Serbia kicks off 2021 season April 18

The Serbian Association of American Football, SAAF, has announced that the 2021 season in Serbia will kick off on April 18 with seven teams doing battle.

The Kragujevac Wild Boars, Vukovi Belgrade, Novi Sad Wild Dogs, Belgrade Blue Dragons, Jagodina Black Hornets, Banat Bulls and Pozarevac Pastuvi will compete for the title which was last won in 2019 by the Kragujevac Wild Boars.

Due to the pandemic, the only football played in 2020 was a seven-on-seven league which was held in the fall with Vukovi Belgrade coming out the winner in an unofficial championship game.

Each team will play a single game against each of the other opponents, either at home or away. The first place team at the end of the regular season will face the fourth place team in one semifinal round while the second and third place teams will play in the other semifinal, both games to be held on June 27. Serbian Bowl XVI will be hosted by a team determined by SAAF and played on July 11.

Full SAAF schedule (Click image to enlarge)

Teams will be allowed a maximum of three import players which means players from countries where football is played professionally – the United States, Canada, Mexico and Japan. Each team is also allowed to have three import players from countries on their roster other than those four and also a maximum of eight players from neighboring countries.

New QB rule

A new rule has also been introduced for the 2021 season. Each team must play a Serbian player at quarterback in at least one game. Failure to do so will result in the forfeit of the final game of the season for that team. The reasoning behind this move is to ensure development of domestic quarterbacks, primarily for playing on the Serbian national team.

If the COVID-19 situation changes in any way involving, for example, a government ban on playing games, a large number of infected participants, a large number of postponed matches and it is not possible to play the playoffs, the team that finished first during the regular season will be crowned Serbian champions.

COVID-19 rules in force

In order to prevent the spread and reduce the risk of COVID-19, all participants (clubs, referees, game organizers, players, coaches and other staff) are required to comply with all measures prescribed by the Government of the Republic of Serbia and its ministries , COVID-19 Infectious Disease Control Crisis Staff, as well as the decisions of the SAAF Steering Committee.

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