Walsh University to Serve as ‘International Village’ for 2015 IFAF World Championships

A few days ago USA Football, the governing body for American football in the United States, released new information about the venues for this summer’s IFAF World Championships which are being held in Canton, Ohio.

USA Football are hosting the event, and Walsh University in North Canton, Ohio, will be an “international village” residence and practice site for the seven countries whose national teams will be competing July 9-18 in the fifth International Federation of American Football (IFAF) World Championship.

 

Walsh University’s 136-acre campus is located five miles from Canton’s Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium, which will host all four rounds of the IFAF World Championship. Round robin matchups are July 9, 12 and 15 with consolation games and the medal round on Saturday, July 18. Kickoffs are 11 a.m., 2 p.m., 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. each day of competition. A full schedule will be announced by May 31.

Five of the university’s 10 residence halls will house the tournament’s eight national teams composed of men age 20 and older.

All eight national teams will practice on Walsh University’s four football fields on the campus’ North Quad during the tournament. Walsh University also hosted all eight participating national teams in the 2009 IFAF Under-19 World Championship, which was won by the United States, led by head coach Chuck Kyle of Cleveland St. Ignatius High School.

Walsh University football field

Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium

Walsh University President Richard Jusseaume;

“Walsh University is excited to welcome competitors from around the globe for the fifth IFAF World Championship and the first to be held in the United States. While we are looking forward to sharing our beautiful campus with coaches and athletes spanning five continents, the most significant result of this event will be the fostering of friendships through a great team sport cherished far beyond our country’s borders. The entire Walsh community is proud to play a part in bringing the world’s top national teams in football to our area, just as we did in 2009.”

The 2015 U.S. Men’s National Team is composed of athletes age 20 and older. Assembled by USA Football and led by former Boise State and Colorado head coach Dan Hawkins, the U.S. National Team will conduct its training camp at the University of Akron approximately two weeks prior to the tournament. The team will practice June 28 to July 7 on the campus’ InfoCision Stadium-Summa Field.

IFAF Worlds - InfoCision field

InfoCision Stadium-Summa Field

Details regarding all teams’ practice schedules prior to and during the tournament will be announced in the coming weeks.

USA Football Executive Director Scott Hallenbeck;

“We are grateful to the University of Akron and Walsh University, both of which feature exceptional football facilities, for welcoming our U.S. National Team players, coaches and support staff this summer. Hosting this world championship in a city and region so steeped in football history is extraordinary. In any language or culture, ‘Canton, Ohio,’ represents this sport’s greatness and captures the imagination unlike any other football destination.”

The IFAF World Championship has been held every four years since 1999. The United States defeated Canada, 50-7, in Vienna, Austria, for the 2011 gold medal. The U.S. beat Japan, 23-20, in double overtime in Kawasaki, Japan, to win the 2007 tournament, the first that included the United States. Prior to the United States’ participation, Japan earned gold medals at the first two IFAF World Championships played in Palermo, Italy (1999), and Frankfurt, Germany (2003).

IFAF is comprised of 71 member countries spanning six continents that possess national federations dedicated to American football. Among the world’s fastest-growing international federations of sport, IFAF has grown from 21 member nations in 2006.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) granted IFAF provisional recognition in December 2013. Provisional recognition is the initial step toward permanent IOC membership, which IFAF could attain as early as 2016. IFAF’s permanent IOC membership would make American football eligible for a future vote to become part of the Summer Olympics lineup.

John McKeon
John McKeon is a former professional and collegiate American Football player and coach now living and working in New York. His goal is to spread news, information, and opinion on the global growth of the sport he loves.
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