Bucharest Warriors, Romania’s First American Football Team

The Bucharest Warriors are the first American football team in Romania.

The origins of American football in Romania are humble. In 2007, fans of the game who discussed the NFL on an online Romanian forum gathered in a central park in Bucharest, Izvor Parc, and threw the first passes.

The person that proposed the initial meeting was Cristian Rizu who later became one of the quarterbacks for Bucharest Warriors. After an injury he left the field for the sidelines, becoming part of the coaching staff for the Bucharest team.

310086_615893095117706_1550928538_nIn 2008, a group of players left the Warriors group and formed the Bucharest Predators, a team that played for several years but is at this moment without activity.

The Bucharest Warriors played in the following years several international games against teams from Bulgaria, Moldavia, Belarus and Turkey and several national games against Constanta Sharks, an American football team formed in a city 200 km away from Bucharest.

In 2010, the first National Championship was organized and four teams entered: Bucharest Warriors, Bucharest Predators, Cluj Crusaders and Timisoara Lions (now ‘89ers) the last two being in their first year. Bucharest Warriors won the first RoBowl, the name given to the Romanian National Championship finale, against Cluj Crusaders by a score of 56 – 12.

In 2011, the National Championship was played by only two teams: Bucharest Warriors and Cluj Crusaders in a double round robin. Bucharest Warriors won the game in Bucharest played on 25th of September with the score 14 -6. They lost the game in Cluj from 9th of October with the score 15 – 20, winning their second RoBowl because they scored more points than the Cluj team.

BW32012 was not a good year for the Bucharest Warriors. In the spring, a large group of players left the team and formed the Bucharest Rebels, the 2014 reigning champions. As a consequence, the Warriors didn’t play that year in CNFA.

In 2013 and 2014 they rejoined the National Championship competition which was played against more and more teams. They ranked 4th in both seasons, losing the small final against Bucharest Rebels in 2013 by a score of 40-12 and against the Cluj Crusaders in 2014 42-6.

Tiberiu is the editor-in-chief for FirstDown.ro, a Romanian site covering the growth and development of American Football in Romania and a football official.