List of American football teams in the United Kingdom

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Players from two American football teams during a match. One team is wearing green shirts and gold pants, the other team is wearing red shirts with black pants
The Chester Romans (in red) in action against the Doncaster Mustangs during the BAFL's 2007 season

American football was introduced to the United Kingdom during the early part of the 20th century by American servicemen stationed in the country. The first recorded match took place on 23 November 1910 at Crystal Palace, London, where a team made up of the crew from USS Idaho defeated their counterparts from USS Vermont 19–0.[1][2] During the Second World War, matches were played by American and Canadian servicemen stationed in the UK at venues throughout the country. This included the 'Tea Bowl' game played at the White City Stadium in 1944,[3] and this was followed by the creation of the United States Armed Forces Europe (USAFE) league in 1946. This league consisted of teams from American military bases throughout Europe, with one of the league's three conferences made up of teams based in the UK – teams from this conference won the league championship thirteen times until the competition ceased in 1993.[4][5]

The first teams open to British players were established in 1983, and competition began the following year in the form of a series of one-off games. The match results were compiled into a 'Merit Table', with teams playing more than three games eligible for the championship—the first champions were the London Ravens, who won all ten of their matches.[6][7] Hundreds of clubs have since been formed, playing both full contact football and flag football at senior, university and youth level. Many of these clubs have since folded, renamed or merged with other local teams, but a few of the older clubs survive today.

The sport is administered by the British American Football Association (BAFA), with two main bodies of competition; the BAFA National Leagues (BAFANL) and the British Universities American Football League (operating as part of the British Universities and Colleges Sport competition).

National Football League

As part of the NFL International Series, the National Football League, which otherwise has all of its teams resident in the United States, has one team with a permanent part-time residence in the UK.

Team Location Term Frequency
Jacksonville Jaguars Wembley Stadium, Wembley, London 2013–2020 One game per year

The league also plays neutral-site games in London under the International Series banner. Since 2007, these have all been at Wembley Stadium; beginning in 2018, the neutral-site games will move to the Northumberland stadium currently under construction.

BAFA National Leagues

The BAFA National Leagues (BAFANL) was formed in 2010 by the BAFA in response to the British American Football League's decision to split from the governing body.[8]

The senior league's membership comprises 68 teams based in towns ranging from Newquay in the south of England to Aberdeen in Scotland. The league is split into two regional conferences; the Southern Football Conference (SFC) and the Northern Football Conference (NFC). The teams within each conference are spread across three tiers with promotion and relegation between each level. The bottom two tiers are further divided into regional conferences.[9] The top-ranking teams in each division compete in playoffs culminating in divisional finals—the championship game contested by the top Premier Division teams is known as the BritBowl. The 2017 champions are the Tamworth Phoenix, who defeated the London Blitz 34–28 in the final held at the Sixways Stadium.[10]

In addition to adult contact football, the BAFA runs youth, junior and women's contact football, and also flag football across all age ranges.[11] A number of the teams within the league operate teams across two or more of these competitions. The British American Football Association defines the age ranges used within the league as follows:[12]

Designation Ages (contact) Ages (flag)
Adult 18 and above 16 and above
Women 17 and above 16 and above
Under 19s 16 to 19
Under 17s 14 to 17 17 and below
Under 12s 12 and below
Key
* Team competing in the BAFANL's senior contact league (2017 season)
Team Location Years in senior / adult league 2017 BAFA Adult division[9] 2015 BAFA Adult flag conference / division[13] 2014 BAFA Junior division[14] 2014 BAFA Youth division[15] Other teams[16][17]
Aberdeen Oilcats Aberdeen  — Highland North / North
Aberdeen Roughnecks* Aberdeen 2014–[18] NFC 2 North
Aylesbury Vale Spartans Aylesbury Southeastern / North
Basingstoke Barracudas Basingstoke  — Southeastern / South
Beeston Bears Beeston, Nottinghamshire  — Mid-England / South
Berkshire Renegades* Reading 1985–87, 1989, 2006–2014, 2016—[19] SFC 2 South South East Southern South West
Birmingham Bulls* Birmingham 1984–[20] NFC 1 South Central
Birmingham Lions Birmingham Southwestern / North Central
Blisworth Five Blisworth  — Southeastern / North
Bournemouth Bobcats* Bournemouth 1986–1991, 2011–[21] SFC 2 South South East
Bristol Apache* Bristol 2011–[22] SFC 2 West
Bristol Aztecs* Bristol 1991–[23] Premier South
Buckinghamshire Wolves Marlow Southern South West Youth flag, Cadet flag
Burnley Tornadoes Burnley Associate[24] Mid-England / North North West North
Bury Saints* Bury St Edmunds 2014–[25] Premier South
Calderdale Knights Halifax Mid-England / North
Cambridgeshire Cats* Cambridge 1985–90, 1993–98, 2002–[26][27] SFC 1 Central South
Cardiff Hurricanes Cardiff Southwestern / South
Carlisle Sentinels* Carlisle 2015 NFC 2 Central
Carnegie Reapers Dunfermline  — Highland North / South
Carnegie Steelers Dunfermline  — Highland North / North
Chester Romans* Chester 1987–[28] NFC 2 South North West North
Chichester Sharks Chichester Southeastern / South
Chorley Buccaneers Chorley North West North Youth flag, Cadet flag
Clackmannanshire Ravens Alloa North
Clyde Valley Blackhawks* Wishaw 2009–[29] NFC 2 North
Colburn Black Cats Colburn Associate[24]
Colchester Gladiators* Wivenhoe 1985–95, 2005–[30] SFC 1 Central South Southern South East
Cornish Sharks* Newquay 2007–[31] SFC 2 West Southern South West
Coventry Cougars Coventry Southwestern / North Youth flag, Cadet flag
Coventry Jets* Coventry 1991–93, 2004–[32] NFC 1 South Southwestern / North Central Central Youth flag
Crewe Railroaders* Crewe 1985–90, 2012–[33] NFC 2 South
Doncaster Mustangs* Doncaster 2003–[34] NFC 1 North East North
Dumfries Hunters* Dumfries 2017[24] NFC 2 North
Dunbeth Dragons Coatbridge Highland North / North
Dundee Hurricanes* Dundee 2003–[35] NFC 2 North
Dunfermline Kings Dunfermline  — Associate[24] Highland North / North
Dunfermline Revolution Dunfermline  — Highland North / North
East Essex Sabres* Shoeburyness 2017 SFC 2 East
East Kent Mavericks* Aylesham 2006–[36] SFC 2 East South East
East Kilbride Pirates* Hamilton 1986–[37] Premier North North Scotland
Edinburgh Outlaws Edinburgh Highland North / South
Edinburgh Wolves* Edinburgh 2003–[38] Premier North North Scotland
Essex Spartans* Billericay 1999–[39] SFC 2 East South East Southern South East
Farnham Knights * Farnborough 1986–[40] Premier South South East Southern South West
Gateshead Senators* Gateshead 1986–[41] NFC 2 Central East
Glasgow Hornets Glasgow Highland North / North
Glasgow Tigers* Glasgow 1986–[42] NFC 2 North
Gloucester Centurions Gloucester 2009–2014[43] Southwestern / South
Grangemouth Broncos Grangemouth Highland North / South
Halton Spartans* Widnes 2015 NFC 2 South
Hamilton Buccaneers Hamilton Scotland
Hastings Conquerors* Hastings 2015 SFC 2 South
Hertfordshire Cheetahs* St Albans 1987–[44] SFC 2 South South Southern South East
Highland Wildcats Inverness 2009–2011[29] Associate[24] North Scotland
Horsham Buccaneers Horsham Youth flag
Humber Warhawks* Kingston upon Hull 2015 NFC 2 South
Inverclyde Phoenix Greenock Associate[24] Scotland
Ipswich Cardinals* Ipswich 1987–[45] SFC 2 East
Jurassic Coast Raptors Dorchester 2016[46] SFC 2 West
Kent Exiles* Sidcup 1991–[47] SFC 1 East South East Southern South East
King's Lynn Patriots King's Lynn Associate[24]
Knottingley Raiders* Knottingley 2017 NFC 2 Central
Lancashire Wolverines* Blackburn 1988–2004, 2007–[48] Premier North North West
Lanarkshire Longhorns Wishaw North
Leeds Bobcats* Leeds 2015 NFC 2 Central
Leeds Samurai Leeds  — Mid-England / North
Leeds Tornadoes Leeds  — Mid-England / North
Leicester Eagles Leicester Southwestern / North
Leicester Falcons* Leicester 2008–[49] NFC 1 South Central Central
Leicester Huntsmen Leicester Youth Flag
Lincolnshire Bombers* Lincoln, Lincolnshire 2007–[50] NFC 2 South
London Barracuda London  — Southeastern / South
London Blitz* Finsbury Park 1984–[51] Premier South /
SFC 2 East (London Blitz B)
Southeastern / South South Southern South East Youth flag
London Hornets* Camden Town 2014—[52] SFC 1 Central
London Olympians* Crystal Palace 1984–2007, 2009–[53] SFC 1 Central
London Rebels Kennington Park Southeastern / South
London Vipers Crystal Palace  — Southeastern / South
London Warriors* Boston Manor 2008–[54] Premier South South Southern South East
Maidstone Pumas* Maidstone 1998–2014, 2016—[55] SFC 2 South
Manchester Crows Manchester  — Mid-England / South
Manchester Titans* Manchester 2003, 2005–[56] NFC 1 North Mid-England / South North West North
Mansfield Honey Badgers Mansfield  — Mid-England / South
Merseyside Nighthawks* Birkenhead 1986–[57] Premier North North West
Merthyr Tydfil Thunder Ducks Merthyr Tydfil Southwestern / South
Moray Tide Lossiemouth Scotland
Morecambe Bay Storm* Morecambe 2017 NFC 2 Central
Newcastle Blackhawks Newcastle upon Tyne Highland North / South
Newcastle Vikings* Newcastle upon Tyne 2015 NFC 1 North East North
Northants Knights Northampton Associate[24]
Northants Phantoms Northampton Southwestern / North
Northants Titans Northampton  — Southwestern / North Youth flag
Northumberland Lightning* Ashington 2015 NFC 2 Central
Northumberland Thunder Cramlington  — Highland North / South
Norwich Devils Norwich 1986–2011[58] Associate[24] Southern South East
Nottingham Caesars* Nottingham 1995–[59] NFC 1 South Central
Ouse Valley Eagles* Bedford 2014[60] SFC 1 Central
Oxford Killer Ponies Oxford  — Southwestern / South
Oxford Saints* Abingdon 1984–[61] SFC 1 Central
Pennine Panthers Leeds / Manchester East North
(Two teams)
Peterborough Saxons* Peterborough 2002–[62] NFC Division 2 South
Plymouth Buccaneers Plymouth Southwestern / South
Portsmouth Dreadnoughts* Portsmouth 2014–[63] SFC 2 South
Reading Lions Reading Southeastern / North & South
(2 teams)
Redditch Arrows Redditch 1987-2008 Associate[24]
Rugby Maulers Rugby  — Southwestern / North
Sandwell Steelers* Sandwell 2014–[64] NFC 1 South Central
Sheffield Giants* Sheffield 2010–[65] Premier North Mid-England / South East
Sheffield Vipers Sheffield  — Mid-England / North
Shrewsbury Sentinels Shrewsbury  — Southwestern / North
Shropshire Revolution* Telford 2007–[66] NFC 2 South
Solent Thrashers* Southampton 2005–[67] SFC 1 Central Southwestern / South South Southern South West
Somerset Wyverns Taunton Associate[24]
South London Renegades Southwark South East
South Wales Warriors* Llanharan 1996–99, 2001–[68] SFC 1 Central
Staffordshire Surge* Stoke-on-Trent 1994–[69] NFC 2 South
Standish Raiders Standish North West
Studley Bearcats Studley Youth flag, Cadet flag
Sussex Thunder* Brighton 1997–2013, 2015[70] SFC 1 Central South East Southern South West
Swindon Storm* Swindon 2013–[71] SFC 2 West
Tamworth Phoenix* Tamworth 2008–[72] Premier North Central
Torbay Trojans* Paignton 1984–92, 1997–99, 2014–[73] SFC 2 West
Victoria Park Panthers Victoria Park, London  — Southeastern / South
Walney Terriers* Barrow-in-Furness 2014–[74] NFC 2 Central
Ware Wolves Ware  — Southeastern / North
Welwyn Hatfield Mosquitos Welwyn Garden City Associate[24]
Wembley Five-O Wembley  — Southeastern / North
Wembley Stallions* Wembley 2015— SFC 2 East
West Coast Trojans* Renfrew 2005–[75] NFC 2 North Highland North / North
West Essex Showboats Epping Southeastern / North
West Lothian Astros Livingston  — Highland North / South
Westcliff Storm Westcliff-on-Sea  — Southeastern / North
Woodham Warriors Woodham Highland North / South North
Worcester Royals Worcester  — Southwestern / North
Worcestershire Black Knights* Worcester 2017[76] SFC 2 West
Yorkshire Rams* Leeds 1987–[77] NFC 1 North Mid-England / North

Northern Ireland

Northern Irish teams compete in an amateur island-wide regional competition in Ireland, organised by the Irish American Football League (IAFL). Teams from Northern Ireland compete in the Northern Division of the IAFL. The teams, along with other amateur teams in Northern Ireland and throughout the rest of Ireland, also compete in competitions such as the Shamrock Bowl.

Currently neither of the two universities of Northern Ireland compete in either the British Universities or the IAFL College Bowl.

Team Location Year entered league 2016 division[78]
Belfast Trojans Belfast 2007[79] Shamrock Bowl Conference North
Antrim Jets Antrim 2017[80] IAFL2
Carrickfergus Knights Carrickfergus 1994[81] Shamrock Bowl Conference North
Craigavon Cowboys Craigavon 1986[82] Shamrock Bowl Conference North
Tyrone Titans Omagh 2014[83] IAFL1 North

British Universities and Colleges Sport

The British Universities American Football League (BUAFL) was formed in 2007 by the BAFA after the organisation that ran its predecessor ceased operations.[84][85][86] Since 2012, the league has operated under the jurisdiction of British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS).[87]

The league operates on three tiers – two Premier divisions (North and South) with 6 regional conferences in the lower two tiers – with most teams from the two Premier divisions competing in postseason Championship playoffs. A system of promotion and relegation is used between the three tiers.[88] The two teams that progress through the playoffs compete in the National Championship Final (formerly the College Bowl) which is held at the South Leeds Stadium.[87]

The 2016-17 champions are the Stirling Clansmen, who defeated the Durham Saints 10–7 in the final played at the Sixways Stadium, Worcester.[89]

Team University Location Year entered
league
2017–18 division[90]
ARU Rhinos Anglia Ruskin University Cambridge 2012[91] 2A South East
Bangor Muddogs Bangor University Bangor, Gwynedd 2009[92] 2A North
Bath Killer Bees University of Bath Bath 1992[93] Premier South
Bath Spa Bulldogs Bath Spa University Bath 2010[94] 2A South West
Bedfordshire Bulls University of Bedfordshire Bedford 2017[95] 2A Midlands
Birmingham Lions University of Birmingham Birmingham 1989[96] Premier South
Bournemouth University Bobcats Bournemouth University Bournemouth 2014[97] 2A South West
BNU Buccaneers Buckinghamshire New University Chalfont St Giles 2008[98] 2A South
Bradford Bears University of Bradford Bradford 2011[99] 2A North
Brighton Panthers University of Brighton Brighton 2003[100] 2A South
Bristol Barracuda University of Bristol Bristol 2007[101] 2A South West
Brunel Burners Brunel University Uxbridge 2010[102] 1A South
Cambridge Pythons University of Cambridge Cambridge 2011[103] 1A South East
Canterbury Christ Church Chargers Canterbury Christ Church University Canterbury 2009[104] 1A South East
Cardiff Cobras Cardiff University Cardiff 1987[105] 1A South West
Chester Legion University of Chester Chester 2016[88] 2A North
Chichester Spitfires Chichester University Chichester 2014[106] 2A South
City Sentinels City University London Islington, London 2013[107] 2A South
Coventry Jets Coventry University Coventry 2010[108] 2A Midlands
Derby Braves University of Derby Derby 1996[109] Premier North
DMU Falcons De Montfort University Leicester 2011[110] 2A Midlands
Durham Saints Durham University Durham 2007[111] Premier North
Edge Hill Vikings Edge Hill University Ormskirk 2015[112] 2A North
Edinburgh Napier Knights Edinburgh Napier University Edinburgh 2004[113] 1A North
Edinburgh Predators University of Edinburgh Edinburgh 2009[114] 2A Borders
Essex Blades University of Essex Colchester 2001[115] 2A South East
Exeter Demons University of Exeter Exeter 2009[116] 1A South West
Glasgow Tigers University of Glasgow Glasgow 1986[117] 1A North
Gloucestershire Gladiators University of Gloucestershire Cheltenham 2010[118] 2A South West
Greenwich Mariners University of Greenwich Crystal Palace 2004[119] 2A South East
Heriot-Watt Heriot-Watt University Edinburgh 2015[120] 2A Borders
Hertfordshire Hurricanes University of Hertfordshire Hatfield 1994[121] Premier South
Huddersfield Hawks University of Huddersfield Huddersfield 2007[122] 2A Midlands
Hull Sharks University of Hull Kingston upon Hull 1985[123] 1A North
Imperial Immortals Imperial College London South Kensington 2009[124] 1A South East
KCL Regents King's College London Southwark 2010[125] 2A South
Keele Crusaders Keele University Keele, Staffordshire 2013[126] 2A North
Kent Falcons University of Kent Canterbury 1996[127] 1A South East
Kingston Cougars Kingston University Kingston upon Thames 2012[128] 1A South
Lancaster Bombers Lancaster University Lancaster 1991[129] 2A Borders
Leeds Beckett Carnegie Leeds Beckett University Leeds 2009[130] Premier North
Leeds Celtics University of Leeds Leeds 1990[131] 1A Yorkshire
Leicester Longhorns University of Leicester Leicester 1985[132] 1A Midlands
Lincoln Colonials University of Lincoln Lincoln 2006[133] 2A Midlands
Liverpool Fury Liverpool John Moores University Liverpool 2008[134] 1A Yorkshire
Liverpool Raptors University of Liverpool Liverpool 2015[112] 2A North
Loughborough Students Loughborough University Loughborough 1988[135] Premier North
Manchester Tyrants University of Manchester Manchester 2009[136] 2A North
MMU Eagles Manchester Metropolitan University Manchester 2011[137] 2A Midlands
Newcastle Raiders Newcastle University Gateshead 1985[138] 2A Borders
Northampton Nemesis University of Northampton Northampton 2011[139] 2A Midlands
Northumbria Mustangs Northumbria University Gateshead 2008[140] 1A North
Nottingham Students University of Nottingham Nottingham 1996[141] 1A Midlands
NTU Renegades Nottingham Trent University Nottingham 2009[142] 1A Midlands
OBU Panthers Oxford Brookes University Oxford 2010[143] 2A South West
Oxford Lancers University of Oxford Oxford 2012[144] 2A South West
Plymouth Blitz University of Plymouth Plymouth 2001[145] 1A South West
Portsmouth Destroyers University of Portsmouth Portsmouth 2006[146] Premier South
Queen Mary and Barts London Vipers Queen Mary, University of London London 2016[88] 2A South East
Reading Knights University of Reading Reading 1987[147] 1A South
Royal Holloway Bears Royal Holloway, University of London Egham 2005[148] 2A South
Sheffield Hallam Warriors Sheffield Hallam University Sheffield 2003[149] 1A Yorkshire
Sheffield Sabres University of Sheffield Sheffield 2000[150] 1A Yorkshire
Solent Redhawks Southampton Solent University Southampton 2009[151] 1A South West
Southampton Stags University of Southampton Southampton 1989[152] 2A South West
Staffordshire Stallions Staffordshire University Stoke-on-Trent 1992[153] 1A Midlands
Stirling Clansmen University of Stirling Stirling 1985[154] Premier North
Sunderland Spartans University of Sunderland Sunderland 2004[155] 1A North
Surrey Stingers University of Surrey Guildford 1994[156] 1A South
Sussex Saxons University of Sussex Falmer, East Sussex 2013[157] 1A South
Swansea Titans Swansea University Swansea 2009[158] Premier South
Tarannau Aberystwyth Aberystwyth University Aberystwyth 1992[159] 2A North
Teesside Cougars Teesside University Middlesbrough 1985[160] 2A Borders
UCLan Rams University of Central Lancashire Preston, Lancashire 2012[161] 1A Yorkshire
UCL Emperors University College London London 2016[88] 2A South
UEA Pirates University of East Anglia Norwich 1987[162] 1A South East
UEL Titans University of East London London 2015[112] 2A South East
UWE Bullets University of the West of England Filton 1992[163] 1A South West
UWS Pyros University of the West of Scotland, Paisley Campus Paisley 2003[164] 2A Borders
Warwick Wolves University of Warwick Warwick 1989[165] 1A Midlands
Worcester Royals University of Worcester Worcester 2009[166] 2A Midlands
York Centurions University of York York 2009[167] 2A Borders
YSJ Jaguars York St John University York 2017 2A Borders

American High School League in Europe

The American High School League in Europe (also referred to as High School Football Europe) is a competition organised by the European branch of the Department of Defense Dependents Schools. The teams in this league are drawn from high schools affiliated with US military bases within Europe, with the exception of South Gloucestershire and Stroud College which is a further education college located in Filton, England. The league in its present format was founded in 1975, with its constituent teams divided into three divisions. All teams play a regular season schedule against the other teams in their regional conference, with the top-ranked teams competing in playoffs to decide the divisional champions. As of 2017, only one team based in the United Kingdom competes in the league, compared to the five teams that competed in 2012.[168][169]

Team Location Division[168][169]
Alconbury Dragons Alconbury High School, Alconbury
Bristol Academy PRIDE South Gloucestershire and Stroud College, Filton
Lakenheath Lancers Lakenheath High School, RAF Lakenheath Division I
Menwith Hill Mustangs Menwith Hill Elementary/High School, RAF Menwith Hill
Southbank Blackhawks Southbank International School, London

Bristol Academy Community League

The Bristol Academy Community League (BACL) is a competition set up by the Bristol Academy of Sport in December 2012 for school pupils in Bristol and its surrounding areas. The league provides competition for players in the 14-17 and 17-20 year age brackets. The league comprises six teams, representing a specific geographic area.[170]

Team Area represented
Bristol Cowboys Central Bristol
Bristol Gators Bath and East Bristol
Bristol Bobcats South Gloucestershire and North Bristol
Bristol Falcons Somerset and South Bristol
Swindon Storm Swindon
Welsh Tomahawks Newport

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External links

  • British American Football Association
  • BAFA National Leagues
  • American Football at British Universities & Colleges Sport
  • High School Football Europe
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