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20.11.2014 AFVD

GFL teams pro Big 6

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(c) AFVD
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In October delegates of participating teams of GFL in 2014 European club competitions and a number of GFL teams interested in joining these competitions for 2015 held a strategy meeting at Berlin the day after New Yorker German Bowl XXXVI. The 2014 season was evaluated and the framework for the 2015 season of the Big6 and the European Football League (EFL) were discussed.

Participants of the Big6 by mutual agreement are determined to continue the Big6 tournament. As far as Germany is concerned, the Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns, runner-up in the 2014 national championship final, intend to play within the Big6 in 2015.

Of the three German participants in the 2014 EFL two expressed their interest in playing EFL football next season as well. All in all both competitions were viewed as a complete success in 2014. In addition to a lot of exciting and close games significantly larger attendance figures than in regular GFL games were recorded, and Big6 set new standards for high-quality American football in Europe. Most of the games were aired live on television and/or streamed live in professional quality productions on the internet.

Improvements for 2015 will be made in the organization of the EUROBOWL final. Attendance for the final game was substantially higher than the total figures for the complete final tournament of the club competition of other organizations in Europe, but still a lot of potential remains to be utilized. Also the clubs are hoping to avoid scheduling conflicts in the future as scheduling will be optimized in the GFL as well. A change and clarification will be made as far as the rules for foreign players are concerned. Eligibility for players will no longer be determined by reference to their country of birth or residence, but solely depend on whether a player has played collegiate American football in the U.S. or elsewhere on similar level. Players who played junior American football in the country of their club will be exempt from any such restrictions.

The balance in competitiveness will certainly improve due to the new regulations, which will straighten procedures in dealing with dual passport holders. In discussions between league offices in Germany, Switzerland and Austria currently the lineup for the 2015 season in Big6 and EFL is evolving. Early indications suggested five clubs from outside the GFL are interested in joining the Big6. Still the process of selecting teams for Europe's top club competition is underway, and clubs interested either in Big6 or in EFL play for the 2015 season may still join and become part of the European American football elite in the upcoming year.

European Federation of American Football