In a two-hour video conference on May 30., the clubs of the German Football League (GFL) and German Football League 2 (GFL 2) gave the green light for a 2020 season from September to November.
All 32 teams, 16 in the GFL and 16 in the GFL2, agreed on having the league executive begin organizing a fall football schedule, coronavirus conditions permitting.
All of this is subject of course to the regulations as set down by the German government and healthcare authorities.
A September 5/6 starting date was set three weeks ago provided the clubs would vote to play and that still stands. In that case, the season will run through into November with a possible date for the German Bowl of November 14. As stated before, a September 5/6 start allows for an 11 week season, which is about half of a normal season.
However, the teams still have until June 15 to decide if they will participate.
The German government lockdowns are set to be lifted on June 4 if not earlier. However, there is no date set yet as to when the government will make the final decision. July 26 was set as a “point of no return” date. In other words, if economic and health conditions allow as of that date, there will be a season.
GFL spokesman Carsten Dalkowski:
“This has been a tough piece of work over the past few weeks. The specifications and restrictions are a little different everywhere and the situation is very fluid. And since our clubs are distributed throughout Germany and not just in a few strongholds, we have to take all this into account and discuss the complete scope. All the clubs have always kept the interest of the players as the priority, but sometimes followed completely different approaches to the varying starting conditions. In the end we now have the compromise that can enable clubs and players who can play to do so in the fall.”
As decided before, there will be no relegation from the GFL to GFL2 (lower division). However, the winners of the GFL2 will have the option of advancing to the GFL.
Garren Holley, head coach of the Munich Cowboys says his team is ready to play. All of their American import players including longtime linebacker Ryan Newell, quarterback Justin Sottilare, safety AJ Smith and receiver RJ Long have stayed in Munich throughout the crisis.
“We have had no doubts and stayed positive about having a season. This has been really important. To stay positive. We have been practicing following distancing rules, in four groups of five on the field, helmets only and no contact.”
“I am particularly pleased with the unanimity of the vote. This is now a framework we can all work with. A lot can still happen before September, of course. However, we hope that the infection will be so under control by then that full contact training will be possible in time, import players will be about to return and spectators will be allowed to go to the games. But we cannot ask anyone to foresee this already. So we will prepare for all options and will redirect in any direction at any time if necessary.”