Exciting Times for the BAFA

British fans are always excited to see the top NFL teams play in London.  There’s plenty of American Football action to watch during the rest of the year all around the country. The new season is in its early days, but it’s already been a big year for the sport.

BAFA Adult Contact is the longest running continuous league in Britain. There are three-tiers with the Premier Division, Division 1 and Division 2. It may be difficult at times to grab the attention of the media but there are new teams being formed and American Football is becoming increasingly popular among football betting app users in the UK.

BAFA are members of the International Federation of American Football. They organise and promote the domestic national competitions that take place each year. There’s a contact version of the game and a non-contact one.

Nichole McCulloch is the BAFA Chair and has an uncle who is a former NFL quarterback. One of the key BAFA aims is to promote the sport because many fans may just be satisfied with watching the NFL coverage on their televisions and not even know there’s a local American Football team.

Getting youngsters interested in playing the sport is also important. Who knows, they could one day become a CFL player like Ayo Oyelola?

This month has already been important for American Football in Leigh in Yorkshire. The county has a long history of teams playing rugby league. Now the Leigh Miners American Football team has played their first match in the BAFA NFC 2 West Division.

Their head coach is James Higham who says his team will “continue to keep working hard so we can be competitive.” They began well in their opening game against Crewe Railroaders. The scores were level at 8-8 after the first quarter. The Railroaders won 49-14 in the end, but they are a far more experienced team.

The Leigh coach admitted that it was their inexperience that led to losing nearly 50 yards on offence because of penalties. The optimistic coach said: “Fingers crossed we will improve.” The other team in their group is Staffordshire Surge.

March saw 30 individuals become the first to be inducted into the BAFA Hall of Fame. It was a great opportunity to honour those who have worked hard to establish American Football in Britain. The evening was also a chance for reunions after not seeing each other because of the pandemic.

There were memories aplenty that evening at the College Arms in London. Players and officials were honoured during the evening. It was an opportunity to look back at the days of teams such as the London Ravens, the Manchester Spartans and the Great British Lions who twice became European Champions.

Now the focus is on the new BAFA season and perhaps it’ll feature some future Hall of Famers  The 2022 season has so far been a good one for the Manchester Titans who have started their Premiership North campaign with a thumping 77-0 demolition job at Sandwell Steelers and a home win over Tamworth Phoenix.

The London Warriors top the Premiership South. Their only game this season saw them get a 44-3 home win over Solent Thrashers. London Blitz beat London Olympians 48-0 at home but then lost 9-6 away at the Thrashers. Kent Exiles may be a team to follow after their 21-0 home victory over the Olympians. Another exciting BAFA season lies ahead.

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