College American Football to Kick Off in China

Lead Up to First Pro League; 6 Teams Will Play in Inaugural University Championships Oct 15th – 18th, 2014

 – Philadelphia, PA

For the first time in history, intercollegiate American-style football will kick off in China next week. Six teams from Chinese universities will play in a round-robin tournament in Beijing on October 15-18 as part of the nation’s Sports Festival.

The tournament, named the CAFL University Championships, is organized in cooperation with the China American Football League (CAFL) and the China Rugby Football Association (CRFA). The CAFL, which was announced in August 2014 as China’s first-ever professional football league, is scheduled to begin professional play in the fall of 2015, with the full sanction of the Chinese government. The CAFL is headed by American businessman and Philadelphia Soul co-owner, Martin E. Judge, and his Beijing-based company, Ganlan Media International. Joining Judge in the launch are former NFL MVP and current ESPN analyst Ron Jaworski and Super Bowl-winning coach Dick Vermeil.

 “The athletes are ready. The coaches are ready. And, of course, we’re ready to kick off the first college football game in China’s history,” said Judge. “This is another step forward in our plan to bring American Football to China and it’s a moment that will be remembered.”


University Championships Schedule

Participating Teams

Game #1 –  Oct. 15 – 10:00 AM

Hebei Nirvana

Game #2 – Oct. 15 – 2:00 PM

Shandong Flames

Game #3 – Oct. 16 – 10:00 AM

Shenyang Tigers

Game #4 – Oct. 16 – 2:00 PM

Wuhan Nine Headed Birds

Game #5 – Oct. 17 – 10:00 AM

Xian North-West Wolves

Game #6 – Oct. 17 – 2:00 PM

Tianjin Pirates

Game #7 – Oct. 18 – 9:00 AM


Game #8 – Oct. 18 – 12:00 PM


Championship Game – Oct. 18 – 3:00 PM

**Please note all times are local Beijing time**

 The schedule for the tournament was determined through a draw. Each team features twenty-four athletes and by the end of the tournament, the first-ever CAFL University Champion will be crowned.  The CAFL University Championships Most-Valuable Player will also be named. Additionally, the tournament will showcase athletes who will be eligible to enter into the CAFL Draft upon graduation from their respective university. CAFL player combines begin in early 2015 with the first-ever CAFL draft expected to take place in spring 2015.

 “American football is coming to China,” Judge said.  “Let the countdown begin.”

Contact: James Lynch, Ari Fleischer Sports Communications

                     (914) 234-7615, [email protected]

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.