European American Football: Playing in Pro Football Leagues Overseas

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Last modified on Saturday, 25 May 2013 19:33

      The days of NFL Europe are not gone, as a pro football game, and as part of the football history in Europe, it is still alive and well.  American franchise football has been in Germany since 1979, when the league was called the American Football Bundesliga.  Twenty years later the name of the league was changed to the German Football League.  The rules are the same as NCAA American Football and it has been growing steadily, both in popularity and formation.  In 2011 the league went from twelve to fourteen teams and by the year 2012, the German Football League plans on growing their number of teams to sixteen.  The following map shows the states in Germany with franchise football teams in the German Football League as of 2011. 


     The league is broken down into north and south divisions.  The northern divisions are more dominant and have many more bowl appearances


and overall victories than the south division.  So what are the rules in regards to American player restrictions per team?  Well, quoting Wikipedia, who has received their information from Neue Bundesspielordnung AFVD website, published: 3 November 2010, "One major change was that the sport now placed citizens of European Union countries on equal footing with German nationals, meaning, restrictions on the number of these players per team on the field were now not in place anymore. However, the restrictions on non-EU nationals remained in place, unless those players could prove that they had spent at least three years playing for a youth team in the sport in Germany.[9]For the 2011 season, a club can sign up to ten non-EU players, have six of those on the line-up for any given game but only two of those on the field at any given time."





North Division

Team City Stadium Capacity
Assindia Cardinals Essen Sportpark am Hallo 3,800
Berlin Adler Berlin Friedrich-Ludwig-Jahn-Sportpark 20,000
Dresden Monarchs Dresden Heinz-Steyer-Stadion 2,660
Dusseldorf Panthers Dusseldorf Stadion des Vfl Benrath 14,360
New Yorker Lions Braunschweig Eintracht-Stadion 25,500
Kiel Baltic Hurricanes Kiel Holstein-Stadion 12,000
Monchengladbach Mavericks Monchengladbach Warsteiner HockeyPark 12,000



South Division     

Team City Stadium Capacity
Marburg Mercenaries Marburg Georg-Gabmann-Stadion 12,000
Munich Cowboys Munich Dantestadion 18,000
Plattling Black Hawks Plattling Karl-Weinberger-Stadion 4,000
Saarland Hurricanes Saarbrucken Ludwigsparkstadion 35,303
Schwabisch Hall Unicorns Schwabisch Hall Hagenbachstadion 2,200
Stuttgart Scorpions Stuttgart Gazi-Stadion auf der Waldau 12,000
Wiesbaden Phantoms Wiesbaden Europaviertel 700


Listen to this podcast with professional football running back Tory Cooper, of the Berlin Adler franchise football team on the competition and life for an American Player playing and living in Germany.  He is a great pro football reference because he lives the days of nfl europe on a daily basis, where to him it is not just football history, but rather football present day.




Football Video Transcription:  It is a long football season, and you can't focus on just one team. So, it's like whatever spot you need to fill, like where are you hurting at. Like, let's say, you know, you're hurting at quarterback so you bring in an American quarterback. Say, you're hurting at D line, bring in lineman, but you're only allowed to bring in two in on each side of the ball on the field at one time so to one offense and to one defense. So, the people pretty much pick up three, maybe four.


So, How are you Enjoying Playing Pro Football in Germany?


Man, I'm loving it. We live right beside the airport, the main airport of the city (Berlin). Not in the city city but right around the right before you get into the suburbs, on the city outskirts. We have public transportation, we don't really need a car, because we have a bus, the tram, the S- train, above the ground, which goes up in a complete circle around the entire city. And plus a subway underground. So, it's pretty convenient man, you know just hop on the bus or train or trolley and go to the city, and do whatever, there is always something to do with there's always concerts here. There is always festivals. It's crazy. I mean, the city is known for one of the biggest 24 seven party scenes, so if you want to go out there is always something going on in happening, the other night I was out until 6 AM. There was an open rave starting on the river starting at 7 PM. It's always jumping. It is always jumping. Germany is a little different, the native Austrian players, they are more athletic than the German guys. The German players are bigger, they are definitely bigger in size, they are stronger, but the Germans are not as agile, and flexible, and as athletic as the Austrians. I mean, I've only played in two games, and have another 16 more games on the schedule, so I'll be able to tell you more later.



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