The A7FL, American 7s Football League, was founded in March of 2014 as the national league representing 7 on 7 no-pads tackle football, that is American 7s Football, which is played without hard pads and helmets.
Generally, athletes generally range from 18 to 30 years of age, must be 18 to play, and must sign an injury waiver. The A7FL field size is 100 x 37 yards and does not utilize the field goal posts. The narrower field width increases the pace of the action with fewer men on the field making for vicious hits while the 100 yard length maintains the grind. The quarterback has 4 eligible targets with 2 down linemen. Offenses can run bone or pistol, and there are no blitz restrictions for the defense.
A7FL season runs from April to July.
The idea for an organized no helmets no pads football league popped into A7FL co-founder Ryan DePaul’s head late in 2002. His high School football days were over; college football didn’t work out, and he was playing pickup games of tackle football anywhere he could find them. Although, it wasn’t until late 2005 that he started developing the new sport’s rules, game play, and structure. Headquartered in Sayreville, NJ, Ryan named the league, Town Beef, in honor of the legacies left behind by football rivalries formed between neighboring towns across the country.
The opening day was the first Sunday of March 2006 at Veterans Field in Sayreville, New Jersey. Six newly formed New Jersey teams were in attendance that day and by 2009 the league had expanded to include teams in Colorado, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Texas, Florida, New York, and New Jersey.
Heading into his 10th season, Ryan DePaul was approached by lifelong friend, technology mogul, and serial entrepreneur, Sener Korkusuz with the intention to help elevate this format of football to the major league level. American 7s Football League was founded in March 2014, with the goal to expand the newly branded game of American 7s Football to the world.
In its first official season April 2015, the A7FL was featured in numerous online publications both nationally and internationally as well regional US television news. Online publications including Forbes, Think Progress News, TMZ, Fox Sports Radio, ESPN Radio, and one of sports leading publications SportingNews.com covered the A7FL’s launch. Forbes discussed the business of this exciting sport of American 7s Football while Sporting News discussed the popular topic of concussions and traumatic brain injury posing, as a growing number of industry, medical, sports experts do, that A7FL football without helmets is the safer alternative to today’s game. WPIX 11 in New York and ABC2 in Maryland covered the season opener with regional news coverage. (See www.a7fl.com/press for more).
The A7FL 2015 A7FL Champion was the Paterson, New Jersey U. The 2016 A7FL Champion was the Trenton, New Jersey Brothers in Christ (BIC). The 2017 Champion was the Union City, New Jersey Chiefs. A7FL continues to expand nationally across the United States with plans to develop national metro areas within the coming years.
2016, the A7FL entered into a strategic partnership with Athlete Intelligence, maker of the Vector Mouthguard, a biometric monitoring and tracking mouthpiece, in a sponsorship to equip players in the A7FL so that a study can be conducted on the effects of playing football without helmets compared to with helmets. The New Jersey Institute of Technology is supporting the study jointly with A7FL and Athlete Intelligence offering internships and institutional scientific oversight. 2017 marked the second year of this groundbreaking scientific study with results to be published into scientific journals upon completion. This sponsorship continues in 2018 to maximize exposure for the Athlete Intelligence brand.
2017, the A7FL entered into a strategic partnership with 2nd Skull, maker of soft padded headgear, in a sponsorship to equip players in the A7FL with blow softening skull caps for incidental contact protection. In 2018 the sponsorship continues in a major milestone naming 2nd Skull the official headgear of the A7FL and optional equipment for all A7FL athletes to take advantage of.
The 2017 Championship was a historic milestone for the A7FL. Televised in a partnership with ELEVEN Sports Network and accessible to fans in 70MM households in the USA and another 8 countries world wide.
The 2018 season marks a major turning point for the A7FL, with distribution deals formed with ELEVEN Sports Network for distribution on television in the US and internationally and Facebook and their new Watch platform for LIVE stream digital distribution globally.
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