American Football is the Fastest Growing Sport in Holland

American football has been named the fastest growing sport in the Netherlands, as calculated by Dutch Olympic Committee & Dutch Sports Federation.

The NOC*NSF (Dutch: Nederlands Olympisch Comité*Nederlandse Sport Federatie) has release their annual membership report which list and ranks the national sport federation and their membership numbers.

The Dutch American football federation, AFBN (American Football Bond Nederland), grew last season from 1401 to 1667 members, the strongest relative performance among existing sport federations. The only federation to have a higher relative increase, the Dutch Dragon Boat Federation, did not exist in 2013 and rose from 0 to 324 members.

As of the release of this report, Dutch sports associations total 5,322,891 registered members. That is an increase of 5,522 members compared to 2013. This membership is divided over 4,377,048 people, as it is common for athletes to have multiple memberships to different sport federations.

Although low on the total membership ranking, 59th in all of the Netherlands, this ranking shows promise for the sport in a country now competing on the international stage.

The Amsterdam Crusaders are the reigning AFBN champions having won Tulip Bowl XXXI 21-6 over the Alphen Eagles.

The KNVB, the Royal Dutch Football Association (Dutch: Koninklijke Nederlandse Voetbalbond) boasts the most members by far with it’s 1.21372 million members.

On a side note, somebody better tell the Dutch Olympic speed skating coach that American football has a strong foothold in his homeland!


John McKeon is a former professional and collegiate American Football player and coach now living and working in New York. His goal is to spread news, information, and opinion on the global growth of the sport he loves.