Brazil’s Newly Formed 31-Team CBFA SuperLiga Nacional

For the first time in the history of the sport in Brazil, the top American football clubs have been unified under one banner, the Confederação Brasileira de Futebol Americano’s (CBFA) SuperLiga Nacional championship.

CBFA President Gustavo Sousa weighed in on this triumph for American football in Brazil;

“More than 60 teams, from all over the country, will take part in the Championship this year making it the largest and more widespread tournament of American Football in our history. We are sure we made the best to create opportunities for great matches and amazing events, and that will definitely attract attention of more fans, media and corporate partners in the coming years.”

New Structure in Brazil

The Brazilian league, which is called ‘Campeonato Brasileiro’ (Brazilian Championship), is an umbrella term,  which will be divided into two tiers.

The top tier or division is the ‘Superliga Nacional’ or (National Super-league). The former Superliga, containing 16 clubs, will incorporate 15 of the 16 teams that were part of the now dissolved Torneio Touchdown (TTD) league. The 16th team, the Jaragua Breakers, the 2013 Torneio Touchdown champions, will not participate in the 2016 season due to internal restructuring.

This way, the Superliga Nacional will have 31 teams, divided for competition reasons into four conferences: Nordeste (Northeast), Sul (South), Leste (East) ans Oeste (West), according to the following:

Conferência Nordeste

Group A: AMÉRICA BULLS (RN), CEARÁ CAÇADORES (CE), RECIFE PIRATES (PE), and UFERSA PETROLEIROS (RN)
Group B: JOÃO PESSOA ESPECTROS (PB), RECIFE MARINERS (PE), SERGIPE REDENTORES (SE) and VITÓRIA F.A. (BA)

Conferência Leste

Group C: BOTAFOGO CHALLENGERS (SP), MINAS LOCOMOTIVA (MG), RIO BRANCO CABRITOS (ES), and VILA VELHA TRITÕES (ES)
Group D: BOTAFOGO REPTILES (RJ), FLAMENGO F.A. (RJ), VASCO DA GAMA PATRIOTAS (RJ), and SANTOS TSUNAMI (SP)

Conferência Oeste

Group E: CAMPO GRANDE PREDADORES (MS), CUIABÁ ARSENAL (MT), GOIÂNIA REDNECKS (GO), and TUBARÕES DO CERRADO (DF)
Group F: CORINTHIANS STEAMROLLERS (SP), LUSA LIONS (SP), SÃO PAULO STORM (SP), and SOROCABA VIPERS (SP)

Conferência Sul

Group G: CORITIBA CROCODILES (PR), CURITIBA BROWN SPIDERS (PR), and SÃO JOSÉ WHITE SHARKS ISTEPÔS (SC)
Group H: FOZ DO IGUAÇU BLACK SHARKS (PR), JUVENTUDE F.A. (RS), PARANÁ HP (PR) and TIMBÓ REX (SC)

Competition Format:

President Sousa and the CBFA competition committee have thoughtfully laid out a format that will provide the most competitive match-ups in each conference.

“In the regular season, each team will face six opponents from the same conference (three it’s own group and three from the other group). This way, there’s always an opponent a given team doesn’t face. The schedule will be determined by the previous season’s rankings. For example: #1 teams from a group won’t play #4 teams and #2s won’t play #3s. This way there’s always opportunity for mid-tier clubs to advance and for hypothetically weaker teams to avoid at least one game against stronger opponents.”

The exception, of course, is in the Conferência Sul where there are now with only 7 teams. All teams will play one another.

At the end of the regular season, the leaders of each group plus the next two best team of the conference (regardless of the group) advance to the CBFA Playoffs. The playoffs will be a seeded 16-team affair with single-game rounds until the finals, the Brasil Bowl.

Promotion/Relegation

At the end of the season, four teams from the Liga Nacional (the second division whose teams will soon be announced) will be promoted to Superliga Nacional and three will be relegated. This will ensure a 32-club league next year as was the intention for this year before the Breakers withdrawal.

Schedule

The season opener will be a match between Cuiabá Arsenal (2-time CBFA Superliga champion) and Corinthians Steamrollers (2-time Torneio Touchdown champion). This will be the first match-up between these clubs in six years.

“Both teams turned 10-years-old in 2016, so it is the perfect symbol of the unified league. The game will take place at Arena Pantanal, in Cuiabá, one of the FIFA World Cup stadiums, and more than 10,000 fans are expected,” stated Sousa.

John McKeon
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.
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