BIG6 European Football League
The BIG6 European Football League (BIG6) is a European Cup style tournament for European American football teams. Originally organized by the EFAF (European Federation of American Football), the tournament has been run by the German Football League International since 2015. The final game of the BIG6 is called the Eurobowl, which has been held annually since 1986.
|No. of teams||6|
|New Yorker Lions|
|Most titles||New Yorker Lions (4)|
|Relegation to||European Football League|
In 2014, the newly created BIG6 European Football League was introduced as the new top-tier competition of American football in Europe, replacing the old European Football League (EFL). The EFL continued to be played as a second-tier competition, with its teams now playing for the newly created EFL Bowl trophy instead of the Eurobowl.
The BIG6 initially consisted of three teams from Germany, two from Austria and one from Switzerland, the clubs being Berlin Adler, New Yorker Lions, Dresden Monarchs, Raiffeisen Vikings Vienna, Swarco Raiders Tirol and the Calanda Broncos. The Berlin Adler became inaugural BIG6 champions, defeating fellow German club New Yorker Lions 20–17 in Eurobowl XXVIII.
For the 2015 season, Dresden and the Calanda Broncos were replaced by the Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns (Germany) and the La Courneuve Flash (France), making La Courneuve the first team from outside of German-speaking Europe to enter the competition. In Eurobowl XXIX, the New Yorker Lions defeated fellow German club Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns 24–14.
For the 2016 season, the Flash were replaced by fellow French club Aix-en-Provence Argonautes. The 2016 season saw the first time that a non-German team survived the group stage when the Swarco Raiders Tirol knocked out the Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns in the last group match to advance to Eurobowl XXX against the New Yorker Lions. In the final in Innsbruck, the Lions defeated the Raiders 35–21.
Before the 2017 season, both Austrian clubs left the BIG6. Aside from founding members New Yorker Lions, the league's management invited the Amsterdam Crusaders (Netherlands), the Carlstad Crusaders (Sweden), the Frankfurt Universe (Germany), the Milano Seamen (Italy) and one team from Berlin (either founding members Berlin Adler or the Berlin Rebels) to join the league for the new season. However, Carlstad's participation was vetoed by the Swedish American Football Federation. On 1 February 2017, it was announced that the Amsterdam Crusaders, the Badalona Dracs (Spain), the Berlin Rebels, the Frankfurt Universe, the Milano Seamen and the New Yorker Lions would be the six teams to compete in the 2017 BIG6 European Football League. From 2017 on, the last placed team of the BIG6 may have to play a relegation game against the winners of the EFL Bowl, and be relegated to the EFL if they lose. So far, this rule was never applied.
For the 2018 season, the BIG6 was reduced to four teams.
|Team||City, country||Stadium||Seasons in BIG6|
|Amsterdam Crusaders||Amsterdam, Netherlands||Sportpark Sloten||2 (2017–2018)|
|Frankfurt Universe||Frankfurt, Germany||Frankfurter Volksbank Stadion||2 (2017–2018)|
|La Courneuve Flash||La Courneuve, France||Stade de Marville||2 (2015, 2018)|
|New Yorker Lions||Braunschweig, Germany||Eintracht-Stadion
Stadion am Salzgittersee, Salzgitter
|Team||City, country||Stadium||Seasons in BIG6|
|Aix-en-Provence Argonautes||Aix-en-Provence, France||Stade Georges-Carcassonne||1 (2016)|
|Badalona Dracs||Badalona, Spain||Camp Municipal de Badalona||1 (2017)|
|Berlin Adler||Berlin, Germany||Friedrich-Ludwig-Jahn-Sportpark
|Berlin Rebels||Berlin, Germany||Mommsenstadion||1 (2017)|
|Calanda Broncos||Landquart, Switzerland||Stadion Ringstrasse, Chur||1 (2014)|
|Dresden Monarchs||Dresden, Germany||Glücksgas Stadium[notes 1]||1 (2014)|
|Milano Seamen||Milan, Italy||Stadio Breda, Sesto San Giovanni||1 (2017)|
|Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns||Schwäbisch Hall, Germany||Hagenbachstadion
|Swarco Raiders Tirol||Innsbruck, Austria||Tivoli-Neu||3 (2014–2016)|
|Vikings Vienna||Vienna, Austria||Hohe Warte Stadium
For a list of champions by year, see Eurobowl.
|Club||Won||Runner-up||Years won||Years runner-up|
|New Yorker Lions||4||1||2015–2018||2014|
|Frankfurt Universe||0||2||2017, 2018|
|Swarco Raiders Tirol||0||1||2016|
|Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns||0||1||2015|
|Country||Won||Runner-up||Years won||Years runner-up|
|Germany||5||4||2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018||2014, 2015, 2017, 2018|
- The normal home venue for the Monarchs at the time was the Heinz Steyer Stadion, however special games (such as the lone Big6 home game) have often been held in the bigger stadium instead.
- EFL Elite to start in 2014 eurobowl.com, published: 15 October 2013, accessed: 22 November 2016
- Atlantic Cup joins GFL International. Netherlands to host 2015 tournament. americanfootball.ie, published: 14 February 2015, accessed: 22 November 2016
- BIG6 European Football League starts 2014 bigsix.eu, published: 26 November 2013, accessed: 22 November 2016
- EFL 2014 teams announced www.efaf.info, published: 11 February 2014, accessed: 8 July 2014
- Wieder drei GFL-Teams in Europas Big6 (in German) www.efaf.info, published: 23 December 2014, accessed: 28 December 2014
- Third season for Big6 eurobowl.com, published: 3 November 2015, accessed: 3 November 2015
- BIG6 ohne Österreich (in German) football-austria.com, published: 19 November 2016, accessed: 22 November 2016
- Austria Opts Out of Big6 americanfootballinternational.com, published: 22 November 2016, accessed: 22 November 2016
- League Management issues invitations for Big6 and EFL eurobowl.info, published: 15 November 2016, accessed: 22 November 2016
- Swedish Federation Says Big6 Is Off Limits For Carlstad Crusaders americanfootballinternational.com, published: 24 November 2016, accessed: 24 November 2016
- Big6 EFL teams named for 2017 Archived 2017-02-02 at the Wayback Machine gfl.info, published: 1 February 2017, accessed: 2 February 2017
- Regulations for Club-Team Competitions eurobowl.efaf.info, published: 15 October 2016, accessed: 2 November 2016