Champions Indoor Football

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Champions Indoor Football
Current season, competition or edition:
Current sports event 2017 Champions Indoor Football season
Champions Indoor Football 2015 Logo.png
Sport Indoor football
Founded 2014
Founder Ricky Bertz
Stephanie Tucker
Darlene Jones
Inaugural season 2015
CEO Ricky Bertz
Director Sonny Clark
President Tommy Benizio
Commissioner Ricky Bertz (interim)
No. of teams 14
Country United States
Most recent
Wichita Force
Most titles Sioux City Bandits
& Wichita Force (1 title)
TV partner(s) Eversport
Domestic cup(s) Champions Cup
Indoor Football League
National Arena League
Official website

Champions Indoor Football (CIF) is a professional indoor American football league created in 2014 out of the merger between the Champions Professional Indoor Football League (CPIFL) and Lone Star Football League (LSFL), plus one team from the Indoor Football League and two expansion teams.[1]



The merger which formed the CIF was announced on August 22, 2014,[2] after it had been rumored that the CPIFL and LSFL had been in discussions of a possible merger since July 31, 2014.[3]


The Gary Dawgs, originally announced as a charter member of the CIF, rebranded as the Illiana Eagles (now the Chicago Eagles) after a change in ownership and delayed their entry into the league until 2016.[4][5] On February 21, 2015, the new owners of the New Mexico Stars announced that the team would not enter the league as planned after head coach Dominic Bramante resigned two weeks before the scheduled start of training camp.[6] On March 3, the Albuquerque-based Duke City Gladiators announced they were joining the CIF for the 2015 season and would play an abbreviated 11-game schedule as a partial replacement for the New Mexico Stars. At the end of the regular season, the four teams (ordered by seeding) that made the postseason were the Sioux City Bandits, Texas Revolution, Wichita Force, and Amarillo Venom. On Thursday, June 11, Texas defeated Wichita 39-27. Two days later, Sioux City beat Amarillo 83-52. This pitted Texas against Sioux City in Champions Bowl I on June 20 in Iowa. It was a highly-anticipated event in both Siouxland and the Dallas-Fort Worth area, as the number one offense (Sioux City) faced the top defense (Texas). It was a well-fought game, especially at halftime, as the score was tied 35-35. But a rushing touchdown for eventual Champions Bowl MVP Andrew Prohaska and a Rahn Franklin interception sealed the deal for the Bandits as they defeated the "Revs", 76-61 in front of a raucous crowd of 3,757.


The Mesquite Marshals, Salina Liberty, and Bloomington Edge have announced their entrance into the league, bringing the total amount of teams to 12. The league meetings were on August 19 in Dodge City, Kansas. Many league changes were announced, including Darlene Jones resigning as commissioner citing personal health-related reasons. Ricky Bertz was then appointed interim commissioner, with the help of Indoor Football League Hall-of-Famer, Tommy Benizio (who was the IFL's commissioner). Stephanie Tucker also joined Bertz and Benizio. Also announced at that time was the Northern/Southern divisional alignment. Later, on January 11, 2016, Bertz stepped down to focus on his team's sales, and Randy Sanders was named the interim commissioner.[7] The updated alignment had each division with six teams. The top three teams reaching the playoffs and the team with the best record in each division received a bye in the first round. The division leader would then play the winners of the 2 vs. 3 seeds playoff game.


At the end of the 2016 season, the Mesquite Marshals changed their name to the Dallas Marshals. Later, the San Angelo Bandits folded but were immediately replaced by an expansion team called the CenTex Cavalry out of Belton, Texas. The CIF continued to expand for the 2017 season by adding the River City Raiders and West Michigan Ironmen from the recently defunct American Indoor Football and two expansion teams in Kansas City Phantoms and Bismarck Bucks. The CIF has also announced the league will realign from two to four divisions.[8] In November 2016, the Chicago Eagles announced that they had suspended operations for the 2017 season.[9] Following the Eagles departure, the River City Raiders left the league citing the adverse effects on their schedule due to losing a regional opponent, although there had been claims that the Raiders were actually asked to leave due to non-payment of league fees.[10] With the departure of the two teams, the league realigned back into two conferences of seven teams.

During the league winter meetings, Bertz returned to his former position of interim league commissioner. Sonny Clark of the Texas Revolution was named as director of operations.[11]


Team Location Arena Capacity Head Coach Founded Joined
North Conference
Bismarck Bucks Bismarck, North Dakota Bismarck Event Center 10,100 Richard Davis 2016 2017
Bloomington Edge Bloomington, Illinois U.S. Cellular Coliseum 7,000 Ameer Ismail 2006 2016
Kansas City Phantoms Independence, Missouri Silverstein Eye Centers Arena 5,800 Chris Coffin 2016 2017
Omaha Beef Ralston, Nebraska Ralston Arena 4,000 Cory Ross 2000 2015
Salina Liberty Salina, Kansas Tony's Pizza Events Center 7,583 Mike Bonner 2016 2016
Sioux City Bandits Sioux City, Iowa Tyson Events Center 6,941 Erv Strohbeen 2000 2015
West Michigan Ironmen Muskegon, Michigan L. C. Walker Arena 5,100 Tyrese Lynk 2015 2017
South Conference
Amarillo Venom Amarillo, Texas Amarillo Civic Center 4,912 Julian Reese 2004 2015
CenTex Cavalry Belton, Texas Bell County Expo Center 6,559 Michael Finney 2016 2017
Dallas Marshals Mesquite, Texas Mesquite Arena 7,000 Larry Hendrix, Jr. 2016 2016
Dodge City Law Dodge City, Kansas United Wireless Arena 5,500 Sean Ponder 2014 2015
Duke City Gladiators Albuquerque, New Mexico Tingley Coliseum 9,286 Dominic Bramante 2015 2015
Texas Revolution Allen, Texas Allen Event Center 6,006 Victor Mann 2000 2015
Wichita Force Wichita, Kansas Intrust Bank Arena 13,450 Paco Martinez 2015 2015

Map of teams

Current CIF team locations (Northern Division teams in blue; Southern Division teams in red)

Former teams

Champions Bowl

When the CPIFL started in 2013, the championship game was known as the "Champions Bowl", so the CIF used the same name for their title game.

Year Title Home Team Away Team Score
2015 Champions Bowl I Sioux City Bandits Texas Revolution 76-61
2016 Champions Bowl II Wichita Force Amarillo Venom 48-45


  1. ^ Krieger, Dan (September 22, 2014). "Weekly Sports League and Franchise Report". Our Sports Central. Retrieved October 1, 2014. 
  2. ^ Ewing, Shane (August 22, 2014). "CPIFL and LSFL merger creates league called "Champions Indoor Football"". Wichita, KS: KAKE. Archived from the original on August 27, 2014. Retrieved August 26, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Two indoor football leagues talk merger". San Angelo Standard-Times. San Angelo, TX: Scripps Media, Inc. July 31, 2014. Retrieved August 26, 2014. 
  4. ^ Hamnik, Al (October 14, 2014). "Northwest Indiana's CIFL Dawgs to sit out the 2015 season". The Times of Northwest Indiana. Munster, IN: Lee Enterprises. Retrieved November 26, 2014. 
  5. ^ Burbridge, John (January 23, 2015). "Illiana Eagles set indoor football flight plan for the CIF 2016 season". The Times of Northwest Indiana. Munster, IN: Lee Enterprises. Retrieved February 26, 2015. 
  6. ^ Christ, Bob (February 22, 2015). "NM Stars owners pull plug on season". Albuquerque Journal. Albuquerque, NM. Retrieved February 26, 2015. 
  7. ^ "Sanders Named Interim CIF Commissioner". OurSports Central. January 11, 2016. Retrieved January 12, 2016. 
  8. ^ "2017 CIF Schedule". CIF. October 11, 2016. 
  9. ^ "Chicago Eagles suspend operations for the 2017 Season". Chicago Eagles. November 18, 2016. 
  10. ^ "Weekly Sports League & Franchise Report". OurSports Central. November 28, 2016. 
  11. ^ "CIF Announces New Front Office Changes for the 2017 Season". CIF. January 14, 2017. 

External links

  • Official website
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