Plans for US Eastern AFL
Sunday, January 09 2005 @ 11:49 pm ACDT
Contributed by: Brett Northey
The United States has five major leagues, the NEAFL, SEAFL, Mid-American (MAAFL), North West Pacific (NWPAFL, which includes some Canadian clubs) and the western league that has variously been based on the Californian league. In addition, metro-leagues are growing in many cities and states, with the Arizona AFL and Golden Gate AFL amongst the largest. In recent years the MAAFL has lead the way in regular organised matches, with the NEAFL and SEAFL featuring less teams and games.
In 2004 the NEAFL featured New York, Boston, Philadelphia and Baltimore Washington. All these teams are being considered in the Eastern AFL plans. The SEAFL had four clubs - the Atlanta Kookaburras, North Carolina Tigers, Tri-Cities Saints and Florida Redbacks. The Redbacks were not full members, as they were having a trial season. Tri-Cities are expected to fold, and Atlanta are already part of the MAAFL. So whether it is a merger of the NEAFL and SEAFL or rather an expansion of the NEAFL could be debated, with North Carolina the only regular member likely to come from the old South East league. A new addition would be the Pittsburgh Wallabies, who were not involved in any league play last year, bringing the EAFL to seven clubs - certainly a more respectable looking number when trying to promote the league.
Details still aren't finalised, such as whether it will go ahead, and whether it will feature a home and away series (like the MAAFL and SEAFL) or a series of tournaments (like the NEAFL). One concern is that new club Baton Rouge, from Louisiana, may be left out in the cold. A possible option will be involvement with the Texas metro league, until they are large enough to commit to major interstate travel. On the upside, it should make seedings for the US Nationals slightly less contentious, with clubs spread over one less league (assuming the SEAFL is not continued).
Possible US Eastern AFL clubs: Baltimore Washington Eagles Boston Demons Florida Redbacks North Carolina Tigers New York Magpies Philadelphia Hawks Pittsburgh Wallabies