Finnish Maple League set to kick off July 30

The Finnish Maple League will play a shortened season in 2020.

In a news release, SAJL, the Finnish Federation of American Football (Suomen Amerikkalaisen Jalkapallon Liitto) announced a kick-off date of July 30 with three games set for that day.

A rematch of the 2019 Maple Bowl is scheduled which will pit the defending champion Helsinki Roosters against their finals opponent, the Kuopio Steelers. Also playing in the first week will be the Helsinki Wolverines and the Seinajoki Crocodiles as well as the Wasa Royals who will face the Porvoo Butchers.

The Maple League will play a truncated season with only half the number of regular season games, starting at the end of July with Maple Bowl XLI scheduled to be played at Lahti stadium on September 12. Each team will play only five games during the regular season. While the situation is not optimal, it does allow sufficient practice time prior to the season start, but also a normal offseason for the 2021 season.

Teams are allowed to start full practices today (June 1) with the Finnish government lifting the 10 person limit on meetings and allowing sports to be played again. SAJL will monitor the pandemia situation closely and respond if deemed necessary.

SAJL President and Maple League commissioner Roope Noronen:

“We want to secure the safery of our players and fans, when football season will start at the end of summer. We are hopeful that the pandemia situation will be calmed down to a level which will allow larger crowds in stadiums (limitation in Finland in June is 500 people) of course taking into consideration social distancing and other protective measures.”

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