EFAF is followed by IFAF Europe
The race for Eurobowl is on
This year's European Football League (EFL) will kick off on March 26 in Badalona (Spain), when the Badalona Dracs host the Amiens Spartiates from France in the first of their two encounters to battle for a quarterfinals spot. Group play in the four preliminary groups is scheduled until April 23 to determine the four teams joining last year's semifinalists in the quarterfinals on May 7/8. Among the Eurobowl contestants of this season the French champion from Amiens is one of only two clubs which did not compete in an European tournament in 2010.
The other is the Kiel Baltic Hurricanes from Germany, who beat defending Eurobowl champion Berlin Adler for their first German championship in German Bowl XXXII in October and now face the Carlstad Crusaders from Sweden on the final gameday of the preliminaries in one of the most eagerly awaited battles of this year's EFL competition. The Crusaders were denied their shot a the EFAF Cup trophy in 2010, when they lost the final game at Chur (Switzerland) to the Calanda Broncos, who had a „perfect season“, both nationally and internationally, last year and like all the recent EFAF Cup champions now make use of their starting sport in the European Football League.
EFAF's elite club tournament mostly gathers champions and runner-ups from the nations with the highest standards in European American Football. Three of the four Austrian teams and defending champion Berlin Adler are seeded as home teams for the quarterfinals as a reward for their performances in last year's EFL - but the current champions of the German GFL and the Austrian AFL join with six other national champions in the preliminaries. Badalona is the only team, which enters EFL 2011 without winning a championship at home in 2010. But Spain definitely is one of the nations on the rise, and the Dracs last year already held off the Bolzano Giants and only had to accept a defeat at Vienna in the EFL preliminaries.
This year's pool of teams in the quest for the trophy for the champion of the European champions might be the most skillful there has been in Eurobowl history. This continues a trend of recent years, in which developments especially regarding EFL were remarkable. Compared to early days, when Eurobowl was just kind of an invitational tournament, and even compared to the time just a decade ago, when the number of participating nations was down to just a handful, today the EFL tournament is the ultimate challenge the top teams from Europe deserve.
The final game is set for the weekend of June 18/19, semifinals are to be played on the last weekend of May. The quarterfinals will be hosted by the Berlin Adler, the Graz Giants and the Tyrolean Raiders on May 7, the Vienna Vikings have scheduled their quarterfinal game for May 8.