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The World Football League
World Football League
(WFL) was a short-lived American football league that played in 1974 and part of 1975. Although the league's proclaimed ambition was to bring American football
American football
onto a worldwide stage, the farthest the WFL reached was placing a team – the Hawaiians – in Honolulu, Hawaii. The league folded midway through its second season, in 1975. A new minor football league began play as the World Football League
World Football League
in 2008 after acquiring the rights to its trademarks and intellectual property.

Contents

1 History

1.1 Competing for NFL players 1.2 1974 season 1.3 1975 season 1.4 Legacy

2 NFL jumpers 3 Television and radio 4 Teams 5 Stadiums 6 Rules 7 Commissioners 8 See also 9 References 10 External links

History[edit] Gary Davidson was the driving force behind the WFL. He had helped start the successful American Basketball Association and World Hockey Association, some of whose teams survived long enough to enter the established National Basketball Association
National Basketball Association
and National Hockey League. Unlike his other two efforts, the World Football League
World Football League
did not bring any surviving teams into the National Football League, much less survive as a whole league. To get the league off the ground, Davidson knew he needed investors. At a press conference held in Chicago on October 2, 1973, Davidson announced his core of investors, a group of men he called the "founding fathers."[1] These men were Robert Schmertz, who owned the WHA's New England Whalers
New England Whalers
and NBA's Boston Celtics; a former hockey prospect named Howard Baldwin (future owner of the NHL's Pittsburgh Penguins), who ran the Boston Bulls charter; Ben Hatskin, who owned the WHA's Winnipeg Jets; and R. Steve Arnold, another WHA associate. Perhaps one of the biggest of the "founding fathers" was a Canadian movie producer, John F. Bassett. A former tennis prodigy and owner of the WHA's Toronto Toros, Bassett came from a wealthy Canadian family. The family owned (among other entities) the Toronto Argonauts
Toronto Argonauts
of the Canadian Football League, two Toronto newspapers and interests in television stations. The younger Bassett himself had been mulling over starting his own professional football league when he happened to meet Davidson and was given a franchise for Toronto. Along with the original founding fathers, the rest of the owners would soon fall into place, including a man whose own dreams of playing football were ended by a heart ailment, Thomas Origer, who would run the Chicago Fire.[1] Several prospective owners were forced to drop out. Davidson was willing to sell his Philadelphia team to investor Harry Jay Katz. Alas, Davidson would learn that Katz didn't have the strong resources that he claimed, and was in fact the target of several lawsuits. Davidson pulled back his offer to sell the rights to Philadelphia.[1] He nearly sold the Detroit franchise to a man named Bud Huchul, but it was later discovered Huchul had been arrested 30 times and faced 27 lawsuits related to his previous business dealings.[2] Davidson had initially planned for his league to commence play in 1975. However, the league came under pressure to accelerate its timetable, largely on account of strained labor relations affecting both established professional leagues. By the spring of 1974, players were threatening to go on strike in both the NFL and CFL, which could have delayed the start of their own seasons and/or caused the quality of their product to deteriorate in the event owners in the established leagues had attempted to bring in replacement players. The possibility of being the only major professional football league in operation (or, at least, the possibility that the quality of WFL football might be compared favorably with that of established league rosters filled with "scab" players) appeared to be too good an opportunity to pass up – combined with rumors of another upstart league, it persuaded Davidson to advance the new league's planned debut to 1974. One team went through several identities. The team slated to play in Maryland was to be called the Washington Capitals, but the expansion NHL team had already trademarked the rights to the nickname. A contest held to name the team came up with the name Ambassadors. The team then became the Baltimore-Washington Ambassadors, and then the Baltimore name was dropped, and the team simply became known as the Washington Ambassadors.[1] In order to boost ticket sales, Washington owner Joe Wheeler offered former Baltimore Colts quarterback Johnny Unitas
Johnny Unitas
a contract as head coach and general manager of the team. Unitas declined, stating that he was already under contract with the San Diego Chargers. Spurned by Unitas, Wheeler reached out to Redskins linebacker Jack Pardee
Jack Pardee
with the same offer. Pardee jumped at the chance, and quickly signed with the new league. Wheeler in the meantime had engaged in a war for territory with Pardee's old boss, Redskins owner Edward Bennett Williams. Wheeler wanted the Ambassadors to play at RFK Stadium, but Williams refused to allow it. Williams won the war, and the Ambassadors were on the move. Without ever stepping on the field, the team went through their third relocation, starting off as the Baltimore-Washington Ambassadors, to the Washington Ambassadors, and finally the Virginia Ambassadors.[1] Competing for NFL players[edit]

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The fledgling WFL did succeed in raising stagnant salaries in the NFL.[citation needed] Average salaries in professional football were among the lowest in the four major North American sports – the National Football League
National Football League
Players Association and the Canadian Football League Players Association had both gone on strike prior to their leagues' respective 1974 seasons in an effort to lift many of the rules suppressing free agency and player salaries. With the uncertain labor situation, the WFL had the opportunity to provide players with a better deal than the established leagues would give them, along with the promise of employment. Davidson's league garnered major publicity when the Toronto Northmen, led by John F. Bassett, signed three Miami Dolphins players, fullback Larry Csonka, halfback Jim Kiick, and wide receiver Paul Warfield
Paul Warfield
to what was then the richest three-player deal in sports, an astounding US$3.5 million to start in 1975. The pact was a guaranteed, personal-services contract, so the trio would be paid even if the WFL did not survive its first season. The NFL took notice, as did their players when they were approached to jump leagues. The Oakland Raiders
Oakland Raiders
lost both their quarterbacks; Ken Stabler, who signed with the Birmingham Americans
Birmingham Americans
and Daryle Lamonica, who penned a contract to play for the Southern California Sun
Southern California Sun
starting in 1975. John Wilbur left the Over-the-Hill Gang as a Washington Redskin to invest, coach special teams, and play for the Hawaiians. The Dallas Cowboys
Dallas Cowboys
also took roster hits when WFL teams in Hawaii and Houston
Houston
signed running back Calvin Hill
Calvin Hill
and quarterback Craig Morton respectively. The Hawaiians also signed Minnesota Vikings
Minnesota Vikings
Pro Bowl
Pro Bowl
WR John Gilliam and San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers
All-Pro TE Ted Kwalick. However, Gilliam ended up with the Chicago Winds and Kwalick signed with the Philadelphia Bell
Philadelphia Bell
prior to the 1975 season. By early June 1974, the WFL claimed they had some 60 NFL players under contract. May of these defections came in the form of futures contracts: the players would play out their existing deals with the NFL, then jump to the WFL when those deals expired (thus, Stabler would stay with the Raiders through 1975, then would have joined Birmingham in 1976 had the team and league survived that long). The top minor leagues in the United States at the time, the Atlantic Coast Football League and Seaboard Football League, were also tremendously affected. The ACFL had survived a suspension of operations in 1972 to return to play in 1973, only to have the WFL lure away most of the ACFL's and SFL's players with the prospect of playing in a "major" league. Both leagues were forced to fold; the ACFL and half the SFL folded immediately, with two teams joining the four remaining SFL teams to play in 1974. The SFL folded after an abbreviated 1974 season. 1974 season[edit] Main article: 1974 World Football League
World Football League
season Playing a 20-game regular season schedule in 1974 – six games longer than the NFL's then 14-game slate – the WFL staged no exhibition games (although their teams did participate in preseason scrimmages). The season was to begin on Wednesday, July 10 and end on Wednesday, November 13. This was a 20-game season in 19 weeks – a schedule accomplished by having double games (primarily Monday and Friday) on Labor Day weekend. Some complained that the schedule was poorly drafted; although most teams played on Wednesday nights with a national TV game slated for Thursday nights, the Hawaiians played their home games on Sunday afternoons. This meant that when the Hawaiians had a home game, they played an opponent who flew to Honolulu after having played just four days earlier. In addition, back-to-back meetings between two teams were common. The WFL held a college draft; the first six rounds were held on January 22, 1974, with the remaining 30 rounds held February 5. David Jaynes quarterback from Kansas was the first player selected in the draft by the original Memphis franchise that became the Houston
Houston
Texans by the time the season started. As was common with many upstart leagues, the WFL's intended lineup of teams changed several times before they even played a down. Most notably, Bassett's Toronto Northmen
Toronto Northmen
were forced to find a new home after the Canadian government threatened to ban any American football team from competing with the CFL. Though the Canadian Football Act never passed, the mere threat of it prompted Bassett to move the team to Memphis, where it became the Memphis Southmen, but was generally referred to by fans, local media, and even some official team materials as the "Grizzlies" (which was what they officially renamed themselves the following season). The WFL suffered an even more serious blow when the CFL reached an agreement with its striking players, followed quickly by a settlement ending the NFL players' strike that ensured the upstart league would be forced to compete with both of its established rivals. The original schedule called for a four-team playoff, with semifinal games held on Wednesday-Thursday November 20-November 21, and the World Bowl on Friday, November 29 (the night after Thanksgiving) at the Gator Bowl Stadium
Gator Bowl Stadium
in Jacksonville, Florida. League officials boldly discussed plans for expansion teams in Europe and Asia. In the first few weeks, the WFL looked to be a resounding success. Attendance outpaced the first week of the American Football League
American Football League
in 1960, averaging just under 43,000 a game. The box office numbers proved to be the beginning of the WFL's undoing when two teams admitted to inflating their gates on a grand scale. The Jacksonville Sharks admitted that out of the 105,892 fans who attended their first two games, anywhere from 14,000 to 44,000 had gotten in for free. The Philadelphia Bell, whose first two home games totaled 120,253 fans, admitted that 100,198 tickets had been given away for free or sold at significantly reduced prices. Presumably the giveaways were intended in part to pique the public's curiosity and interest, but they ended up seriously eroding the league's credibility. Six games into the first season, WFL franchises were in serious trouble. The Detroit Wheels
Detroit Wheels
were looking to move to Charlotte, and the Florida Blazers
Florida Blazers
made overtures of bringing the first place club to Atlanta. The league seemed to bottom out in September, when two franchises relocated in mid-season. The Houston Texans
Houston Texans
moved to Shreveport, Louisiana
Shreveport, Louisiana
as the Shreveport Steamer, and they were followed a week later by the New York Stars, who relocated to Charlotte
Charlotte
and became the Charlotte
Charlotte
Hornets (though they played one game - on the road - after the official move still under the "Stars" name). On top of this, the Wheels briefly moved one game to London, Ontario (this time with nary a complaint from Canadian officials). It was discovered that in the rush to commence play in 1974, several WFL teams had paid less than the original $120,000 franchise fee in order to meet Davidson's target of 12 teams, and that league officials had conducted little to no due diligence. As a result, most of the league's teams were badly undercapitalized. By most accounts, the only reasonably well-financed teams were Memphis, Philadelphia, the Hawaiians and Southern California. In many cases, WFL teams were unable to meet the most basic of team expenses. For instance, the Portland Storm's players were reportedly being fed by sympathetic local fans, while the Hornets had their uniforms impounded for not paying a laundry bill from the time the team was located in New York. The Birmingham Americans
Birmingham Americans
were not paid for the last two months of the season, the Florida Blazers
Florida Blazers
went three months without pay (and reportedly survived on McDonald's
McDonald's
meal vouchers), and the Sharks were not paid for what turned out to be their last six games. The other teams' finances were not much better; the Southmen, Bell and Hawaiians were the only teams who met payroll for every week of the season. The most dire situation, however, was that of the Detroit Wheels. The team's original 33 owners appeared to pay for team expenses out of pocket as they arose, resulting in what amounted to a club football team playing at the professional level. On several occasions, the team was left without uniforms when they did not pay the cleaning bill, forcing them to cancel practice. After several hotels and airlines went unpaid, the Wheels were unable to fly to games or get a place for the players to stay without paying in advance. One player was forced to pay a hospital bill for his son out of pocket because the team's insurance policy was worthless. The coaches were unable to film games. The low point came before a game in Philadelphia against the Bell, when the team ran out of tape for the players' ankles. Just when it looked like the Wheels would have to forfeit, a salesman donated enough tape to allow them to play.[2] The league was forced to take over the team after complaints from the players. Perhaps one of the most bizarre incidents for the WFL in 1974 involved defensive end John Matuszak, who had left the NFL's Houston Oilers
Houston Oilers
to play for the WFL's Houston
Houston
Texans. While Matuszak worked out on the field, attorneys for the Oilers and federal marshals arrived at the stadium. Shortly after sacking New York Stars quarterback Tom Sherman, Matuszak was lifted from the game. The team had been handed a restraining order, and Matuszak could not play another down for the Texans. Matuszak waved the document for the home crowd to see, as to indicate why he was sitting on the bench. A federal judge ruled that Matuszak could not play for the Texans, since he was still under contract to the Oilers. The judge ruled that Matuszak could play for the Texans only when his NFL contract was up, meaning that Matuszak could not play for the Texans until the 1978 season.[1] In October, the league pulled the plug on the Wheels and the Sharks after 14 games; the folding of the Jacksonville franchise meant that the Gator Bowl would not host World Bowl I. (Coincidentally, Jacksonville was also slated to be the host of the 1986 USFL Championship Game, but that game was never played as the USFL folded; it would not be until February 2005 that the city would host its first championship pro football game, Super Bowl
Super Bowl
XXXIX.) Davidson was forced to resign by the end of October 1974, and Hawaiians owner Christopher Hemmeter was named the new commissioner a month later. Late in the year, the league announced that it would award its Most Valuable Player a cash prize of $10,000 at the World Bowl. It was literally a cash prize; rather than endure the embarrassment of media sneers about whether a WFL check would clear, the league neatly stacked cash high upon a table in the middle of the field. The MVP award was a three-way split, and the players involved split the cash. The playoff format itself was also chaotic; numerous playoff formats were tossed around, including brackets ranging from three to eight teams, and one owner who even suggested that the World Bowl be canceled and the championship handed to the regular-season champion Memphis Southmen. Eventually, six teams were chosen for the tournament: all three division winners, and three wild cards. One of the wild cards was supposed to be the Hornets, who finished at 10-10. However, their game against the Blazers had to be aborted when only 1,000 tickets were sold—not nearly enough for the Hornets to justify the trip. The 9-11 Bell took their place.[3] Despite the disasters, many thought the WFL performed fairly well, though below NFL standards. Many games were tight, decided by seven points or less, and the Action Point, the one-point conversion run or pass attempt after a touchdown, was favored among WFL coaches and critics. The league championship – the World Bowl, or "World Bowl I" – was staged in Birmingham between the hometown Birmingham Americans and the Florida Blazers. Not even the World Bowl could go off without a hitch. For a time, it appeared that the game would not take place because the Americans owed $237,000 in back federal taxes. However, the Internal Revenue Service agreed to let the game go ahead in return for a portion of the gate. Both teams were owed several weeks' back pay; the Americans only agreed to play when their owner promised them championship rings if they won. Aside from the money woes the league was having, the players did not hold back in complaining about the officiating during the game. Florida Blazers
Florida Blazers
running back Tommy Reamon scored what he thought was a touchdown, but the officials on the field ruled that he fumbled the ball out of the end zone before he hit the ground, resulting in a touchback that gave the ball to Birmingham. Replays clearly showed that the ball had broken the plane of the end zone before slipping out of Reamon's hands. While the phantom turnover did not account for any Birmingham points, it did serve to break the spirits of the Blazers. Birmingham led 15-0, with Birmingham quarterback Matthew Reed scoring an action point. Birmingham led 22-0, and thought they had the game wrapped up. However, Florida managed a small comeback, trailing 22-21 as the gun went off in the fourth quarter.[1] After the game, the Americans' jerseys were seized to satisfy team debts. (Sports Illustrated referred to the game, prophetically, as "The first, and possibly only World Bowl.")[4] As if losing a championship game in a squeaker was not bad enough, things got much worse. Florida head coach Jack Pardee
Jack Pardee
bolted back to the NFL to take over the Chicago Bears. Shortly afterward, pieces of the Blazers' franchise were sold off at a court-ordered auction. The champions did not fare much better; only days after the World Bowl, the Americans' office furniture was repossessed by sheriff's deputies.[1] The financial losses were mind-blowing: The Hawaiians had lost $3.2 million, while the New York Stars/ Charlotte
Charlotte
Hornets had over $2 million of debt, and just $94,000 in assets. The Jacksonville Sharks and Detroit Wheels
Detroit Wheels
were liquidated owing nearly $4 million, and Detroit had 122 creditors looking to recoup losses.[1] Many NFL stars who had been attracted to the league quickly sought to get out of their contracts. Quarterback Ken Stabler
Ken Stabler
(Raiders), defensive end L. C. Greenwood
L. C. Greenwood
(Steelers), and quarterback Craig Morton (Giants) all were able to get courts to nullify their contracts with WFL teams, while former NFL veterans like George Sauer, Jr., Charley Harraway, Leroy Kelly, and Don Maynard all limped off into retirement. Home-grown talent, like quarterbacks Tony Adams and Danny White, quickly bolted for the NFL, with Adams landing with the Kansas City Chiefs and White with the Dallas Cowboys, and Florida head coach Jack Pardee got star Blazers' tight end Greg Latta to jump ship with him to the NFL's Bears.[1] 1975 season[edit] Main article: 1975 World Football League
World Football League
season Though many predicted the WFL was dead, the league returned for the 1975 season. During the offseason, Hemmeter developed a plan to restore a measure of financial sanity to the league by paying players and coaches based on a percentage of revenues, while imposing strict capitalization requirements on the teams. Several markets from 1974 returned under new team names and new ownership. The deceased Sharks of Jacksonville came back as the 'Express.' The Portland Storm
Portland Storm
became the Portland Thunder, the Birmingham Americans
Birmingham Americans
were replaced by the Vulcans, and the Chicago Fire became the Winds. The World Bowl runner-up Florida Blazers
Florida Blazers
folded, and their franchise rights were relocated to San Antonio, Texas, as the San Antonio Wings. Akron, Ohio was briefly mentioned as a location for the twelfth WFL team (the replacement for the Wheels), but this never materialized, and only 11 teams would play in the 1975 season.[5] Only two teams, Memphis and Philadelphia, returned with the same ownership from the prior season. Sports Illustrated, in its postmortem, noted that the change between 1974 and 1975 was so drastic that it was as if the WFL's two seasons were played by totally different leagues. The WFL of 1974 was described as a bombastic credit risk, while the WFL of 1975 was a safer but much quieter entity that failed because it was ignored.[6] An idea produced by the league was to have players wear different colors of pants based on their position. Offensive linemen were to wear purple pants, running backs green pants, receivers blue pants, linebackers red, and defensive backs yellow. Quarterbacks and kickers were to wear white pants. In addition to the colors, the pants were also adorned with items such as pinstripes (for the offensive linemen) or large stars (for quarterbacks) for those not watching on color television. After a test run in preseason games, this idea was scrapped.[1] The league changed the scheduling format from 20 games without exhibitions to 18 games (played in 20 weeks due to the odd number of teams) with exhibitions. Gone were weeknight games; the new schedule had games on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. But the league still was snake-bitten, as although the original plan called for a July 5 preseason opener and August 2 regular season openers, the regular season had to open a week earlier, with a single game on Saturday, July 26, due to a stadium conflict. This meant that a single regular season game was played in the midst of the last weekend of preseason play (with some preseason games being played the next night). Several more NFL free agents, including Calvin Hill
Calvin Hill
and Ted Kwalick, signed on with the struggling WFL. Memphis had secured three top-line, but fading Dolphins stars in Larry Csonka, Jim Kiick, and Paul Warfield. The Southern California Sun
Southern California Sun
secured the services of former AFL and NFL quarterback Daryle Lamonica. The Chicago Winds made an offer to aging Super Bowl III
Super Bowl III
MVP Joe Namath, who seriously considered the offer, before refusing and re-signing with the New York Jets. The Winds invested considerable money and time in the effort to sign Namath (the team even designed its uniform to emulate the Jets') and all but promised he was coming to Chicago. The embarrassing rejection by Namath crippled the Winds, who folded five weeks into the season. It also resulted in the loss of the WFL's national television deal (see below), rendering the league all but invisible. Despite Hemmeter's efforts, several teams soon ran into financial difficulties, in part due to alarmingly low attendance figures. The Winds were expelled five games into the season after dropping below league capitalization requirements, leaving the league with ten teams (which itself was a convenience, because it eliminated the mandatory bye week). It was not enough to stem the tide; by late October rumors abounded that four of the remaining teams were on the verge of folding. On October 22, just a few days before the start of week 13, the WFL went out of business. Hemmeter said that the league would have needed to spend as much as $40 million over two years to be successful—a bill that the league's directors, seven of whom sat on the boards of banks, did not feel could be justified.[7] The Birmingham Vulcans, with a league-best record of 9-3, were proclaimed league champions.[8] With the relative financial stability of the Birmingham and Memphis clubs, both attempted to join the NFL but were refused. In 1979, the Memphis club owners filed an anti-trust suit against the NFL. Their case was ultimately dismissed on May 30, 1984,[9] by which time the owners had already established the Tampa Bay Bandits
Tampa Bay Bandits
in the next professional league, the United States Football League
United States Football League
(which incidentally filed their own, more famous antitrust suit against the NFL in 1986). Although the NFL expanded by two teams in 1976, that expansion had been planned before the WFL's first season, and neither city (Tampa and Seattle) had hosted a WFL franchise. One of the issues facing the WFL going into 1975 was how to hold a draft. The owners of the WFL teams collectively agreed they did not have the money to seek out the top college prospects. Instead, the league came up with a different plan. Instead of drafting a certain player, a WFL team would draft an entire NFL or CFL team. This gave that team the rights to negotiate with players under contract for that team. For example, only the Charlotte
Charlotte
Hornets had the right to offer contracts to players from the Buffalo Bills, Baltimore Colts, and Detroit Lions, and only the Chicago Winds could offer contracts to players from the Pittsburgh Steelers, New York Jets, and Edmonton Eskimos of the Canadian Football League.[1] Legacy[edit] The league's struggles led to endless sarcastic comments (starting with the league's own abbreviation, which was often pronounced "Wiffle"). Chicago Fire offensive lineman Steve Wright quipped that he had been offered a million dollar contract: "A dollar a year for a million years!" In the 1976 season, Memphis Southmen
Memphis Southmen
coach John McVay joined the staff of the New York Giants
New York Giants
and brought with him nine players from the Southmen. In what has been described as "the closest approximation to a meeting between the champions of the WFL and the NFL" (even though the Southmen never won a WFL title), the Southmen-reinforced Giants upset the defending Super Bowl
Super Bowl
champion Pittsburgh Steelers
Pittsburgh Steelers
17–0 in a preseason match that year.[10] The WFL, for all its embarrassing miscues, produced a number of coaches who found success in the NFL, notably Jack Pardee, Lindy Infante, and Marty Schottenheimer. Jim Fassel, a quarterback for the Hawaiians, became a head coach in the NFL and UFL, taking the New York Giants to Super Bowl XXXV
Super Bowl XXXV
in 2001 and the Las Vegas Locomotives
Las Vegas Locomotives
to a win in the 2009 UFL Championship Game. McVay worked his way up the Giants organization and eventually became the team's head coach; he had even more success as general manager of the San Francisco 49ers during the 1980s dynasty years. Several players, most notably Pat Haden, Danny White, Alfred Jenkins, Greg Latta, and Vince Papale, later found success in the NFL as well. Three WFL alumni made it to the Pro Football Hall of Fame: Larry Csonka, Paul Warfield, and Curley Culp; all three were already established stars in the NFL before joining the WFL. The league's most severe impact was on the Miami Dolphins, who had just won consecutive Super Bowls before the WFL's snagging of three of their star players. This changed the course of NFL history, by opening the door to dominance by two other AFC teams, the Steelers and the Raiders, during the second half of the 1970s. While by no means the pioneer of "singular" team nicknames, which had been used by some college and professional sports teams since the 19th century, the quantity of them in a single league ("Fire", "Sun", "Bell", "Storm", "Steamer", "Thunder", "Express") was rare in professional sports at the time, and was a distinguishing mark of the league. The WFL also arguably affected locations of other professional football teams: from the NFL, Hawaii hosted the Pro Bowl
Pro Bowl
from 1980 through 2009 and since 2011, Jacksonville got the Jacksonville Jaguars in 1995, Charlotte
Charlotte
received the Carolina Panthers
Carolina Panthers
in the same year, and Houston's expansion franchise, the Texans, revived the name of the WFL team in 2002. Though the WFL's Toronto establishment failed due to Canadian resistance, the Buffalo Bills
Buffalo Bills
(with Canadian backing and special conditions) played occasional home games in Toronto, and the league's original intent to expand the game globally is being partially fulfilled by the NFL International Series. Other cities became regular stops for franchises in other leagues:

Memphis hosted the Showboats of the USFL from 1983 to 1985, the Mad Dogs of the CFL in 1995, and the XFL's Maniax in 2001. The NFL also used Memphis as a temporary home for the Tennessee Oilers
Tennessee Oilers
in 1997 before their stadium in Nashville was completed. Birmingham hosted the Vulcans and Magic of the AFA, Stallions of the USFL, the Fire of the WLAF from 1991 to 1992, Barracudas of the CFL in 1995, and the Thunderbolts of the XFL
XFL
in 2001. Orlando hosted the Americans of the AFA, Renegades of the USFL, Thunder of the WLAF, Rage of the XFL
XFL
and the Tuskers of the UFL. Shreveport later hosted the Steamers of the AFA and the Pirates of the CFL. Jacksonville hosted the Firebirds of the AFA and the Bulls of the USFL before the Jaguars franchise was awarded. In 2010, Jacksonville received an Arena Football League
Arena Football League
expansion franchise, which revived the Sharks name. Charlotte
Charlotte
later hosted the Chargers of the AFA before the Panthers' NFL franchise was awarded. Baltimore had an NFL team (the Colts) at the time of the WFL, but after their departure the Stars of the USFL and the Stallions of the CFL played in the city. The Stallions were disbanded when the NFL returned to Baltimore with the current Baltimore team, the Baltimore Ravens. The CFL team's owner (who had initially hoped to relocate elsewhere in the U.S. until it became apparent the league was abandoning its American experiment) eventually relocated his organization from Baltimore to Montreal
Montreal
where he established the current incarnation of Montreal
Montreal
Alouettes. Although the Alouettes and Stallions are considered separate franchises, Montreal
Montreal
retained much of the Stallions' roster. San Antonio later hosted the Charros of the AFA, Gunslingers of the USFL, the Riders of the WLAF, the Texans of the CFL, the Matadors of the SFL, and four home games for the New Orleans Saints
New Orleans Saints
during their 2005 "road season", in which the Saints had to abandon their usual stadium, the Louisiana Superdome, due to damage from Hurricane Katrina. (San Antonio has also hosted NFL exhibition games.) Southern California hosted the Express of the USFL, the Xtreme of the XFL, the Dragons of the SFL and was expected to host an as-yet-unnamed franchise in the UFL, a promise that has yet to be fulfilled in the league's upcoming fourth season. The New York/New Jersey metropolitan area hosted the New Jersey Generals of the USFL, the New York Sentinels
New York Sentinels
of the UFL, and two teams that bore both states' names; the Knights of the WLAF and the Hitmen of the XFL. Chicago hosted the Fire of the AFA, Blitz of the USFL and the Enforcers of the XFL. Detroit later hosted the Michigan Panthers
Michigan Panthers
of the USFL, and was targeted as a possibility for XFL
XFL
expansion before the XFL
XFL
folded. Portland later hosted the Breakers of the USFL and served as the launching point for the CFL USA
CFL USA
initiative with an exhibition game in June 1992, though it never received a CFL team.

The NFL's Houston Texans
Houston Texans
revived the name of the WFL's franchise for that city; "Texans" has also been used by an NFL Dallas team in 1952 – the remnants of which became the Baltimore/Indianapolis Colts, by an AFL Dallas team in the early 1960s – who became the Kansas City Chiefs, by an arena football team in Dallas in the early 1990s, and by a CFL San Antonio team for one year in the 1990s. There is also a Major League Soccer
Major League Soccer
team called the Chicago Fire, and there are/were also NBA teams called the Memphis Grizzlies
Memphis Grizzlies
(2001–present) and Charlotte
Charlotte
Hornets (1988–2002, 2014–present) (it should be noted that the nickname "Hornets" was used for minor league baseball teams in Charlotte
Charlotte
long before the WFL entry, also, the "Grizzlies" name for the Memphis NBA team was selected when the franchise was still in Vancouver
Vancouver
although the city's previous history with the nickname might have been a factor in the basketball team's decision to keep it). The Jacksonville Sharks
Jacksonville Sharks
and Portland Thunder
Portland Thunder
names were later revived for teams in the 2010 revival of the Arena Football League. The American Football Association was conceived as a successor to the WFL, and in some newspapers was even referred to as the "New WFL." Many of the AFA teams revived, with slight alterations, the names of WFL teams that had resided in respective cities, and several of the AFA's key personnel had previously served in similar capacities with WFL teams. The league also caused significant problems for the lower levels of professional football. Its arrival resulted in the end of the ACFL and SFL, effectively killing minor-league professional football in the United States until AFA's formation in 1979. NFL jumpers[edit] Several NFL players signed contracts, or in some cases, future contracts with teams in the World Football League. In the case of a future contract, this was when a player entering the final years of a contract with an NFL team would sign a contract with a WFL team that goes into effect the moment the player's obligation with his NFL club is finished. Each signing is broken down by team, said players previous NFL club, and year player signed a contract. Just because a player signed doesn't mean he ever played for that team. L. C. Greenwood, for instance, never played a down of football for Birmingham.[1] No one shown with a date after 1975 ever actually played for the WFL team listed due to the league's insolvency as of that year. (Note that the two Mike Taylors listed below are two different players.)

Birmingham Ross Brupbacher, LB (Chicago Bears) 1974 L. C. Greenwood, DE (Pittsburgh Steelers) 1975 Charley Harraway, RB (Washington Redskins) 1974 Ron Jessie, WR (Detroit Lions) 1975 George Mira, QB ( Montreal
Montreal
Alouettes, CFL) 1974 Jim Mitchell, TE ( Atlanta
Atlanta
Falcons) 1975 Mike Montgomery, RB (Dallas Cowboys) 1975 Joe Profit, RB (New Orleans Saints) 1974 Jethro Pugh, DT (Dallas Cowboys) 1976 Paul Robinson, RB ( Houston
Houston
Oilers) 1975 Ken Stabler, QB (Oakland Raiders) 1976 Larry Willingham, DB (St. Louis Cardinals) 1974 Rayfield Wright, T (Dallas Cowboys) 1977

Chicago Virgil Carter, QB (San Diego Chargers) 1974 Bob McKay, T (Cleveland Browns) 1975

Detroit Warren McVea, RB (Kansas City Chiefs) 1974 Mike Taylor, LB (New York Jets) 1974

Florida Bill Bergey, LB (Cincinnati Bengals) 1976 Bob Davis, QB (New Orleans Saints) 1974 Fred Hoaglin, C (Baltimore Colts) 1975 Cecil Turner, WR (Chicago Bears) 1975 Perry Williams, RB (Green Bay Packers) 1975

Hawaiians Vince Clements, RB (New York Giants) 1975 John Douglas, LB (New York Giants) 1975 Ron East, DT (San Diego Chargers) 1974 Ed Flanagan, C (Detroit Lions) 1975 John Gilliam, WR (Minnesota Vikings) 1975 Edd Hargett, QB ( Houston
Houston
Oilers) 1975 Calvin Hill, RB (Dallas Cowboys) John Isenbarger, WR (San Francisco 49ers) 1975 Randy Johnson, QB (New York Giants) 1975 Ted Kwalick, TE (San Francisco 49ers) 1975 Jim Sniadecki, LB (San Francisco 49ers) 1975 John Wilbur, G (Washington Redskins) 1975 Greg Wojcik:, DT (San Diego Chargers) 1974

Houston Bob Creech, LB (Philadelphia Eagles) 1974 Richmond Flowers, DB (New York Giants) 1975 Craig Morton, QB (Dallas Cowboys) 1975

Jacksonville Guy Dennis, OG (Detroit Lions) 1975 Chip Glass, TE (Cleveland Browns) 1975 Fair Hooker, WR (Cleveland Browns) 1975 Ray Nettles, LB (British Columbia Lions, CFL) 1975 Bob Parrish, DE (New York Jets) 1975 Larry Smith, RB (Los Angeles Rams) 1975 Harmon Wages, RB ( Atlanta
Atlanta
Falcons) 1975

Memphis Larry Csonka, RB (Miami Dolphins) 1975 John Harvey, RB ( Montreal
Montreal
Alouettes, CFL) 1975 Jim Kiick, RB (Miami Dolphins) 1975 D. D. Lewis, LB (Dallas Cowboys) 1975 Paul Warfield, WR (Miami Dolphins) 1975 Ralph Hill (American football), C (New York Giants) 1975[11]

New York Al Barnes, WR (Detroit Lions) 1975 Carter Campbell, DE (New York Giants) 1975 Brian Dowling, QB (New England Patriots) 1976 John Elliott, DT (New York Jets) 1974 John Fuqua, RB (Pittsburgh Steelers) 1976 Gerry Philbin, DT (New York Jets) 1974

Philadelphia Steve Chomyszak, DT (Cincinnati Bengals) 1975 Ron Holliday, WR (San Diego Chargers) 1975

Portland Hise Austin, DB (Green Bay Packers) 1975 Ron Billingsley, DT (New Orleans Saints) 1975 Levert Carr, T ( Houston
Houston
Oilers) 1975 Tom Drougas, T (Baltimore Colts) 1976 Rocky Rasley, G (Detroit Lions) 1976 Mike Taylor, T (St. Louis Cardinals) 1974 Steve Thompson, DT (New York Jets) 1975 Clancy Williams, DB (Washington Redskins) 1974

Southern California Curley Culp, DT ( Houston
Houston
Oilers) 1975 Daryle Lamonica, QB (Oakland Raiders) 1975 Bob Newton, T (Chicago Bears) 1976 Dave Williams, WR (Pittsburgh Steelers) 1974 Dick Witcher, TE (San Francisco 49ers) 1975

Many other players jumped as well. Dallas running back Duane Thomas signed with the Hawaiians in 1975 after being released by the Washington Redskins. Longtime Cleveland Browns running back Leroy Kelly signed with Chicago. Other players joined the WFL despite being drafted by NFL squads, such as quarterback Danny White, who signed with Memphis before eventually joining the NFL's Dallas Cowboys.[1] Television and radio[edit] The league's only national television contract was with the TVS Television Network,[12] a syndicator of American sports programming. Merle Harmon and Alex Hawkins announced TVS' Thursday Night Game.[13] Guest announcers were often brought into the booth including Paul Hornung,[14] George Plimpton,[15] Alex Karras, and McLean Stevenson.[16] According to TVS president Eddie Einhorn, the games actually got decent ratings at first. However, affiliates started bailing out after the Philadelphia and Jacksonville free-ticket scandals, a trickle that became a flood after two teams moved in the middle of the season and two more folded altogether. By the time of the World Bowl, the games were struggling to achieve Nielsen ratings above 2.0, and TVS found it nearly impossible to sell advertising. Despite the losses, Einhorn was actually willing to stick it out until Hemmeter announced the Winds were going to try to sign Namath. Einhorn told Hemmeter that the league had effectively bet its whole credibility on Namath coming to Chicago, and none of TVS' affiliates would commit to broadcasting the 1975 season unless Namath signed with the Winds. When he didn't, the WFL was left without a national television contract.[6] The loss of such a critical revenue stream was a factor in the league's collapse midway through the season. Recordings from two WFL telecasts survive, both involving the Jacksonville Sharks: one includes approximately one hour of footage from the July 10, 1974 match between the Sharks and the New York Stars, and the second includes ten minutes of footage from the Sharks hosting the Chicago Fire on July 17. Local affiliates provided most of the television and radio coverage throughout the WFL existence. Notable local announcers include John Sterling (New York Stars/ Charlotte
Charlotte
Hornets television),[17] Spencer Ross (New York Stars radio),[18] Bob Sheppard
Bob Sheppard
(New York Stars PA), Mike Patrick (Jacksonville Sharks), Larry King
Larry King
(Shreveport Steamer), Larry Matson (Birmingham Americans/Birmingham Vulcans),[19] Fred Sington (Birmingham Americans/Birmingham Vulcans)[19] and Eddie Doucette and Vince Lloyd
Vince Lloyd
(Chicago Fire radio and TV respectively). While the Boston Bulls franchise never made it onto the field; the team's preparations for the 1974 season had gone along far enough for the team to have signed contracts that January, shortly before the plug was pulled, with WLVI
WLVI
to televise the club's away games (as well as agreeing to pick-up the TVS package) and WEEI-AM to carry the team's entire schedule on radio. Although the franchise would be folded into the New York Stars, WLVI
WLVI
nevertheless honored their agreement to be the TVS/WFL outlet for Boston. The league predated the vast expansion of cable television and sports networks spearheaded by the birth of ESPN
ESPN
in 1979, which severely limited the options the WFL had to televise. At the time, the AFL–NFL merger, coupled with the launch of Monday Night Football, had spread the NFL broadcast rights over all three of the Big Three television networks. The NFL, in a 1973 memo, noted that if the NFL had left one of the Big Three networks without NFL rights, it would have left an opening for the WFL. This memo was later used when the later United States Football League
United States Football League
(which included Einhorn as one of its team owners) filed an antitrust lawsuit against the NFL, hoping to break its television contracts; the lawsuit, although it acknowledged the monopoly, did not succeed in voiding the contracts. Teams[edit] Same franchises are shown on the same line.

Birmingham Americans
Birmingham Americans
(1974) Birmingham Vulcans
Birmingham Vulcans
(1975) Chicago Fire (1974) Chicago Winds (1975) Detroit Wheels
Detroit Wheels
(1974) Florida Blazers
Florida Blazers
(1974), San Antonio Wings
San Antonio Wings
(1975) The Hawaiians (1974–75) Houston
Houston
Texans/ Shreveport Steamer
Shreveport Steamer
(1974), Shreveport Steamer
Shreveport Steamer
(1975) Jacksonville Sharks
Jacksonville Sharks
(1974) Jacksonville Express
Jacksonville Express
(1975) Memphis Southmen
Memphis Southmen
(1974), Memphis Grizzlies
Memphis Grizzlies
(1975) New York Stars/ Charlotte
Charlotte
Stars/ Charlotte
Charlotte
Hornets (1974), Charlotte Hornets (1975) Philadelphia Bell
Philadelphia Bell
(1974–75) Portland Storm
Portland Storm
(1974) Portland Thunder
Portland Thunder
(1975) Southern California Sun
Southern California Sun
(1974–75)

Stadiums[edit]

Legion Field, Birmingham (1974–75) Soldier Field, Chicago (1974–75) Rynearson Stadium, Detroit (1974) Citrus Bowl, Orlando (1974) Alamo Stadium, San Antonio (1975) Honolulu Stadium (1974–75) Aloha Stadium, Honolulu (1975) Astrodome, Houston
Houston
(1974) State Fair Stadium, Shreveport (1974–75) Gator Bowl Stadium, Jacksonville (1974–75) Liberty Bowl Stadium, Memphis (1974–75) Downing Stadium, New York (1974) American Legion Memorial Stadium, Charlotte
Charlotte
(1974–75) John F. Kennedy Stadium, Philadelphia (1974–75) Franklin Field, Philadelphia (1975) Civic Stadium, Portland (1974–75) Anaheim Stadium
Anaheim Stadium
(1974–75)

Rules[edit] The WFL had several important rules differences from the National Football League of that era, and many were eventually adopted by the older league:

Touchdowns were worth 7 points, instead of 6. Conversions were called "Action Points" and could only be scored via a run or pass play (as opposed to by kick as in other football leagues), and were worth one point. The ball was placed on the two-and-a-half-yard line for an Action Point. This rule was a revival of a 1968 preseason experiment by the NFL and American Football League (called "Pressure Points"). The XFL
XFL
employed a similar rule for its only season in 2001. Kickoffs were from the 30-yard line instead of the 40. Until 1973, NFL teams kicked off from the 40; from 1974 to 1993 & since 2011, the NFL moved its kickoffs to the 35; and from 1994 to 2010, the kickoff line was pushed back to the 30. Receivers needed only one foot in bounds for a legal pass reception, instead of two feet in the NFL then and now. College and high school football, the Arena Football League, and the CFL have always used the one-foot rule. Bump-and-run pass coverage was outlawed once a receiver was 3 yards beyond the line of scrimmage. The NFL adopted this rule in 1978, with a 5-yard bump zone. The goalposts were placed at the end line (the back of the end zone). At that time, college football goalposts were at the end line, but the NFL had its goalposts at the goal line from 1933 through 1973. In the 1974 season, the NFL also moved its posts back to the end line to curb the then-growing dominance of placekickers (where they remain since). Missed field goals were returned to the line of scrimmage or the 20-yard line, whichever was farther from the goal line. The NFL also adopted this rule for its 1974 season, then replaced the line of scrimmage with the point of the kick in 1994. Before this rule, missed field goals were (if unreturned) touchbacks, with the ball placed at the 20-yard line. U.S. college football later adopted this rule, but left the point as the line of scrimmage rather than the point of the placement. A player in motion was allowed to move toward the line of scrimmage before the snap, as long as he was behind the line of scrimmage at the snap. This rule had never been used at any level of outdoor American football, but was (and still is) part of Canadian football. This rule is used in the Arena Football League
Arena Football League
and was used in the XFL. Punt returners were prohibited from using the fair catch, although the covering team could not come within 5 yards of the kick returner until he caught the ball. This rule also came from Canadian football, which still uses it, as does Arena football
Arena football
with kickoffs and missed field goals. The XFL
XFL
also used the so-called "halo rule". Penalties for offensive holding and ineligible receiver downfield were 10 yards, instead of 15. Several years later, these became 10-yard penalties at all levels of football; the NFL made this rule change in 1977. Still later, the ineligible receiver penalty was changed to 5 yards (with loss of down). The WFL's original overtime system unique to other American football leagues. Overtime in the regular season was one fixed 15-minute period, divided into two halves of 7½ minutes, each starting with a kickoff by one of the teams. The complete overtime was always played; there was no "sudden death" feature. In 1975, the WFL changed its overtime to the 15-minute sudden-death period.[20] Limited (or no) pre-season games. In 1974 and 1975, NFL teams played six pre-season games and 14 regular-season games (which was changed in 1978 to the current four pre-season and 16 regular-season games). The CFL played 16-game seasons with four pre-season games (since 1986, they play an 18-game season with two pre-season games). In contrast, the WFL's 1974 schedule called for 20 regular-season games and no pre-season games; in 1975, it was 18 regular-season games and two pre-season games. Summertime football. The NFL's regular season started on September 15 in 1974 and on September 21 in 1975; the WFL's regular season started on July 10 in 1974 and on July 26 in 1975 (with the 1975 pre-season starting on July 5). At the time, the Canadian Football League, which must contend with colder winters than American leagues, had recently completed a gradual move from playing twice weekly with a similar start time to the season as the NFL to playing once weekly and starting its season in July (the CFL would eventually begin playing regular season games in June). Weeknight football (1974). While NFL games were played mostly on Sundays and, from 1970 onwards, a game on Monday night, the WFL's 1974 schedule called for Wednesday night football (with a Thursday night national TV game). This scheduling format was abandoned in 1975. The featured Thursday night game was later adopted as "Thursday Night Football" by the NFL in 2006. The "Dickerod". Instead of using a ten-yard chain strung between two sticks for measuring first down yardage, the WFL used a device called the "Dickerod", ostensibly named for its inventor. This was a single stick, 90 inches long, mounted on a base which allowed it to pivot from side to side. The stick was swung down to ground level when a first down was being set, and a marker that slid along the shaft was fixed in place to line up with the nearest gridiron line (the major yard lines spaced every five yards). When that was set, the stick was swung back to the upright position. When a measurement was needed by the officials, the Dickerod was brought out to the ball position, the shaft swung down to ground level, the marker lined up with the nearest gridiron line, and the measurement was taken. (In all other forms of football today, a similar marker is clipped to the standard ten-yard chain, also lining up with a gridiron line.)

Commissioners[edit]

Gary L. Davidson 1973–74 Christopher Hemmeter 1974–75

See also[edit]

1974 World Football League
World Football League
season 1975 World Football League
World Football League
season World Bowl (WFL) List of leagues of American football WFL All-Time Team

References[edit]

^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "World Football League". Retrieved 2017-12-27.  ^ a b Speck, Mark. In Detroit, Where the Wheels Fell Off. Pro Football Researchers Association, 1997. ^ Speck, Mark (1998). WORLD BOWL I .... AND ONLY. Coffin Corner. Retrieved 2011-02-27. ^ Marshall, Joe. World Bowl in crisis. Sports Illustrated, 1974-12-16. ^ "A Century of Sports: The Mahoning and Shenango Valleys". The Vindicator. November 14, 1999. p. 4.  ^ a b Johnson, William Oscar. The Day the Money Ran Out. Sports Illustrated, 1975-12-01. ^ Cady, Steve (October 23, 1975). "Money Woes Force W.F.L. To Disband". New York Times.  ^ Talley, Rick (July 16, 1978). "Origer's feelings for WFL, Fire still burn bright". Chicago Tribune. p. B8. Retrieved April 28, 2010. Although he could have sold 22000 season tickets for that ill-fated '75 season, he folded the team [...]  ^ New, The. "U.S. Supreme Court – The New York Times
New York Times
– Narrowed by 'NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE'". Topics.nytimes.com. Retrieved 2010-07-29.  ^ Ford, Mark L. (2000). "25 Significant "Meaningless" NFL Games" (PDF). The Coffin Corner. 22 (5). Pro Football Researchers Association. Retrieved January 19, 2010.  Note: The PFRA erroneously refers to this matchup as the last such contest. ^ "World Football League". wfl.charlottehornetswfl.com.  ^ " World Football League
World Football League
Affiliates". Radio-Info.com Discussion Boards>NATIONAL TELEVISION TOPICS>Classic TV. 28 January 2010. Retrieved 15 April 2012.  ^ " World Football League
World Football League
– Fun Facts, Answers, Factoids, Info, Information". Funtrivia.com. 1974-12-05. Retrieved 2010-07-29.  ^ "World Football League". Pqasb.pqarchiver.com. 1974-09-15. Retrieved 2010-07-29.  ^ "Lost Treasures of NFL Films: The World Football League
World Football League
Episode Summary on". Tv.com. Retrieved 2010-07-29.  ^ "Search Old Newspaper Articles Online". NewspaperARCHIVE.com. Retrieved 2010-07-29.  ^ " Charlotte
Charlotte
Hornets Football Network". Charlottehornetswfl.com. Retrieved 2010-07-29.  ^ "MSGNetwork.com". Live.msgnetwork.com. Retrieved 2010-07-29.  ^ a b "Did you know ?". Wfl1974.com. Retrieved 2010-07-29.  ^ "WFL Rule Changes". Retrieved 2017-12-27. 

External links[edit]

Tribute site WFL at Curlie (based on DMOZ) World Football League
World Football League
(1974–1975) Helmets

v t e

World Football League

Teams

1974

Birmingham Americans Charlotte
Charlotte
Hornets Chicago Fire Detroit Wheels Florida Blazers The Hawaiians Jacksonville Sharks Memphis Southmen Philadelphia Bell Portland Storm Shreveport Steamer Southern California Sun

1975

Birmingham Vulcans Charlotte
Charlotte
Hornets Chicago Winds The Hawaiians Jacksonville Express Memphis Southmen Philadelphia Bell Portland Storm San Antonio Wings Shreveport Steamer Southern California Sun

Commissioners

Gary Davidson Christopher Hemmeter

Misc.

World Bowl I Dicker-rod Canadian Football Act Mid-South Grizzlies v. NFL 1974 season 1975 season WFL All-Time Team

v t e

Professional gridiron football leagues in North America

American football

Major

National Football League

Other

Alliance of American Football
Alliance of American Football
(2019) The Spring League XFL
XFL
(2020)

Defunct national

All-America Football Conference American Football League
American Football League
(1926) American Football League
American Football League
(1936–1937) American Football League
American Football League
(1940–1941) American Football League
American Football League
(1960–1969)* Continental Football League United Football League (2009–12) United States Football League World Football League World League of American Football/NFL Europe/NFL Europa** XFL
XFL
(2001)

Defunct regional

American Association (1936–1941)/American Football League (1946–1950)** American Football Association (1978–83) American Football League
American Football League
(1934) American Football League
American Football League
(1938–1939) American Football League
American Football League
(1944) Anthracite League Atlantic Coast Football League** Dixie League** Eastern League of Professional Football Fall Experimental Football League Midwest Football League National Football League
National Football League
(1902) New York Pro Football League Ohio League Pacific Coast Professional Football League** Regional Football League Seaboard Football League Spring Football League Stars Football League Texas Football League United Football League (1961–64) Western Pennsylvania Professional Football Circuit World Football League
World Football League
(2008–10)

*Merged into the NFL to start its American Football Conference. All teams still active. **Official NFL minor league; see also Association of Professional Football Leagues

Canadian football

Major

Canadian Football League

Predecessors

Interprovincial Rugby Football Union Western Interprovincial Football Union

Arena/Indoor football

Current

American Arena League Arena Football League Champions Indoor Football Indoor Football League National Arena League

Defunct

arenafootball2 American Indoor Football American Professional Football League Arena Pro Football Can-Am Indoor Football League Champions Professional Indoor Football League Continental Indoor Football League Independent Indoor Football Alliance Indoor Football League
Indoor Football League
(1999–2000) Indoor Professional Football League Intense Football League Lone Star Football League National Indoor Football League Professional Indoor Football League
Indoor Football League
(1998) Professional Indoor Football League
Indoor Football League
(2012) Southern Indoor Football League Supreme Indoor Football Ultimate Indoor Football League United Indoor Football X-League Indoor Football World Indoor Football L

.