Europe’s Big6 Tournament Almost Set

The Big6 tournament, generally acknowledged as the premiere European club tournament, which culminates in the Eurobowl final crowning Europe’s top team, has its 2017 participant list almost finalized.

With a couple of surprises.

No surprise is the return of the Braunschweig New Yorker Lions from Germany, defending champions and number one ranked team in Europe. Joining them from Germany this year is the Frankfurt Universe in its debut in this tournament. Frankfurt made their entrance into the top league in Germany in 2016 with a stunning run into the playoffs.

The first surprise is from Italy. The two-time Italian champions, and IFAF Europe champions League runners up in 2016 Milano Seamen will step onto a major international stage to compete for the Eurobowl championship. This will be the first time an Italian team will compete for the Eurobowl title since 2005 when the Bergamo Lions lost to the Vienna Vikings.

Holland’s Amsterdam Crusaders are another surprise entry as they enter the Big6 and Eurobowl tournament after a long hiatus. The last time Amsterdam appeared in the Eurobowl was 1993 when they lost to the London Olympians. In fact, the Crusaders played in the Eurobowl final five times winning it in 1991 and 1992.

The final two spots have not been completely finalized but it seems likely that one will go to either the Berlin Rebels or the Berlin Adler from Germany. The Rebels enjoyed an outstanding season in 2016 and if they have their running game back, will provide an exciting element.

It seems likely that the other spot will be occupied by Sweden’s Carlstad Crusaders who have been invited but are awaiting final confirmation that they will be able to take part. If they do it will be the first time a Swedish team plays in the Big6 and competes for the Eurobowl title. The Crusaders have won the past seven Swedish championships and captured the IFAF Europe Champions League crown in 2015.

Regarded as the premier club tournament in Europe, the Big6 has featured six of the top teams in Austria, Germany and France since its inception in 2014. The AFI Europe #1 and German champion Braunschweig New Yorker Lions won the tournament in 2016 defeating the Swarco Raiders, Austrian champions in the Eurobowl final.

Notably missing from this year’s tournament are any teams from Austria or France.

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