National Indoor Football League

The National Indoor Football League (NIFL) was a professional indoor football league in the United States. For their first six years, the league had teams in markets not covered by either the Arena Football League or its developmental league, AF2, however, that changed briefly with their expansion into AFL markets such as Atlanta, Denver, and Los Angeles, and AF2 markets such as Fort Myers and Houston. The league folded in 2008.

National Indoor Football League
National Indoor Football League logo
National Indoor Football League logo
SportIndoor football
Founded2001
Ceased2008
CountryUSA
Last
champion(s)
San Diego Shockwave
Official websitehttp://www.niflfootball.com

History

The NIFL, based in Lafayette, Louisiana, was founded by Carolyn Shiver. The league started operations in 2001, with many teams coming from Indoor Football League being bought the previous year and folding operations. In 2002, the league added in the teams from the Indoor Professional Football League. 2003 was the most successful year for the league as 24 teams played a mostly complete schedule, with few cancellations.

Before the 2005 season, nine teams left the league to form United Indoor Football. That same year though, the Intense Football League ceased operations and four teams from there joined the league. Those teams however, left the league before the 2006 season started.

For the 2005 season, the NIFL had an agreement with NFL to handle referee assignment and training.[1]

The 2006 season, was the most chaotic for the league to that point. Ten expansion teams were added to the league, but nine of them had problems that reflected badly on the league. The most notable situation was the owner of the Montgomery Maulers firing the entire team.[2] None of the ten expansion teams returned to the league for the next season.

The 2007 season started with the addition of several league-owned expansion teams, primarily to supplement games with the returning teams. However, the teams were all poorly funded and had problems fielding competitive squads. On May 11, 2007, the ten independently-owned franchises banded together and left the NIFL. These ten teams played against each other as independents for the remainder of the 2007 season. Of these teams, seven left the league for other leagues. The rest of the teams folded.[3] No playoffs were held at the end of the season. The San Diego Shockwave were declared the official league champion, however, an unofficial championship game was played by the Wyoming Cavalry and Fayetteville Guard, with Fayetteville winning.[4] The league then officially folded prior to the 2008 season.

In 2016, a new website announced that the league operations were relaunched by Carolyn Shiver with announced goal of bringing 34 teams into the former AFL markets starting in the 2017 season. As of June 2016, the league was looking for local team ownership under the league's business model.[5]

Former teams

Teams that left the NIFL to join (or planned to join) another league

Defunct teams/failed expansion

Indoor Bowl games

Year Winner Loser Score
2001 Mississippi Fire Dogs Wyoming Cavalry 55–21
2002 Ohio Valley Greyhounds Billings Outlaws 55–52
2003 Ohio Valley Greyhounds Utah Warriors 45–37
2004 Lexington Horsemen Sioux Falls Storm 59–38
2005 Tri-Cities Fever Rome Renegades 47–31
2006 Billings Outlaws Fayetteville Guard 59–44
2007 San Diego Shockwave No Playoff

See also

Notes

  1. ^ "NFL to NIFL: No Deal". 22 May 2008.
  2. ^ NIFL squad in Montgomery fired after salary dispute
  3. ^ State Of The Marshals, press release, May 11th 2007
  4. ^ "Fayetteville Guard To Host Wyoming Cavalry In Indoor Football Championship Bowl". July 2, 2007. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  5. ^ "National Indoor Football League Gears Up To Take The Field". PR Newswire. June 23, 2016.
  6. ^ Hall, Jamie (April 22, 2001). "Tupelo waits to see whether two teams can survive". Southeast Missourian. Cape Girardeau, Missouri. Retrieved February 24, 2015.
  7. ^ a b Anne Marie Apollo (June 6, 2007). "Short, strange season for Green Cove Lions". The Florida Times-Union. Retrieved December 14, 2010.

External links

2001 National Indoor Football League season

The 2001 National Indoor Football League season was the first season of the National Indoor Football League (NIFL). The league champions were the Mississippi Fire Dogs, who defeated the Wyoming Cavalry in Indoor Bowl I.

2002 National Indoor Football League season

The 2002 National Indoor Football League season was the second season of the National Indoor Football League (NIFL). The league champions were the Ohio Valley Greyhounds, who defeated the Billings Outlaws in Indoor Bowl II.

2003 National Indoor Football League season

The 2003 National Indoor Football League season was the third season of the National Indoor Football League (NIFL). The league champions were the Ohio Valley Greyhounds, who wrapped up a perfect season by defeating the Utah Warriors in Indoor Bowl III and becoming the first team in league history to win back-to-back titles.

2004 National Indoor Football League season

The 2004 National Indoor Football League season was the fourth season of the National Indoor Football League (NIFL). The league champions were the Lexington Horsemen, who defeated the Sioux Falls Storm in Indoor Bowl IV.

2005 National Indoor Football League season

The 2005 National Indoor Football League season was the fifth season of the National Indoor Football League (NIFL). The league champions were the Tri-Cities Fever, who defeated the Rome Renegades in Indoor Bowl V.

2006 National Indoor Football League season

The 2006 National Indoor Football League season was the fifth season of the National Indoor Football League (NIFL). The league champions were the Billings Outlaws, who defeated the Fayetteville Guard in Indoor Bowl VI.

2007 National Indoor Football League season

The 2007 National Indoor Football League season was the seventh and final season of the National Indoor Football League (NIFL). The 2007 season was chaotic with teams folding and being suspended.

Dayton Warbirds

The Dayton Warbirds was an indoor football team in Dayton, Ohio.

Everett Hawks

The Everett Hawks were a professional minor league arena football team based in Everett, Washington. The team was in existence for five years (2002–07) in three leagues, the Northwest Football League (NWFL), the National Indoor Football League (NIFL), and af2 and in two cities, the Eastside and Everett. They were first members of the Northwest Football League as the Eastside Hawks. After the 2004 season, they became a member of the NIFL as the Everett Hawks. In 2006 they switched to the af2. They played their home games at Everett Events Center.

On May 14, 2006, after losing their first six af2 games, Rickey Foggie was fired from the head coach position. The Hawks got their first win in af2 history by defeating the Stockton Lightning 41–40 on May 27, 2006. Nonetheless, soon after the end of the 2007 season, the team folded as predicted by local newspapers after many businesses involved with the Hawks were filing lawsuits to try to receive payment for services rendered.

"The Everett Hawks will not be back next year," majority owner Sam Adams said Monday via telephone from the training camp of the NFL's Denver Broncos. "I informed the league three weeks ago.""I've been unable to devote the time it requires to make it a quality product like (Everett's other sports franchises) the Silvertips and AquaSox," Adams said. "I had bad luck in finding people that could operate the team efficiently. We failed the fans and I take responsibility for it."

Indoor Bowl

The Indoor Bowl was the main championship game of the National Indoor Football League (NIFL). In 2001, it was played between the top two teams who survived the eight-team playoff format. Since 2002, it has been played between the Atlantic Conference champion and the Pacific Conference champion.

John Bowman (Canadian football)

John Bowman (born July 19, 1982) is a professional Canadian football defensive end for the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League. He was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Daytona Beach Hawgs of the National Indoor Football League in 2005, and played in 2006 for the league's Rome Renegades. He played college football for Wingate. As of the end of the 2018 season, Bowman is the Montreal Alouettes' all-time leader in sacks with 126 in his career.

Lincoln Capitols

The Lincoln Capitols were a professional indoor football team that played their home games at Pershing Auditorium in Lincoln, Nebraska, United States. They originally planned on becoming the Nebraska Knockout, but the name was scrapped. From 1999 to 2000, they were the Lincoln Lightning of the original Indoor Football League before the IFL was bought out. The Lightning then played in the Arena Football's farm league during the 2001 season, before leaving the league and joining the National Indoor Football League as the Capitols. During their four-year run, the franchise's most prominent player was a former Nebraska Cornhusker running back named Damon Benning and the franchise's owner was Andrew Cheesman. In 2005 through 2006 they had 2 standout players, Nate Jacks from Atlanta, Ga, a graduate from Clinton High School and Mike Carrawell from St. Louis, MO. The two was a combo with Coach Chris Simpson, who brought the two kick returners in to play two roles. Mike was an All-American slot receiver from Quincy University and Nate was a shutdown corner back from KU.

This team in Lincoln has been a pushover for most of the team's history, despite being successful in the regular season. They are the only team to lose in two shutouts, a rarity in the NIFL

The league, hoping to kill off their APFL competition and make the Capitols better, talked with the St. Joseph Explorers of the APFL and interested them in merging with the Lincoln Capitols and becoming the St. Joseph Storm. The team was still bad and was later bought by the league and made a traveling team. The end result was prospective owners saw NIFL as a league to avoid which was a major factor in the league's problems in 2007.

List of NIFL seasons

This is a list of National Indoor Football League seasons since the league started in 2001.

2001 | 2002 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007

Louisiana Swashbucklers

The Louisiana Swashbucklers were a professional indoor football team based in Lake Charles, Louisiana. They were formed in 2005 as an expansion member of the National Indoor Football League (NIFL) and were originally known as the Southwest Louisiana Swashbucklers. They replaced another NIFL franchise, the Lake Charles Land Sharks. In 2006, they moved to the Intense Football League (IFL) and shortened their name to Louisiana Swashbucklers. They were originally set to play in the Indoor Football League due to the IFL's merger with United Indoor Football, but later had to bow out over financial concerns. For their next three seasons, they were a member of the new Southern Indoor Football League. Later a member of the Professional Indoor Football League, they played their home games at Sudduth Coliseum in Lake Charles, Louisiana. On May 24, 2013, the team announced that they would be ceasing operations due to low turnout and cancelled the team's final home game.

Merrell Center

The Leonard E. Merrell Center (commonly known as the Merrell Center) is a 7,200-seat multi-purpose arena in Katy, Texas. It was built in 2005 and was the former home of the Katy Copperheads (National Indoor Football League) and the Katy Ruff Riders of the Intense Football League. Since 2008 the Merrell Center has hosted the Southland Conference Men's and Women's Basketball Tournaments. The Houston Stallions of the Lone Star Football League moved to the Merrell Center in 2011.

As a concert venue the arena seats 1,500 for theater shows and up to 7,200 for arena concerts. Capacity for athletic events is 5,794. The arena can seat up to 1,200 for banquets. The arena contains a 21,600-square-foot (120' by 180') arena floor, big enough for small trade shows, a 3,000-square-foot (280 m2) meeting room that can be divisible into three smaller rooms, and a 6,300-square-foot (590 m2) lobby. The arena is also used for commencement ceremonies and high school basketball.

Adjacent to the Merrell Center is the Katy ISD L. D. Robinson Pavilion & Rodeo Arena.

Mississippi Fire Dogs

The Mississippi Fire Dogs were a professional indoor American football team based in Biloxi, Mississippi. They played their home games at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum. They were a charter member of the Indoor Professional Football League. They played from in the 1999-2000 IPFL seasons before joining the National Indoor Football League in 2001. Their final season was in 2002.

Mobile Seagulls

The Mobile Seagulls were a professional indoor football team. They were initially a member of the Indoor Professional Football League for the 2000 season before joining the National Indoor Football League for the 2001 season, their final. They played their home games at Mobile Civic Center Arena for the 2000 season and at the Mitchell Center for the 2001 season. The majority owner of the team was Mobile businessman, James Childers.

The Seagulls were announced as an expansion franchise as part of the IPFL on February 10, 2000. It was during this press conference that former Houston Oilers receiver Kenny Burrough was announced as the team's general manager and head coach. The 2001 season saw former New Orleans Saints QB, John Fourcade take over as Head Coach and quarterback.

San Diego Strike Force

The San Diego Strike Force is a professional indoor football team based in San Diego, California. It is a member of the Indoor Football League and began play in 2019 at the Pechanga Arena San Diego, in the city's Midway district. It is owned by Roy Choi, who also owns the IFL's Cedar Rapids River Kings. It is the second professional football team in San Diego that began play in spring 2019, after the San Diego Fleet of the Alliance of American Football, more than year after the departure of the NFL's San Diego Chargers in 2017.

The Strike Force is the third indoor team to play in San Diego, after the San Diego Riptide of af2 (2002–2005) and the San Diego Shockwave of the National Indoor Football League (2007). The team may have planned on being called the San Diego Lightning, as the organization's original email addresses and internal website links used that name. The team announced their colors and staff on December 17, 2018.

Tri-Cities Fever

The Tri-Cities Fever were a professional indoor football franchise based in Kennewick, Washington. The Fever joined National Indoor Football League (NIFL) in 2005 as an expansion team. The Fever are owned by Teri Carr. Since 2005 the Fever have played their home games only at the Toyota Center in Kennewick, Washington. On June 30, 2016, the team announced it would go dormant for the 2017 season and beyond.The Fever won one division title and three conference championships. They appeared in two United Bowls, most recently the 2012 United Bowl where they were defeated by the Sioux Falls Storm 59-32.

National Indoor Football League
Seasons
Professional gridiron football leagues in North America

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