Sprint football

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CSFL Members
School Joined
US Military Academy 1957
Chestnut Hill College 2015
Cornell University 1937
Franklin Pierce University 2012
Mansfield University 2008
US Naval Academy 1946
University of Pennsylvania 1934
Post University 2010
Caldwell University 2017 [1]
St. Thomas Aquinas College 2018 [2]

Sprint football, formerly called lightweight football, is a varsity sport played by United States colleges and universities, under standard American football rules. The sport is currently governed by the Collegiate Sprint Football League.

In sprint football, players must maintain a weight of 178 lb (81 kg) or less and a minimum of 5% body fat to be eligible to play. The end result of these weight restrictions is that, unlike conventional collegiate football which places a premium on body weight and strength, sprint football emphasizes speed and agility.[3]

Competition

As of 2017, nine schools fielded teams in the CSFL; of the nine, six are private universities (two being schools in the Ivy League, and one being a for-profit institution) and two are national military academies; currently Mansfield University of Pennsylvania is the only state university or college playing sprint football. All nine teams are located in the northeastern United States. Five teams have been added since the 2008 season; none of the new additions has a full-size varsity football team. The other four teams (all of which have been in the CSFL since 1957) have full-size football teams that compete in NCAA Division I—the service academies in the FBS, and the Ivy League schools in the FCS. Each team plays a seven-game season.[4] It is not uncommon for the CSFL teams to play against full-size junior varsity or club football squads from other schools in the early part of the season (in 2015, for instance, Navy faced the Longwood Lancers). In addition, Army, Cornell, Princeton, and Penn all hold alumni games in which sprint football alumni return to campus for a full-contact scrimmage against the varsity squad. The alumni games serve the dual purpose of raising funds to support the team and maintaining alumni interest in the program.[5] Typically, the alumni have to donate a monetary weight penalty (e.g., $2 per pound) for weighing above the 178-pound limit.[6] In 2017, when Caldwell joined, the CSFL with be split into 2 divisions, the north and the south. On December 7, 2017, St. Thomas Aquinas College was announced as the tenth team in the league, to begin play in the 2018 season.[2]

As of 2016, only one charter member of the league remains, the Penn Quakers. The Princeton Tigers dropped the sport after 2015, following sixteen consecutive years of winless seasons (an organized football record) and changes in league membership, and shifted its resources to club football.[7] A number of other Ivy League schools have historically had sprint football teams, including the Yale Bulldogs, Harvard Crimson, and Columbia Lions, all of whom had dropped the sport many years earlier; of the Ivy League schools, only Penn and the Cornell Big Red remain.

For its first 83 seasons, the CSFL did not sponsor playoff or bowl games (a tradition due in no small part to the Ivy League schools, who, like the rest of the Ivy League, abstain from all football postseason play to encourage academic performance). The season championship was decided solely by the regular season record; if multiple teams are tied atop the standings, all of them share the championship. Since Navy's and Army's respective admissions to the league, those two schools have dominated the league; of the 70 seasons of lightweight football since Navy joined, they and/or Army have won the league title in 63 of them. Beginning in the 2017 season, a championship game will be held Veterans Day weekend.

Although CSFL teams are considered varsity teams and official school-sponsored sports for the purpose of the NCAA, sprint football teams do not fall into the same divisional structure as other NCAA sports.

Weight limit

CSFL rules require that players must weigh no more than 178 pounds (81 kg), a figure that has slowly increased from its original 150 pounds (68 kg) as the weight of the American college student has increased over the course of the league's existence. [3] League rules specify official weigh-ins four days and two days before each game. Players are allowed to gain weight back after meeting the weight limit[4]

Notable players and coaches

See also

External links

  • Official league website
  • Official Navy sprint football page
  • Official Cornell sprint football page
  • Official Penn sprint football page
  • Official Army sprint football page
  • Official Mansfield sprint football page
  • Official Chestnut Hill sprint football page
  • New York Times article about Sprint Football
  • Cornell Daily Sun article about Sprint Football
  • Post University to Add Sprint Football Program for Fall 2010
  • Caldwell University Adds Sprint Football for Fall 2017

References

  1. ^ "Caldwell University Adds Sprint Football". Caldwell University Athletics. Retrieved February 3, 2016. 
  2. ^ a b "St. Thomas Aquinas joins CSFL". Collegiate Sprint Football League. Retrieved 15 December 2017. 
  3. ^ a b c d Thompson, Adam (2008-09-26). "A Small League for Little Dudes Is the New Hope at Mansfield U". Wall Street Journal. p. A1. 
  4. ^ a b "CSFL Rules -- 2010 Season". Collegiate Sprint Football League. 2009-11-10. Archived from the original on 2010-01-04. Retrieved 2010-02-13. 
  5. ^ "Army Sprint Football To Host Alumni Game". US Department of Defense. 2009-06-02. Retrieved 2010-02-13. [permanent dead link]
  6. ^ "A Video History of the Sprint Football Alumni Game is Now Available on YouTube". Retrieved 2010-02-13. 
  7. ^ "csfl". csfl. 
  8. ^ Coder, Maria. "Sasha Obama Joins Vice President Joe Biden to Cheer US Team to World Cup Victory". People.com. Retrieved 20 September 2016. 
  9. ^ Cornell Athletics Dept. (2008). "The Collegiate Sprint Football League" (PDF). Cornell Spirit Football Media Guide. p. 18. 
  10. ^ AP. "Penn Coach Resigns for Oregon Job". News.Google.com. Shenectady Gazette. Retrieved 20 September 2016. 
  11. ^ Glassman, Les. "Time Out" (PDF). Library.Upenn.edu. The Daily Pennsylvanian. Retrieved 20 September 2016. 
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