Chinese teams beginning to return to the Gridiron, 2020 season undecided

Maybe there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

After an especially tumultuous offseason, the American Football scene in China has slowly begun to return to normal. With restrictions slowly being lifted throughout China, teams in places such as Chengdu, Beijing, Shanghai, Foshan, Guangzhou, and many others have begun to start holding practices, with more teams soon to follow.

The Zhengzhou Steamer officially began holding practices on Thursday, May 14. The city of Shenyang lifted the restriction on organized sports activities back in April, and the Shenyang King Kong have also confirmed they have already started practicing in earnest.

However, the situation is not the same for teams located within Hong Kong and Wuhan.

Wuhan has only begun to emerge from the cocoon of isolation, so It will be some time before the defending champion Berserkers can spread their wings in 2020. A team representative from the champion Berserkers has confirmed practices haven’t begun yet, as the city has only just begun returning to normal.

In Hong Kong, the sports facilities remain closed, but a representative from the Combat Orcas, one of several American Football clubs in Hong Kong, is optimistic practices can begin within the next 2-4 weeks.

While the league itself is tentatively planning to start the 2020-2021 season on time in August, CNFL officials and team representatives throughout China are waiting for traveling restrictions to be fully lifted so the annual league meeting in July can take place. Only then will there be an official announcement about the 2020-2021 season.

During a normal offseason in China, teams will be practicing on their own and have the freedom to schedule preseason games throughout the Summer up until August. While a game between the Hangzhou Smilodons and the Chengdu Pandaman, two playoff teams from last season, has been discussed, it has not been confirmed due to traveling. Otherwise, no games have been announced.

It’s looking like the Chinese spring and summer offseason, normally action-filled with teams all around the country in action, is going to be a lot quieter this year.

Allen Hu is a Chinese-American who grew up playing American Football in Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania. He primarily spends his time in both the United States and China