Austrian Football League

The Austrian Football League (AFL) is the elite level of American football in Austria founded in 1984.

Austrian Football League
SportAmerican football
Founded1984; 38 years ago (1984)
No. of teams10
CountryAustria
Czech Republic
Most recent
champion(s)
Swarco Raiders Tirol
Most titlesVienna Vikings (16)
Official website[1]

The Austrian Football League (AFL) has always been considered among the best and strongest leagues in Europe. The league plays by rules based on those of the NCAA.

Below the Austrian Football League is a tier system consisting of teams playing in divisions I through division IV. Winners of each division move up to the next level of play. Division IV is the lowest level of play and the AFL the highest level. The Tyrol Raiders and Vienna Vikings which had dominated the league for much of the preceding decade announced their intention to leave for the European League of Football for the upcoming 2022 season. However, unlike teams in other countries that have made this move, the reserve team of both will remain a participant in the Austrian Football League.

HistoryEdit

The AFL was founded in 1984 by the teams such as the Salzburg Lions, Graz Giants and Vienna Ramblocks.

The AFL is commonly considered as one of the best American football leagues in Europe. This was especially so in the period from 2004 to 2011, when the EFL was won seven out of eight times by an AFL team.[1]

In 2010, the Prague Panthers from the Czech Republic joined the league as the first team from outside of Austria. The Panthers were a member of the AFL until the 2016 season. In 2016, the Ljubljana Silverhawks from Slovenia joined, and in 2018, the Bratislava Monarchs from Slovakia entered the league.

The regular season consists of ten games and starts in mid-March; the playoffs continue through July. The final game, the Austrian Bowl, was held for the first time in 1984 in Salzburg, Austria.

After the 2021 season, the participants of that year's Austrian Bowl the Vienna Vikings and the Tyrolean Raiders (runners up and champions, respectively) announced their intention to join the European League of Football for the upcoming 2022 season.

TeamsEdit

 
"Blue River Bowl III": Danube Dragons vs. Vikings at Rattenfängerstadion [de] in Korneuburg, 2010

In 2022, the AFL will consist of:

Austrian BowlEdit

All gamesEdit

Bowl Date Champions Runners-Up Score Location
I October 20, 1984 Salzburg Lions Graz Giants 27–10 Salzburg
II June 28, 1986 Graz Giants Vienna Vikings 31–12 Salzburg
III July 5, 1987 Graz Giants Salzburg Lions 20–00 ASKÖ Schmelz, Vienna
IV July 3, 1988 Graz Giants Vienna Vikings 33–15 ASKÖ Schmelz, Vienna
V July 1, 1989 Salzburg Lions Graz Giants 34–00 Salzburg
VI July 1, 1990 Graz Giants Klosterneuburg Mercenaries 59–70 Linz
VII July 7, 1991 Graz Giants Vienna Vikings 38–70 ASKÖ Eggenberg, Graz
VIII July 5, 1992 Graz Giants Schwarzenau Rangers 28–13 ASKÖ Schmelz, Vienna
IX July 4, 1993 Feldkirch Oscar Dinos Salzburg Bulls 45–10 BSZ Südstadt, Maria Enzersdorf
X July 4, 1994 Vienna Vikings Levi's Graz Giants 45–23 Schwechat-Rannersdorf
XI July 15, 1995 Levi's Graz Giants Vienna Vikings 26–20 Schwechat-Rannersdorf
XII July 13, 1996 Vienna Vikings Levi's Graz Giants 41–35 Schwechat-Rannersdorf
XIII July 12, 1997 Levi's Graz Giants Klosterneuburg Mercenaries 35–14 Schwechat-Rannersdorf
XIV July 18, 1998 Levi's Graz Giants Vienna Vikings 43–30 BSZ Südstadt, Maria Enzersdorf
XV July 20, 1999 Chrysler Vikings Levi's Graz Giants 37–35 Schwechat-Rannersdorf
XVI July 22, 2000 Chrysler Vikings Papa Joe's Tyrolean Raiders 34–28 Casino Stadion Hohe Warte, Vienna
XVII July 21, 2001 Chrysler Vikings Papa Joe's Tyrolean Raiders 24–14 Lindenstadion, Eisenstadt
XVIII July 20, 2002 Chrysler Vikings Öko-Box Graz Giants 52–21 Casino Stadion Hohe Warte, Vienna
XIX July 12, 2003 Chrysler Vikings Öko-Box Graz Giants 56–42 Casino Stadion Hohe Warte, Vienna
XX July 17, 2004 Papa Joe's Tyrolean Raiders Chrysler Vikings 28–20 EM-Stadion Wals-Siezenheim, Salzburg
XXI July 16, 2005 Chrysler Vikings Papa Joe's Tyrolean Raiders 43–14 Südstadt, Maria Enzersdorf
XXII July 14, 2006 Swarco Raiders Tirol Dodge Vikings 43–19 Hohe Warte, Vienna
XXIII July 14, 2007 Dodge Vikings Turek Graz Giants 42–14 Hohe Warte, Vienna
XXIV June 27, 2008 Turek Graz Giants Swarco Raiders Tirol 31–21 Wolfsberg
XXV July 18, 2009 Raiffeisen Vikings Turek Graz Giants 22–19 Graz
XXVI July 9, 2010 Danube Dragons Swarco Raiders Tirol 28–21 Tivoli-Neu, Innsbruck
XXVII June 23, 2011 Swarco Raiders Tirol Raiffeisen Vikings 23–13 Ernst-Happel-Stadion, Vienna
XXVIII July 28, 2012 Raiffeisen Vikings Swarco Raiders Tirol 48–34 Hohe Warte, Vienna
XXIX July 27, 2013 Raiffeisen Vikings Swarco Raiders Tirol 48–31 NV Arena, Sankt Pölten
XXX July 26, 2014 Raiffeisen Vikings Swarco Raiders Tirol 24–17 NV Arena, Sankt Pölten
XXXI July 11, 2015 Swarco Raiders Tirol Vienna Vikings 38–00 Wörthersee Stadion, Klagenfurt
XXXII July 23, 2016 Swarco Raiders Tirol Graz Giants 51–70 Wörthersee Stadion, Klagenfurt
XXXIII July 29, 2017 Dacia Vienna Vikings Swarco Raiders Tirol 45–26 Wörthersee Stadion, Klagenfurt
XXXIV July 21, 2018 Swarco Raiders Tirol Dacia Vienna Vikings 51–48 NV Arena, Sankt Pölten
XXXV July 27, 2019 Swarco Raiders Tirol Dacia Vienna Vikings 42–34 NV Arena, Sankt Pölten
September, 2020 Dacia Vienna Vikings Graz Giants 3–0[a] ASKÖ Eggenberg, Graz
Footballzentrum Ravelin, Wien
XXXVI July 31, 2021 Swarco Raiders Tirol Dacia Vienna Vikings 35–14 Tivoli Stadion Tirol, Innsbruck
  1. ^ Due to the coronavirus pandemic the Vikings and the Giants were the only teams entering the competition. Instead of a bowl game, the two teams played a best of five series.

By TeamEdit

Rank Teams Champions Runners-up
1 Vienna Vikings 16 12
2 Graz Giants 10 11
3 Tirol Raiders 8 9
4 Salzburg Bulls 2 2
5 Danube Dragons[1] 1 2
6 Feldkirch Oscar Dinos 1 0
7 AFC Rangers 0 1

^ 1: Formerly known as Klosterneuburg Mercenaries

Notable Import Players & CoachesEdit

Austrian teams in international competitionsEdit

Despite the relatively small size of Austria, both the Austrian national American Football team and individual club teams of the AFL have enjoyed remarkable success in European competitions. The national team, whose players mostly play in the AFL (with a few also playing in the German Football League), has placed third at the 1995 European Championship of American football (hosted in Austria) and third at the 2010 European Championship, second at the 2014 European Championship (hosted in Austria), losing the final in double overtime to Germany in front of 27000 spectators at Vienna's Ernst-Happel-Stadion[2] and placed second again in 2018. The Vienna Vikings have won the Eurobowl five times and reached the final ten times overall while the Tyrol Raiders have won it three times in five appearances in the final. Furthermore the Central European Football League has been won five times by Austrian teams both before and after it became a premier European competition.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Eurobowl.info".
  2. ^ "American Football EM Finale 2014 - Bittersweet Glory". 22 June 2014.

External linksEdit