After pausing in 2020 due to Covid-19, the South China Bowl, an annual ad-hoc competition featuring teams from Southern China, will be back this year with a new name and a new format.
Originally beginning in 2015 as a way for teams in Guangdong Province and Hong Kong to have games during the long offseason from Winter to Fall, the South China Bowl eventually expanded to include teams from Guangdong, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, but with the Hong Kong teams and the Taipei Predators unable to compete for the time being, the South China Bowl returns with a greater scope on an expanded base of teams and a revamped format. Unlike previous years where the South China Bowl was essentially a single-elimination tournament, this year’s format is a round-robin group stage followed by a playoff to determine an eventual champion.
To reflect this change, the South China Bowl has also changed its name. The original Chinese name of “粤港碗” translates to “Guangzhou-Hong Kong Bowl”; while the new name of “南方碗” more accurately represents the wider range of teams presumably competing in future editions.
The 2021 version of the South China Bowl will feature 7 teams from across South China from the following provinces:
- Guangzhou Goats (广州山羊)
- Guangzhou Apache (广州阿帕奇)
- Foshan Tigers (佛山兕虎)
- Shenzhen Buffalos (深圳野牛)
- Haikou Cruisers (海口巡洋舰)
- Chengdu Mustangs (成都烈马)
- Kunming Beck’s Seahawks (昆明海鹰)
Chen Haicheng (陈海城) the captain of the Foshan Tigers, had this to say:
“This event was organized by the captains of the Guangzhou Apaches, Foshan Tigers, Guangzhou Goats, Shenzhen Bison, Kunming Seahawks, Chengdu Mustangs, and Haikou Cruisers.
In the beginning, the captains of the Apaches (Huang Xiaoyu), Goats (Joe), and I wanted to play a Bay Area competition, but because Hong Kong was unable to compete, we brought in other teams around Guangdong.”
When asked on how Chengdu and Kunming, teams a bit further away from Guangdong were invited, Chen Haicheng responded,
“The captain of the Guangzhou Goats, Joe, had previously planned on forming a league [with those teams]. They had previously played together in the City Bowl.”
The competition officially kicked off when the Guangzhou Goats defeated the Shenzhen Buffalos 54-0 on March 28, and the South China Bowl resumes April 10 when the Kunming Beck’s Seahawks travel to Sichuan to face the Mustangs.