World American Football by Decade and Region
American Football Leagues started around the World in the following order by decade and have been listed in this Index in this order:
World Pro & International American Football
World Pro American Football The first World Professional American Football League was the World League of American Football in 1991.
International American Football The first Internationals were played in 1926
World American Football Leagues
Canadian Football Leagues The Grey Cup, Canada’s Super Bowl was first played in 1909
Mexican American Football The Mexican College Championship, the Premier Competition in Mexico has been played since 1933.
Japan American Football The Rice Bowl, Japan’s Super Bowl, has been played since 1947.
Europe American Football The Italian Championship has been played since 1977, and the Eurobowl, Europe’s Super Bowl since 1986.
American Football Ireland has its own page on Eirball: American Football Ireland
Pacific American Football The first Australian State and New Zealand Provincial Gridiron Championships have been played since 1982.
Asia American Football Asia, being the biggest, most diverse and most populous continent, has discovered American Football at different times:
Korean American Football The Kimchi Bowl, Korea’s Super Bowl has been played since 1995 between the winners of the Tiger Bowl (University Championship) and Gwanggaeto Bowl (Social – Corporate Championship). The National University Championship has been played since 1958
West Asia American Football The first American Football Leagues in countries such as Turkey, Israel and UAE were played from 2001 onwards.
East & South Asia American Football American Football Leagues were first played in China, India and South East Asian Countries such as Malaysia and Philippines in the 2010s.
Latin American Football The first Kitted (Contact) American Football Leagues in South and Central America, other than Mexico appeared in the 2000s
African American Football The first American Football League in Africa was the Egyptian League in 2015.
World Pro American Football
Major American Football Leagues have been played outside of the USA since the World League of American Football in 1991.
[World Pro 1] World League of American Football (2018) WLAF Logo [Internet] Available from: http://www.worldleagueofamericanfootball.com/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderpictures/WLAFlogo.gif [Accessed 23 April 2018]
World Pro American Football Leagues (Bowl Games):
World Pro American Football Leagues (Overviews):
World Pro American Football League Seasons:
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.
[International 1] Ninety-Nine Yards, Chris Lawton (2020) An International Fixture: When the CFL played teams from other leagues [Internet] Available from: https://i0.wp.com/ninetynineyards.com/wp-content/upl
Major American Football Leagues Internationals
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.
Canadian Football League v Major American Football Leagues (1941-1969)
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
AAA Leagues Internationals
Minor American Football Leagues Internationals
US and Canadian Colleges Internationals (1947-Present)
US College Division I Teams Games Abroad:
US College Division III Football Games v World Opposition
US College Division III Football Games Abroad
American Football World Cups
American Football European Championships
American Football Europe Federation European Championships (Editions): 1983
Internationals (Non-USA & Canada)
For more on Irish International American Football see: International American Football (Ireland)
United Arab Emirates:
Canadian Football Leagues
Canadian Football League Major Era (1958-Present):
[Canada 1] Canadian Football League (2019) CFL Logo [Internet] Available from: https://www.cfl.ca/wp-content/themes/cfl.ca/images/og-image-default.jpg?_t=201902271522 [Accessed 20 May 2019]
Canadian Football League Timelines:
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.
Canadian Semi-Pro Football Leagues:
Northern Ontario & Quebec
Alberta Football League (Seasons): 2019
Canadian Junior Football League (Amateur):
[Canada 3] Canadian Junior Football League | Facebook (2011) CJFL Profile Picture: March 3, 2011 [Internet] Available from: https://scontent-dub4-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t31.0-8/s720x720/172369_166507693399012_2554406_o.jpg?_nc_cat=108&_nc_eui2=AeEmInrSy7Bp5Q4nj_j07-ZNBsVadK5KjxZ41fzEaVCISv70yVik13v0v3zYpBxRgsfUNu-p8l9wNdwiUtbFgjxmLVz-GqrX6CXGQ0Q1t3vEOg&_nc_ohc=qW-lYWvPX78AQld50UAOtsqMmpIdM9heSa3xodVrfPzv-6YUYkLSkRtlA&_nc_ht=scontent-dub4-1.xx&oh=6d635c510b3954231714cee2128f1767&oe=5E6D4BE8%5BAccessed 20 December 2019]
Atlantic Football Leagues
Quebec Provincial Championships
Quebec Football Leagues (Rivals):
Ontario Junior Football Leagues
Ontario Football Leagues (Universities and Colleges):
Canadian Shield / Prairie (Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba):
Manitoba Junior Football Leagues
Prairie Conference (Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba)
Canadian Football Leagues Internationals
Canadian Football League Internationals:
Canadian Semi-Pro Provincial Leagues International:
Canadian U21 Teams International:
Mexican American Football
 Liga Football Americano Mexico (2019) LFA 2018 Logo [Internet] Available from: https://i1.wp.com/lfa.mx/2018/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/LFAlogonew.png?fit=734%2C734&ssl=1 %5BAccessed 1 August 2018]
Major Mexican American Football Leagues:
AAA Mexican American Football Leagues:
Mexican College American Football
Mexican v USA College Bowls
Mexican College Bowls
ONEFA Liga Mayor (Major League)
 ONEFA (2020) ONEFA Logo [Internet] Available from: https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/proxy/PpcJl5QlfPoMSO4T5EdZd4ou8LwusCaoqw0_cjYcC2_CTplUWHkQJTa9S-DKMPI-FrkqeXFWoppz6Rha95yr [Accessed 11 May 2020]
CONADEIP Primera Fuerza (Premier League)
Mexican Junior College American Football
 CONADEIP (2019) logo [Internet] Available from: http://conadeipfba.org.mx/images/logo.png [Accessed 15 December 2019]
CONADEIP Categoria Juvenil Finals
CONADEIP Categoria Juvenil (Junior College)
Federation Mexicana de Football Americano
Mexican State Leagues:
Edomex (Estado de Mexico):
Indoor 8-v-8 Mexican Arena Leagues
Liga Extrema se Football Arena (LEXFA)
Liga Extrema de Football Arena Mexico
Liga Extrema de Futbol Arena Mexico
LEXFA Zona Golfo de Mexico (Seasons): Spring 2013
LEXFA Zone Occidente (Seasons): Spring 2013
Super 8 Football League
 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]
Baja California (Arena):
Southern California-Nevada (Arena):
Baja-California-Nevada Tournaments (Seasons):
Super 8 Football League Tournaments (Seasons):
Mexican Women’s American Football
FXF Football Xtremo Femenil:
Liga Extrema de Futbol Arena Mexico Femenil (LEXFA)
LEXFA Torneo FXF (Seasons): 2011
Legends Football Leagues
Mexican Flag Football
Liga Extrema de Futbol Arena Mexico (LEXFA)
LEXFA Zona Caribe: Summer 2011
Japan American Football
American Football was first introduced to Japan in the 1930s, although it was not until after WWII, that it was played competitvely, with the Rice Bowl, Japan’s version of the Super Bowl, being played between the Universities since 1947, and since 1984 between the University Champions and the Social Champions (Business League – currently X-League).
There is also a third League in Japan, which is the Private Club League, opening up American Football to non-students and Corporate Workers. The JPFF (Japan Private Football Association) organises the Ocean Bowl between the JPFF East and JPFF West Champions.
Japan Rice Bowl (Universities v Social Champions):
[Japan 2] X-League (2020) X-Logo [Internet] Available from: https://s3-ap-northeast-1.amazonaws.com/xleague/images/xlogo.png [Accessed 7 January 2020]
Japan X-League (Social League)
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):
Private Club Championships
[Japan 3] Japan Private Football Association East (2020) JPFF Logo [Internet] Available from: https://image.jimcdn.com/app/cms/image/transf/dimension=79×10000:format=jpg/path/sce5a977e2e10f41a/image/i123385dd37d4d78c/version/1473861071/image.jpg [Accessed 10 May 2020]
Japan Private Football Association JPFF (Private / Clubs League):
Europe American Football
The first American Football European Championships were held in 1983, at Vince Lombardi Stadium, Castelgiorgio, Italy. Italy beat Finland 18-6 in the Final.
AFEF European Championships (Editions): 1983
National Football League International & Development Leagues (Major & AAA – Levels 0 & 1):
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.
US Pro Leagues in Europe (Major League):
European & International Pro & Semi-Pro Weekly Football Leagues (Level 0):
American Football League of Europe (Seasons): 1995
European League of American Football (Seasons): 1993
European Football Associations & the Eurobowl (AAA Level 1 & AA Level 2)
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 (Eurobowl):
European Federation of American Football Eurobowl (Level 1): 1994
IFAF Europe European Football League (Level 2): 2016
Western Europe (A Level 3):
There has been Regional Tournaments in Western Europe since the Four Nations Bowl (England, Ireland, Scotland & Wales) in the 1990s and then the Charleroi Trophy (Belgium, Netherlands, Ireland) in the early 2000s. This was replaced by the Atlantic Cup in 2009, which ran until 2017 when the Belgian & Dutch Champions made the step up to European Football League Level.
Western European Club Championships (Level 3) (Overviews):
Western European Friendlies (Seasons): 1986
Four Nations Bowl (Seasons): 1992
Northern Europe (A Level 3):
The Scandinavian Cup, played in the 1990s between the winners of the Swedish, Norwegian, Danish & Finnish Leagues, is the oldest of the Northern European Regional Tournaments. It has since been replaced by the Northern European Football League, featuring the British Champions too.
Nothern European Friendlies (Level 3): 1986
Central Europe (A levels 3 & 4):
Central European Competitions have included the Challenge Cup (EFAF Era) and more recently the Central European Football League. These competitons have pitted the Champions of – at times – Austria, Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Serbia, Croatia, Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey – against each other in two levels as it currently stands.
Central European Football League Bowl (A level 3): 2018
Central European Football League Cup (A- level 4) 2018
The earliest National Leagues in Europe were the ones in Italy (1977), Germany (1979) and Finland (1979) and have since grown to include just about every Country in Europe.
National Bowl Games:
EFAF AMPRO European Top 20 (end-of-season Rankings): 1995
Celtic National Leagues
As this is an Irish Sports Archive there is much more on American Football Ireland covered, so Ireland has its own page at: American Football Ireland
Britain: Level 1:
British American Football Merit League (Seasons): 1984
Britain Level 2:
British American Football Non-Merit Table (Seasons): 1984
Britain: 5th Level:
Britain: British Colleges & Universities Football:
British: Youth Kitted
National Passball League
English Regional Leagues
North England: Yorkshire Rose Winter League (Seasons): 1993
North England Friendlies (Seasons): 1994
Midlands: West Bromwich Sevens Tournament (Seasons): 1993
Home Counties: Home Counties Friendlies (Seasons): 1993
South England: Christine Crawley Charity Cup (Seasons): 1993
West Country: Oxford Passball Tournament (Seasons): 1993
English Senior Flag Football
English Junior Flag Football
Youth Flag Football (South East England) (Seasons): 1993
Junior Gridiron League Junior League (9-15 yo) (Seasons): 1995
English Youth Two Touch Football
Junior Gridiron League Youth Two Touch League (South England) (Seasons): 1993
Junior Gridiron League Junior Two Touch League (South Britain) (Seasons): 1993
Scottish American Football Leagues
Scottish Flag Football Leagues
Wales Friendlies (Seasons): 1993
Wales Friendlies (Seasons): 1993
British & English National Leagues
West European National Leagues
North European & Scandinavian National Leagues
German Football League (Seasons): 1993
Finnish American Football Association Men’s League (Seasons): 2018
Southern European National Leagues
Liga Portuguesa de Futebol Americano (Seasons): 2020
Campeonato Nacional (Seasons): 2019
Catalan League of American Football (Seasons): 1995
Central & East European National Leagues
Austria (FA, AFBOe)
Oceania American Football
Since the 1980s American Football Leagues have been organised in Australia & New Zealand, with State Leagues in each of Australia’s six states as well as the Australian Capital Territory (Canberra) and Leagues in three of New Zealand’s Provinces.
In addition Australian States play for the Outback Bowl, and the Champions of each State and Territory play in the Southern Cross Tournament for the right to call themselves Australian Club Champions. New Zealand’s Provinces also play for the National Provincial Championship.
Pacific American Football Leagues:
[Australia 1] Gridiron Australia Twitter (2020) Profile Picture, svQ6AuTx_400x400 [Internet] Available from: https://pbs.twimg.com/profile_images/1038406427881041920/svQ6AuTx_400x400.jpg [Accessed 4 July 2020]
Australian State Championships:
Australian Inter-State Millennium Tournament (Seasons): 2000
Australian Capital Territory Gridiron League
Gridiron New South Wales
Gridiron New South Wales Mens Competition (Seasons): 1989
Gridiron New South Wales Mens AA Competition (2nd Division) (Seasons): 1989
Gridiron South Australia
Gridiron West (Western Australia)
[New Zealand 1] Gridiron NZ Wayback Machine (2001) head_left [Internet] Available from: https://web.archive.org/web/20010118001900im_/http://gridiron.co.nz/images/head_left.gif [Accessed 4 July 2020]
Gridiron New Zealand
GNZ National Provincial Championship (Seasons): 2000
American Football Auckland
Auckland Premier Gridiron League (Seasons): 1999-2000
American Football Canterbury
American Football Canterbury (Seasons): 2018
American Football Wellington
American Football Wellington (Seasons): 2019
Asia American Football
American Football was first introduced to Japan in the 1930s, although it was not until 1947 that it was played regularly, with the Rice Bowl, Japan’s Super Bowl played since 1947. Japan is so big on American Football it has its own page on Eirball at: Japan American Football
American Football was then introduced to Korea in the 1950s, South East Asia in the 1960s, West asia in the 2000s and China and India in the 2010s.
Korea American Football
American Football has been played in Asia since the 1950s. The Kimchi Bowl is their version of the Super Bowl and has been played since 1995 between the winners of the University Championship (Tiger Bowl) and Social Championship (Corporations) (Gwanggaeto Bowl).
The National University Championship has been played since 1958 and since 1995 is known as the Tiger Bowl.
The Gwanggaeto Bowl is the Championship Game of the Social Championship (Corporations).
Kimchi Bowl (Social Champions v University Champions):
Tiger Bowl (National University Championship):
Korea American Football Club Association (Arena Football):
A-League (Seasons): 2019
B-League (seasons): 2019
West Asia American Football
American Football started in countries like Israel, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and Kazakhstan in the early 2000s.
Turkiye Amerikan Futbolu Kurlu Turkey Tournament (Seasons): 2001
United Arab Emirates:
East & South Asia American Football
American Football Leagues started in countries like China, India, Philippines and Malaysia in the 2010s. For Japan, where the Rice Bowl, their equivalent of the Super Bowl which started in 1947 see: Japan American Football and for Korea, where their National University Championship started in 1958 see: Korea American Football.
For West Asia, where American Football started in countries like Turkey & Israel in the 2000s, see: West Asia American Football
China Arena Football League (seasons): 2019
Philippines American Football League (Seasons): 2019
Malaysia American Football Association Flag Football Rose Bowl (Seasons): 2019
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.
Note: As Mexico is so big on American Football it has its own section: For more on Mexican American Football Leagues (Including Professional, College and State Leagues) see: Mexican American Football Leagues
Liga Asociacion Guatemalteca de Football Americano (Overviews):
Campeonato Estadiaus (State Championships)
Amazonas Campeonato Amazonense (Seasons): 2019
Candango (Goias-Brasilia) Campeonato Candango (Seasons): 2019
Santa Catarina Campeonato Catarinense (Seasons): 2020
Carioca (Rio de Janeiro) Campeonato Carioca de Futebol Americano (Seasons): 2019
Gaucho (Rio Grande do Sul) Campeonato Gaucho de Futebol Americano (Seasons): 2020
Mato-Grosseto Campeonato Mato-Grossense de Football Americano (Seasons): 2018
Paulista (Sao Paulo) Sao Paulo Football League Diamond Series (Seasons): 2019
Mineiro (Minas Gerais) Minas Gerais Football League (Seasons): 2020
Football Americano Argentina Liga Mayor (Overviews):
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.
EFAF Egyptian National Football League (Overviews):