First ever Electric European American Football League set to start

Electric football??

For most football fans, unless they were brought up in the 1950s, 60s and 70s in North America, electric football has a bizarre sound.

How do you play electric football?

It’s a game played on a small metal field, with plastic players placed on the field in formations, who buzz around when a switch is turned on. And it has diehard enthusiasts playing in clubs all over the United States. In fact, electric football has been around since the late 1940s. It was invented in 1949 by Norman Sas,owner of Tudor Games. It reached its peak popularity before the advent of video games but it is still very much alive today.

It has undergone a resurgence and one of many groups behind its return to popularity is the Miniature Coaches Football Association.  This dedicated group offers fans of the game, coaches, collectors and anyone else all the information about playing, collecting and organizing.

As we reported earlier, MCFA member Ray Sugg discovered how widespread American football had become, especially in Europe.  Since our first report he has now added even more European teams to the four originally in his collection.

Germany’s defending champions, the Schwabisch Hall Unicorns will play their first season of electric football

Relying on photos he has found in AFI and other websites, he has created a 16 team league.  With painstaking attention to detail has has hand painted an entire European Electric Football League. The original four teams, the Braunschweig New Yorker LionsDresden Monarchs, Great Britain’s London Blitz and the Prague Black Panthers from the Czech Republic have been joined by  another 12 teams divided into two divisions, West and East.

In addition to the New Yorker Lions and the Blitz, , the West also includes the Brussel Tigers (Belgium), St Ouen Cougars (France), La Courneuve Flash (France) Milano Rhinos (Italy), Amsterdam Crusaders (Netherlands) and Schwabisch Hall Unicorns (Germany).

The East Division consists of, in addition to the Dresden Monarchs and Prague Black Panthers, the Innsbruck Raiders (Austria), Vienna Vikings (Austria), Wroclaw Panthers (Poland), Helsinki Roosters (Finland), Copenhagen Towers (Denmark) and Belgrade Wolves (Vukovi from Serbia).

According to Sugg, he will start play with his 16 team Euro League as what is known as a solitaire league. In other words, he plays it on his own.

Two Vienna Vikings players

Rules of electric football

The game is played on a small metal field, with plastic players placed on the field in formations, just as in real football. The ball is a football-shaped small piece of foam or felt. When the players are set up, a switch is activated that turns on a small electric motor which causes the field to vibrate, and moves the players around the field. Players then shift around the board in a more or less predictable manner.

Each player is attached to a base, with brushes on the bottom that allow the player to move. Some bases are not adjustable while “pro” bases have a dial that can be adjusted to move players to the right or left.

How to play electric football

To find out more about this fascinating game and its history contact the MCFA, Tudor Games or The Unforgettable Buzz.

Sources: Miniature Coaches Football Association, Tudor Games, The Unforgettable Buzz, Wikipedia.

Roger Kelly is an editor and a writer for AFI. A former PR Director the B.C. Lions of the Canadian Football League for 7 years, he now lives in Sweden writing about and scouting American Football throughout the world.