Great Britain’s Ouse Valley Eagles continue preparations to face Reykjavik Einherjar in Iceland

OVE Head Coach Neale McMaster got in touch this week to share some clarifications about the exciting upcoming trip of a group of Britballers, based around a core of Ouse Valley Eagles players, to face the Reykjavik Einherjar.

OVE – but not as you know it

To help distinguish ourselves from the Eagles and therefore BAFA/IFAF for the game in Iceland, the game will no longer be played under the “Ouse Valley Eagles” banner. Instead, after a player vote the travelling squad will be referred to as the Ouse Valley Exiles Touring Party.

We have made this change for several reasons that are worth clarifying given some of the recent discussions surrounding the game:

The Point – The main point of this game is to help grow the sport. That’s it. One of our travelling party read an article online that explained the Einherjar’s situation of being the only team on the island, and they were desperate for games.

We love this game, and think as many people as possible should be able to play the sport as possible. This seemed like a great opportunity to get a trip abroad, have a great night out in Reykjavik, play some football and help a team who just want to play games.

Insurance – All Players and Coaches are aware that as the game takes place outside BAFA jurisdiction, their normal BAFA/BAFCA insurance does not cover them. The travelling party is made up entirely of adults (i.e. over 18s) who understand that everyone is responsible for organising their own insurance.

Name Change – As stated above, we have done this to make it clear that this is not an Ouse Valley Eagles game (and therefore everything the association implies – not least that purple kit).

At this stage, we have a non-IFAF affiliated team travelling to play another non-IFAF affiliated team. BAFA and IFAF (NY) have made it clear that this game is not sanctioned by either, and as such players and coaches will not be insured.

Contact with BAFA has been open and forwards since 10th April, and BAFA have been good at responding to us. Their main concern is regarding insurance and as discussed above, we believe that situation has been made clear to all involved.

Ineligible PlayersBergpor Phillip Palsson, the QB for the Einherjar and the person we have been organising the game with, is currently serving a ban from the sport due to some failed drug tests spanning from the time he spent playing in Norway a few years ago.

The players and coaches are aware of this, and are of the view that if Bergpor is willing to risk potentially extending his ban by playing in this game, that is entirely his call. It does not affect our players or their insurances for this game, as it is outwith IFAF governance.

Selection – Selection took place completely at random after creating a list of interested names for each position group, randomized the order of the list three times (standard Madden practice) and took the top “X” players from that list. We are not representing GB (or anyone else) in this game, nor has anyone been selected on anything other than luck.

Eligibility – A concern has been raised about players potentially damaging their eligibility for GB by playing in this game. Given the BAFRA statement below we now know that is more related to the risk of injury as opposed to eligibility. All players are aware of the risk associated, and asked to play – nobody has been recruited for this game.

Read the rest of the story on Double Coverage here.

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