Champions Indoor Football (CIF) is a professional indoor American football league created in 2014 out of the merger between the Champions Professional Indoor Football League (CPIFL) and Lone Star Football League (LSFL), plus one team from the Indoor Football League and two expansion teams. Players are paid $75 – $300 per game before taxes. No other benefits are provided.
|Champions Indoor Football|
|Current season, competition or edition:|
2019 Champions Indoor Football season
|Commissioner||Ricky Bertz (interim)|
|No. of teams||8|
|Duke City Gladiators|
|Most titles||4 teams (1 title)|
|Domestic cup(s)||Champions Cup|
The Gary Dawgs, originally announced as a charter member of the CIF, rebranded as the Illiana Eagles (now the Chicago Eagles) after a change in ownership and delayed their entry into the league until 2016. On February 21, 2015, the new owners of the New Mexico Stars announced that the team would not enter the league as planned after head coach Dominic Bramante resigned two weeks before the scheduled start of training camp. On March 3, the Albuquerque-based Duke City Gladiators announced they were joining the CIF for the 2015 season and would play an abbreviated 11-game schedule as a partial replacement for the New Mexico Stars. At the end of the regular season, the four teams (ordered by seeding) that made the postseason were the Sioux City Bandits, Texas Revolution, Wichita Force, and Amarillo Venom. On Thursday, June 11, Texas defeated Wichita 39-27. Two days later, Sioux City beat Amarillo 83-52. This pitted Texas against Sioux City in Champions Bowl I on June 20 in Iowa. It was a highly anticipated event in both Siouxland and the Dallas-Fort Worth area, as the number one offense (Sioux City) faced the top defense (Texas). It was a well-fought game, especially at halftime, as the score was tied 35-35. But a rushing touchdown for eventual Champions Bowl MVP Andrew Prohaska and a Rahn Franklin interception sealed the deal for the Bandits as they defeated the "Revs", 76-61 in front of a raucous crowd of 3,757.
The Mesquite Marshals, Salina Liberty, and Bloomington Edge announced their entrance into the league, bringing the total number of teams to 12. The league meetings were on August 19 in Dodge City, Kansas. Many league changes were announced, including Darlene Jones resigning as commissioner, citing personal health-related reasons. Ricky Bertz was then appointed interim commissioner, with the help of Indoor Football League Hall-of-Famer, Tommy Benizio (who was the IFL's commissioner). Stephanie Tucker also joined Bertz and Benizio. Also announced at that time was the Northern/Southern divisional alignment. Later, on January 11, 2016, Bertz stepped down to focus on his team's sales, and Randy Sanders was named the interim commissioner. The updated alignment had each division with six teams. The top three teams reaching the playoffs and the team with the best record in each division received a bye in the first round. The division leader would then play the winners of the 2 vs. 3 seeds playoff game.
At the end of the 2016 season, the Mesquite Marshals changed their name to the Dallas Marshals. Later, the San Angelo Bandits folded but were immediately replaced by an expansion team called the CenTex Cavalry out of Belton, Texas. The CIF continued to expand for the 2017 season by adding the River City Raiders and West Michigan Ironmen from the recently defunct American Indoor Football and two expansion teams in Kansas City Phantoms and Bismarck Bucks. The CIF has also announced the league will realign from two to four divisions, with two teams each division making the playoffs. In November 2016, the Chicago Eagles announced that they had suspended operations for the 2017 season. Following the Eagles departure, the River City Raiders left the league citing the adverse effects on their schedule due to losing a regional opponent, although there had been claims that the Raiders were actually asked to leave due to non-payment of league fees. With the departure of the two teams, the league realigned back into two conferences of seven teams, with four teams per conference making the playoffs.
During the league winter meetings, Bertz returned to his former position of interim league commissioner. Sonny Clark of the Texas Revolution was named as director of operations.
On August 16, 2017, the CIF announced the Quad City Steamwheelers as an expansion team for 2018. On August 30, the league announced the addition of the Sioux Falls Storm from the IFL. The Wichita Falls Nighthawks of the IFL also joined on September 12. On the same day the Nighthawks joined, the Bloomington Edge and West Michigan Ironmen left the CIF for the IFL. The CIF apparently then attempted to sue the IFL, Edge, and Ironmen for leaving the CIF after the two teams had already signed league affiliation agreements with the CIF for 2018. The IFL then threatened to sue the CIF, Storm, and Nighthawks in return despite neither former IFL team signing an affiliation agreement with the IFL for 2018. To avoid disputes, the CIF stated they would not schedule either team. The Storm immediately announced that they would return to the IFL and the Nighthawks had to suspend operations. While the CIF did drop the lawsuit against the IFL, it filed for an injunction against the Edge and Ironmen teams from participating in the IFL for breaking the terms of their signed affiliation agreements. A temporary injunction from participation against the two teams was granted on January 31, 2018.
During the 2018 season, it was announced that after a change in ownership, the West Michigan Ironmen would return to the CIF after playing a season in the semi-professional Midwest Professional Indoor Football. The league also added an expansion team called the Oklahoma Flying Aces in Enid, Oklahoma. During the offseason, the CIF lost the Bismarck Bucks and Quad City Steamwheelers to the IFL. When the 2019 schedule was released, both the West Michigan Ironmen and the Kansas City Phantoms had been removed as members.
|Omaha Beef||Ralston, Nebraska||Ralston Arena||4,000||James Kerwin||2000||2015|
|Salina Liberty||Salina, Kansas||Tony's Pizza Events Center||7,583||Heron O'Neal||2016||2016|
|Sioux City Bandits||Sioux City, Iowa||Tyson Events Center||6,941||Erv Strohbeen||2000||2015|
|Wichita Force||Wichita, Kansas||Intrust Bank Arena||13,450||Rick Lee
|Amarillo Venom||Amarillo, Texas||Amarillo Civic Center||4,912||Julian Reese||2004||2015|
|Duke City Gladiators||Albuquerque, New Mexico||Tingley Coliseum||9,286||Dominic Bramante||2015||2015|
|Oklahoma Flying Aces||Enid, Oklahoma||Central National Bank Center||3,887||Richard Davis||2018||2019|
|Texas Revolution||Frisco, Texas||Ford Center at The Star||6,360||Victor Mann||2000||2015|
When the CPIFL started in 2013, the championship game was known as the "Champions Bowl", so the CIF used the same name for their title game.
|Year||Title||Home team||Away team||Score|
|2015||Champions Bowl I||Sioux City Bandits||Texas Revolution||76–61|
|2016||Champions Bowl II||Wichita Force||Amarillo Venom||48–45|
|2017||Champions Bowl III||Texas Revolution||Omaha Beef||59–49|
|2018||Champions Bowl IV||Duke City Gladiators||Sioux City Bandits||31–27|
The 2015 Champions Indoor Football season was the first season of the CIF. It was the result of a merger between the Lone Star Football League and the Champions Professional Indoor Football League. The regular season began on Saturday, February 28 and finished on Saturday, June 6. The league champion was the Sioux City Bandits, who defeated the Texas Revolution 76-61 in Champions Bowl I. The season MVP was Charles Dowdell of the Sioux City Bandits, and the Champions Bowl MVP was Drew Prohaska, also of the Bandits.2016 Champions Indoor Football season
The 2016 Champions Indoor Football season was the second season of the CIF. It started on Saturday, February 27, when the Omaha Beef traveled to Iowa, losing to the Sioux City Bandits 43-38, and the San Angelo Bandits traveled to Kansas to play the Dodge City Law, a game won by Dodge City, 59-37. The regular season concluded on Sunday, June 5, when the Sioux City Bandits traveled to Illinois to play the Bloomington Edge. The Edge won, 48-38.
The league champion was the Wichita Force, who defeated the Amarillo Venom 48-45 in Champions Bowl II. The season MVP was Robert Kent of the Texas Revolution, and the Champions Bowl MVP was Wichita's David Olson.2017 Champions Indoor Football season
The 2017 Champions Indoor Football season was the third season of the CIF. It started on February 25, when the Omaha Beef traveled to Iowa, losing to the Sioux City Bandits 63–44. The regular season concluded on Saturday, June 3. This was the first season in which four teams per conference advanced to the Champions Bowl playoffs, with the top seed in each conference hosting their conference's fourth seed, and second seeds hosting third seeds in the first round.
The league champion was the Texas Revolution, who defeated the Beef 59–49 in Champions Bowl III. The season MVP was Duke City Gladiators quarterback Donovan Porterie, and the Champions Bowl MVP was Revolution wide receiver Clinton Solomon.2018 Champions Indoor Football season
The 2018 Champions Indoor Football season was the fourth season of the CIF. The regular season began on March 3, when the Wichita Force traveled to Salina Liberty, losing 17–15. The regular season concluded on June 10. This was the second season in which four teams per conference advanced to the Champions Bowl playoffs, with the top seed in each conference hosting their conference's fourth seed, and second seeds hosting third seeds in the first round.
The league champion was the Duke City Gladiators over the Sioux City Bandits 31–27 in Champions Bowl IV. The regular season MVP was Sioux City Bandits running back Darrian Miller.Amarillo Venom
The Amarillo Venom are a professional indoor football team in the Champions Indoor Football league. They play their home games at the Amarillo Civic Center. The Venom began play in 2004 as the Amarillo Dusters, a charter member of the Intense Football League, a small indoor football league based in Texas. They won the championship in their first and only season with the IFL.
The following year, the Dusters became the first team to leave the Intense Football League and join the AF2, where they played for four seasons until the AF2's folding in 2009. At that point, the team held a fan vote as to whether to join their AF2 brethren in the new Arena Football 1 (now the Arena Football League) or enjoy numerous Texas rivalries in the Indoor Football League.
In 2009, it was announced that the Dusters would be moving to the Indoor Football League for the 2010 season. It was then announced that the Dusters would have to be renamed because the Arena Football League owns the rights to the Dusters name and logo. The new Amarillo Venom name and logo was later unveiled.
The team was featured on an episode of Only in America, a show that aired on the Discovery Times channel.Bismarck Bucks
The Bismarck Bucks are an indoor American football team based in Bismarck, North Dakota. The Bucks joined Champions Indoor Football (CIF) as an expansion team in 2016, and began play for the 2017 season. The team moved to the Indoor Football League (IFL) beginning with the 2019 season. The team plays its home games at the Bismarck Event Center in downtown Bismarck.
The Bucks are the third indoor football team to play in Bismarck, following the Bismarck Blaze who played in the original Indoor Football League for its second and final season of 2000, as well as the Bismarck Roughriders who played in the National Indoor Football League from 2002 until 2003.Bloomington Edge
The Bloomington Edge are a professional indoor football team based in Bloomington, Illinois currently on hiatus. Originally named the Bloomington Extreme, the team was a member of United Indoor Football (UIF), and joined the Indoor Football League (IFL) in 2009 during the UIF and Intense Football League merger. They left the IFL for the Champions Professional Indoor Football League (CPIFL) in 2013, and in 2015 the CPIFL merged with the Lone Star Football League (LSFL) to create Champions Indoor Football (CIF), where Bloomington did not follow and joined X-League Indoor Football (X-League). Following the 2015 season the Edge joined the CIF. The Edge then announced it had rejoined the IFL for the 2018 season, but a court ruling prevented the team from joining the league until 2019, however, they were not included in that season's schedule. The Edge play their home games at the Grossinger Motors Arena.Cory Ross
Cory Ross (born September 22, 1982) is a former American football, Canadian football and indoor football running back. He is now the head coach of the Quad City Steamwheelers of the Indoor Football League (IFL). He most recently played for the Edmonton Eskimos of the Canadian Football League. He was signed by the Baltimore Ravens as an undrafted free agent in 2006. He played college football at Nebraska.Dodge City Law
The Dodge City Law were a professional indoor football team based in Dodge City, Kansas. The team joined the Champions Professional Indoor Football League (CPIFL) in 2013 as an expansion member for the 2014 season. In 2014, the CPIFL merged with the Lone Star Football League (LSFL) to form Champions Indoor Football (CIF). The Law played their home games at the United Wireless Arena.Duke City Gladiators
The Duke City Gladiators are a professional indoor football team based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. They began play in March 2015 as members of the Champions Indoor Football league. The Gladiators play their home games at Tingley Coliseum.The Gladiators are led by head coach Dominic Bramante.List of current Champions Indoor Football team rosters
The following is a list of the current rosters of the Champions Indoor Football (CIF).Oklahoma Flying Aces
The Oklahoma Flying Aces are a professional indoor football team based in Enid, Oklahoma. They are members of the Champions Indoor Football league. The team was founded in 2018 as an expansion franchise. The Flying Aces' home games are played at Central National Bank Center. Their head coach is Richard Davis.Quad City Steamwheelers (2018–)
The Quad City Steamwheelers are an indoor American football team that began play in 2018. They played their first season as part of the Champions Indoor Football, but have joined the Indoor Football League in advance of their second season. Based in Moline, Illinois, the Steamwheelers play their home games at the TaxSlayer Center.
The Steamwheelers are named after the Quad Cities' previous team of the same name, which played in all ten of the AF2's seasons (2000 until 2009) and won the first two ArenaCups.Salina Liberty
The Salina Liberty are a professional indoor football team based in Salina, Kansas. They began play in 2016 as members of the Champions Indoor Football (CIF). The team plays their home games at the Tony’s Pizza Events Center.Sioux City Bandits
The Sioux City Bandits are a professional indoor football team based in Sioux City, Iowa. The Bandits compete in Champions Indoor Football (CIF) as a member of the league's North Conference. The team was founded in 1999 as the Sioux City Attack. In 2001, the team assumed their current name of the Bandits. The Bandits joined the CIF as result of the merger in 2014. The Bandits play their home games at the Tyson Events Center.Texas Revolution (indoor football)
The Texas Revolution is an American professional indoor football team which is a founding member of Champions Indoor Football (CIF), and the current Champions Cup holders. Based in Frisco, Texas, the Revolution plays its home games at the Ford Center at The Star.
Founded in 2000 as the Arkansas Twisters, the Little Rock-based team played 10 seasons in af2 before that league folded. The team jumped to the Indoor Football League as the Arkansas Diamonds for the 2010 season. Remaining in the IFL, the team moved to Texas to become the Allen Wranglers for the 2011 and 2012 seasons. In 2012, former NFL standout and hall of famer Terrell Owens played eight games for the Wranglers before being cut in late May. The team became the Texas Revolution after a shift in ownership before the 2013 season. After five seasons in the IFL, the team moved to the Champions Indoor Football league for that circuit's inaugural season.Wendell Davis (cornerback)
Wendell Davis (born June 27, 1973) is former American football cornerback in the National Football League for the Dallas Cowboys. He served as the head coach of the San Angelo Bandits and the Texas Revolution of the Champions Indoor Football (CIF). He played college football at the University of Oklahoma.West Michigan Ironmen
The West Michigan Ironmen are a professional indoor football team based in Muskegon, Michigan (and representing the larger region which also includes Grand Rapids and Holland), the Ironmen play their home games at L.C. Walker Arena. The team joined American Indoor Football (AIF) in 2016. The AIF ceased operations following the 2016 season, leaving the Ironmen without a league. They joined Champions Indoor Football for the 2017 season. For the 2018 season, the team was originally announced to have joined the Indoor Football League, however, the team was forced to sit out the 2018 Indoor Football League season. The team was then sold and played in the regional Midwest Professional Indoor Football for the 2018 season until they could rejoin the CIF in 2019. However, they were not among the list of members for the 2019 CIF season and instead joined the American Arena League.
The Ironmen are the second indoor football team to play in Muskegon, after the Muskegon Thunder which played in the Continental Indoor Football League for the 2007 and 2008 seasons and later the Indoor Football League for its inaugural 2009 season before moving to Grand Rapids and becoming the West Michigan ThunderHawks the next year.Wichita Force
The Wichita Force are a professional indoor football team based in Wichita, Kansas. They are members of the Champions Indoor Football league. The team was founded in 2014 as an expansion franchise. The Force's home games are played at Intrust Bank Arena.
Champions Indoor Football (2019)
Professional gridiron football leagues in North America