Rapid growth continues in 2013

Autor: Alex Zarganis Published: 10 Jan 2013 | Comments: 0

The results of the December meetings of each of the five divisions of the Polish League of American Football (PLFA) were recently announced, with further expansion emerging as their main focus. Among the major announcements was the formation of a new junior league, PLFA J.

The eighth season of American football in Poland will begin during the weekend of March 23-24, 2013. PLFA SuperFinal VIII is scheduled for the weekend of July 13-14.

A trio of clubs, the Wrocław Giants, Warsaw Spartans and the Zagłębie Steelers Interpromex, will join the elite Topliga this year, bringing the total number of teams in Poland's top division to eight. The teams will be divided into two groups according to location, while the regular season schedule for each team will be made up of 10 games. The two best teams from each group will play in the semifinals, while the winners of those two games will meet in PLFA SuperFinal VIII.

Poland's second division, PLFA I, will continue with eight teams for 2013, with the Tychy Falcons and the Lublin Tytani taking the place of the promoted Spartans and Steelers. The setup of the league will be similar to that of the Topliga, although the schedule will be vastly different. Each team will play the other teams in its group twice during the six-game regular season. The two best teams from each group will advance to the postseason.

With 21 teams scheduled to take part, PLFA II will be Poland's biggest class of play in 2013. Four Topliga teams (the Wrocław Devils, the Gdynia Seahawks, the Warsaw Eagles and the Warsaw Spartans) will send reserve teams to play in the 2013 PLFA II season, while nine completely new teams will be making their 11-man football debuts. The teams will be divided into 3 divisions of 7 teams apiece, with each team playing each of the others in its division during a six-game regular season to determine which 8 clubs will reach the postseason. The 2013 PLFA II season will kick off during the weekend of April 20-21.

On the 8-man front, the 2013 PLFA 8 season will allow 9 teams to make their official PLFA debuts. The 20 teams playing will continue to use the tournament format, with the teams divided into five different four-team groups based on geography. The new wrinkle added to PLFA 8 for 2013 are its quarterfinal tournaments. Five group winners and the three best second-place teams will advance to play in these two tournaments, and the four teams that play the best on those two days will go to Częstochowa on the weekend of October 5-6 for the third PLFA 8 championship tournament. The first set of elimination-round tournaments is scheduled for the weekend of August 17-18.

Finally, a junior league will offer 14-17 old players their first chance to compete on a more organized and regular basis, as 17 teams from 14 cities will take the field in 8-man competition. The formation of PLFA J was made possible largely due to a donation of 400 complete sets of equipment from the International Federation of American Football (IFAF), and it comes on the heels of Poland's first-ever junior tournament, which has held on September 1-2, 2012 in Bielawa.

For the 2013 season, the teams will be divided into five groups, each with either three or four teams. Each of the five groups will hold two elimination tournaments, taking place in Będzin, Bielawa, Bydgoszcz, Krakow, Olsztyn, Poznań, Warsaw, Wrocław, Zabrze and Szczecin. The tournaments are scheduled for the weekends of August 31-September 1 and September 14-15. The two-day final tournament will be held during the weekend of September 28-29 in Bielawa. Four quarterfinal matches will be played on that Saturday, with the semifinals and the championship game coming on Sunday.

Alex Zarganis
PLFA Press Bureau