 1986-1997

International League of American Football 1990

World League of American Football 1991-1992

American Football League of Europe 1994-1995

World League of American Football 1995-1997

National Football League Europe 1998-2007

National Football League International | Regular Season Games in London 2007-Present

Intercontinental Football League European Championship (Seasons): 1978 1977 1976

American Football League of Europe (Seasons): 1995

European Football Associations & the Eurobowl (AAA)

The first Eurobowl for European National Champions was played in 1986, governed by the European Football League. The organisation fell apart in 1992, following the expulsion of the United Kingdom, and was replaced by the European Federation of American Football which ran the Eurobowl until 2015 when the German Football League International took over running the sport for one year, being replaced in turn by the Europe Division of the International Federation of American Football, the World Governing Body.

European American Football Level 1 Overviews:

EFL / EFAF Eurobowl 1986-2014: https://eirball.ie/2020/04/15/european-federation-of-american-football-european-football-league-eurobowl-1986-2014/

IFAF Europe Big 6 European Football League 2015-Present: https://eirball.ie/2020/04/15/international-federation-of-american-football-europe-big-6-european-football-league-2015-present/

European Football League Eurobowl (Level 1): 1986 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992

IFAF Europe European Football League (Level 2): 2016

Latin American Football Leagues

This is a record of Latin American Gridiron (American Football) Leagues. American Football is known as Football Americano, or just simply Football, in Latin America, as opposed to Futbol, which is the Spanish name for Soccer.

The sport was first played in Mexico in the late 19th Century, and leagues first started appearing in Mexico in the 1940s. In the 2000s the first Kitted American Football Leagues started in Argentina and Brazil, and are now played everywhere in Latin America.

For more on Mexican American Football Leagues (Including Professional, College and State Leagues) see: Mexican American Football Leagues

Guatemala

Liga Asociacion Guatemalteca de Football Americano (Overviews):

Asociacion Guatemalteca de Football Americano 2015-2017

Argentina

Football Americano Argentina Liga Mayor (Overviews):

Football Americano Argentina Liga Mayor 2012-2019

Asian American Football

American Football has been played in Asia since the 1930s when American teachers in Japan first promoted the game.

Japan:

Japan American Football Association | Japan American Football Championship | Rice Bowl 1984-2019

Korea:

Korea American Football Association | Kimchi Bowl 1995-2017

India:

Elite Football league of India 2012

United Arab Emirates:

United Arab Emirates | International American Football Matches 2012-2018

Pacific American Football Leagues

Since the 1990s American Football Leagues have been organised in Korea, Australia & New Zealand, with the sport spreading to China, India, Turkey and Arab Countries

Pacific American Football Leagues:

Australian Gridiron Leagues (Overviews):

Gridiron South Australia Seniors 1986-1989

New Zealand | American Football Canterbury (Seasons):

2018

Asian American Football Leagues:

Korea (Overviews):

Korea American Football Association | Kimchi Bowl 1995-2017

China (Overviews):

China Arena Football League 2016-2019

China Arena Football League (Seasons):

2019

Elite Football League of India (Overviews): 

Elite Football league of India 2012

Arab American Football Leagues:

United Arab Emirates (Overviews):

United Arab Emirates | International American Football Matches 2012-2018

African American Football Leagues

The Egyptian American Football league is currently the only fully kitted contact American Football League in Africa, although there are Flag Football Leagues (Tag) in Egypt, Morocco and Ivory Coast.

Egypt

EFAF Egyptian National Football League (Overviews):

Egyptian National Football League Egyptian Bowl 2015-Present