Indoor Football League

Last updated

Indoor Football League
Current season, competition or edition:
Sports current event.svg 2020 Indoor Football League season
IndoorFootballLeague.PNG
Indoor Football League logo
Sport Indoor football
Founded2008
Inaugural season 2009
CommissionerTodd Tryon [1]
No. of teams13
CountryUnited States
Headquarters Grand Island, Nebraska
Most recent
champion(s)
Sioux Falls Storm (7th title)
Most titles Sioux Falls Storm (7)
Official website goifl.com

The Indoor Football League (IFL) is a professional indoor American football league created in 2008 out of the merger between the Intense Football League and United Indoor Football and is the biggest of all the leagues in the number of currently active teams. The league has operated continuously under the same name and corporate structure longer than any other current indoor football league. IFL players earn a minimum of US$200 per game played (before taxes). The season is typically about 14 games long, plus playoffs of two or more rounds.

Contents

History

Formation

The league was formed as a merger between the Intense Football League and United Indoor Football, announced the day before the 2008 National Indoor Bowl Championship, a game which pitted the champions of the two leagues against each other. The Sioux Falls Storm (United) defeated the Louisiana Swashbucklers (Intense) 54–42.

2009 season

Of the 17 teams involved in the two previous leagues, 14 carried over to the new organization's 2009 season. An additional three teams came over from the CIFL and two expansion teams began their life in the new IFL. In the United Bowl, the Billings Outlaws (Intense Conference) took the league championship by defeating the RiverCity Rage (United Conference) by a score of 71–62.

2010 season

After losing two teams to attrition after the end of the 2009 season, and a third in January 2010, the IFL then added another nine franchises to boost its membership to 25 for the 2010 season. Three of the new teams were expansion franchises. Two moved over from the Southern Indoor Football League and Continental Indoor Football League. After playing nine games of the 2010 season the Alaska Wild suspended operations, leaving only 24 teams to finish the year. In the United Bowl, the Billings Outlaws (Intense Conference) took the league championship by defeating the Sioux Falls Storm (United Conference) by a score of 43–34.

2011 season

Seven new teams were added to the IFL for the 2011 season. Some of these were new expansion teams, and others moved to the IFL from the AIFA. The IFL also lost nine teams during the offseason, bringing the total number to 22 for 2011. In the United Bowl, the Sioux Falls Storm (United Conference) took the league championship by defeating the Tri-Cities Fever (Intense Conference) by a score of 37-10.

2012 season

For the 2012 season, the IFL switched to a two-conference format with no divisions, [2] due in large part to the loss of all the Texas-based teams (except the Allen Wranglers) to the newly formed Lone Star Football League. The Wranglers brought attention to the league for offering a $500,000 contract to unemployed wide receiver Terrell Owens to become the team's part-owner and wide receiver. Owens accepted the contract. ESPN3 carried Owens's debut game against the Wichita Wild, but his association with the team and the league proved to be short-lived. The front office of the league saw changes as well, as Commissioner Tommy Benizio resigned. [3] The league appointed assistant commissioner Robert Loving as the interim Commissioner. [3]

2013 season

On October 12, 2012, the Bloomington Edge announced that the team had been sold to the owners of the Bloomington Blaze hockey franchise and would relocate to the new Champions Professional Indoor Football League for the 2013 season. [4] On January 21, 2013, the league announced that the owner of the Cheyenne Warriors had died and that the team would not be entering the league this season as planned.

2014 season

The league added the Minnesota-based Bemidji Axemen to expand to 10 teams but the Chicago Slaughter were sold and changed leagues, returning the IFL to nine teams for the 2014 season. In February 2014, the league announced that it would return to Montana in 2015 with the new Billings Wolves franchise. [5]

2015 season

On July 27, 2014, Iowa Barnstormers president Jeff Lamberti hinted at joining the league by telling a local TV station that the franchise will explore "all options" in the off-season of their continuance to play, including leaving the Arena Football League and going to the IFL for 2015. [6] They joined the IFL in August 2014, becoming the fourth active AFL/af2 franchise to leave for the IFL since the Texas Revolution (formerly the Arkansas Twisters), the Tri-Cities Fever and the Green Bay Blizzard. (The Revolution left the IFL for Champions Indoor Football before ceasing operations in May 2019.)

2016 season

This was the first season the IFL utilized roster restrictions which call for all teams to carry no more than seven players with three or more years' experience in Indoor/Arena football. [7] For the second consecutive season, an AFL team was strongly rumored to join the IFL, as Spokane Shock owner Nader Naini said on August 10, 2015 that he was considering all options for the team. [8] On September 1, the Shock officially joined the IFL, becoming the fifth active AFL/af2 franchise to leave for the IFL since the aforementioned Barnstormers, Fever, Blizzard and Revolution. [9] The Shock, however, would have to enter the IFL under a new identity as the Arena League announced on October 12 that they would retain the rights to the Shock logos and name, possibly for future use by another franchise in the state of Washington. [10] The team subsequently held a name-the-team contest, which resulted in their new identity as the Spokane Empire. [11] [12]

On September 9, the Minnesota Havok (based in Mankato) were announced as an IFL team. [13] However, on January 29, just four weeks before the 2016 season was to kick off, the Havok were terminated by the league for failing to meet operational standards. [14]

On November 25, the Minnesota Axemen folded due to the team "Not fulfilling their commitments to the league." [15] Commissioner Mike Allshouse called the move a proactive one to prevent the team having to fold mid-season. [16]

2017 season

On June 30, 2016, the IFL announced that the Tri-Cities Fever franchise would be dormant, but in good standing with the IFL, for the 2017 season. [17]

Project FANchise, a group aiming to create a professional sports team where fans help run the day-to-day operations, announced they would operate a new team, the Salt Lake Screaming Eagles in Salt Lake City. A fan vote determined the team's name and logo, and select fans will have access to player personnel decisions and in-game play calling. Project FANchise also bought the Colorado Crush in October and began operating the team in the same manner.

During the 2016 season, the Billings Wolves' website was hacked, was never completely fixed, and was non-operational for months. Several former staff members claimed that the team had folded after the completion of the season. On October 24, 2016, the Wolves announced they had left the IFL because of state regulations and failing to find new ownership for the team. [18]

On October 17, 2016, the IFL announced it had added the Arizona Rattlers, previously of the Arena Football League, for the 2017 season. [19] The Rattlers were the third team in three consecutive seasons to leave the AFL for the IFL. The league rejected the bid of another former AFL franchise, the Jacksonville Sharks, who are located outside the IFL's regional territory. They subsequently announced their charter membership in an entirely new league, originally to have been called the Arena Development League but actually beginning play under the name National Arena League. [20]

2018 season

After the 2017 season came to a close, the website for the Colorado Crush was shut down with no formal announcement on the franchise's future. Project FANchise, which also ran the Salt Lake Screaming Eagles, had announced they would start their own league and left the IFL, with both teams going up for sale. [21] No buyers for either team were subsequently found and the teams folded. On July 12, 2017, the Spokane Empire announced that they would be suspending operations effective immediately. [22]

On July 25, 2017, the IFL announced that only the Arizona Rattlers, Cedar Rapids Titans, Green Bay Blizzard, Iowa Barnstormers, and Nebraska Danger had committed to play for 2018. [23] However, expansion clubs and current member clubs had until September 1 to commit to the 2018 season. [24] On August 30, the Sioux Falls Storm announced that they had joined Champions Indoor Football for 2018 after winning six consecutive championships from 2011 to 2016. The Storm was shortly followed by the Wichita Falls Nighthawks.

The IFL then added the Bloomington Edge and West Michigan Ironmen from the CIF on September 12. [25] 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. [26] The CIF then retracted their lawsuit with the IFL but also removed the Storm and Nighthawks from their 2018 schedule. [27] After the IFL meetings in October 2017, the Storm returned to the IFL [28] but the Nighthawks had to suspend operations. [29] 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 in the league was granted on January 31, 2018, with the court ruling determining that both teams had been offered bribes from the owner of the Arizona Rattlers to break their contract with the CIF. [30] [31] The schedule was revised in February for the six participating teams stating the Edge and Ironmen were to return in 2019.

During the season, the Cedar Rapids Titans' ownership announced the team was for sale with hopes of selling to new local ownership. [32] In June 2018, it was announced that the Titans had been sold to Roy Choi, a California-based businessman, with the intentions of keeping the team Cedar Rapids but would rebrand the team. [33] [34]

2019 season

In August 2018, the IFL announced that the expansion Tucson Sugar Skulls, owned by Rattlers' coach Kevin Guy, were joining the league after being rumored to have joined the CIF. On September 7, the IFL announced that the Quad City Steamwheelers would join the league from the CIF. [35] The Cedar Rapids team announced their rebrand as the Cedar Rapids River Kings on September 22. [36] On October 5, the Bismarck Bucks of the CIF announced their move to the IFL. [37] On November 19, the IFL announced another expansion team, the San Diego Strike Force, owned by the new Cedar Rapids owner Roy Choi to bring the league back up to ten teams. [38] The addition of the Sugar Skulls and Strike Force gave the Rattlers geographic rivals, reducing that team's travel expenses in a league otherwise centered in the upper Midwest.

2020 season

On August 20, 2019, the Duke City Gladiators joined the IFL after winning back-to-back CIF championships. [39] On September 10, the Oakland Panthers, co-owned by former NFL running back Marshawn Lynch, joined the IFL for the 2020 season. [40] On November 1, the Spokane Shock, now owned by former NFL player Sam Adams, was added to the league. [41] [42] The Bosselman family announced they were looking to sell the Nebraska Danger, [43] but no owner was found before the deadline for participating in the 2020 season. On November 24, 2019, the IFL added a thirteenth team in Frisco, Texas. [44]

Teams

Current

TeamLocationArenaCapacityFoundedJoinedHead coach
Arizona Rattlers Phoenix, Arizona Gila River Arena [45] 17,12519922017 Kevin Guy
Bismarck Bucks Bismarck, North Dakota Bismarck Event Center 10,10020172019Rod Miller
Cedar Rapids River Kings Cedar Rapids, Iowa U.S. Cellular Center 5,70020112012Victor Mann
Duke City Gladiators Albuquerque, New Mexico Tingley Coliseum 9,28620152020Pig Brown
Frisco Frisco, Texas 20192020
Green Bay Blizzard Green Bay, Wisconsin Resch Center 8,60020032010Corey Roberson
Iowa Barnstormers Des Moines, Iowa Wells Fargo Arena 15,18119952015Ameer Ismail
Oakland Panthers Oakland, California Oakland Arena 19,59620192020Kurt Bryan
Quad City Steamwheelers Moline, Illinois TaxSlayer Center 9,20020172019 Cory Ross
San Diego Strike Force San Diego, California Pechanga Arena 12,00020182019 Burt Grossman
Sioux Falls Storm Sioux Falls, South Dakota Denny Sanford Premier Center 10,67820002009Kurtiss Riggs
Spokane Shock Spokane, Washington Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena 10,77120062020Billy Back
Tucson Sugar Skulls Tucson, Arizona Tucson Convention Center 8,96220182019Dixie Wooten

Map of teams

Former

Left for another league

Folded

  • Alaska Wild Team suspended operations nine games into the 2010 season. The coach and multiple players left to play elsewhere and the team no longer had money to continue the season. [53] [54]
  • Arctic Predators Originally announced as 2010 IFL member, but stalemate between ownership group and head coach led to lease difficulties; IFL franchise moved and became the Kent Predators. (A different team with the name Arctic Predators then became a member of the American Indoor Football Association.)
  • Arizona Adrenaline Ceased operations before the end of the 2011 season. Some games were played with a replacement team.
  • Austin Turfcats Was not in IFL for 2011 season. [55]
  • Billings Outlaws Owner suspended the 2011 season and never returned. [55]
  • Billings Wolves – Owner could not find a buyer for the team after the 2016 season and did not return.
  • Bricktown Brawlers Ceased operations before the end of the 2011 season. Final games were played with a replacement team.
  • Charlotte Speed Originally intended to play during the 2013 IFL season but left for the PIFL instead.
  • Chicago Slaughter Left IFL after 2013 season to join Continental Indoor Football League, but never played in it.
  • Colorado Crush Website shut down at the conclusion of the 2017 season after their owners, Project FANchise, left the league to start their own league.
  • El Paso Generals Owners attempted to sell the team and after 2009 season and never returned.
  • Everett Raptors Team folded after 2012 season.
  • Fairbanks Grizzlies Owner suspended the 2012 season and never returned. [56]
  • La Crosse Spartans Owners suspended the team and started the Cedar Rapids Titans. The team failed to find new ownership in 2011 and never returned.
  • Maryland Maniacs Owner suspended the 2011 season and never returned. [55]
  • Minnesota Axemen – Membership terminated in 2015 by the league due to franchise's failure to meet league obligations.
  • Nebraska Danger – Joined in 2011; owner put the team up for sale at the end of the 2019 season and did not find a buyer before the 2020 season.
  • Reading Express Took 2013 season off and never returned.
  • Richmond Revolution Owner suspended the 2012 season and never returned. [57]
  • RiverCity Rage Owner suspended them to focus on the Omaha Beef. [58]
  • Rochester Raiders Owner suspended the 2011 season and never returned. [55]
  • Salt Lake Screaming Eagles After Project FANchise left the IFL to start a new league, the Screaming Eagles were never able to secure new ownership.
  • San Angelo Stampede Express Owner suspended the 2011 season and never returned. [55]
  • Spokane Empire – Owner suspended operations after the 2017 season.
  • Tri-Cities Fever Team went dormant after the 2016 season with the franchise remaining in good standing with the IFL, but the current ownership has no plans for a return.
  • Tucson Thunder Kats Team joined the AIFA West before being officially accepted into the IFL but ended up suspending operations in November 2010 due to financial losses instead. [59]
  • West Michigan ThunderHawks Owner suspended the 2011 season and never returned. [55]
  • Wenatchee Valley Venom Owner suspended the 2012 season and never returned. [60]
  • Wichita Falls Nighthawks Left for Champions Indoor Football after the 2017 season but folded due to league disputes.
  • Wyoming Cavalry Owner ceased operations in September 2014.

Failed expansions

  • Binghamton Owner suspended the 2012 season and never returned.[ citation needed ]
  • CenTex Barracudas Originally announced as a 2009 IFL member but then was not included in 2009 alignment.
  • Cheyenne Warriors Owner died shortly before 2013 season began and team suspended IFL operations prior to first season They played a few games in the DIFL, and shutdown entirely in May 2013. [61] [62] [63]
  • Everett Destroyers Originally announced as a 2009 IFL member but then was not included in 2009 alignment.
  • Frisco Thunder Originally announced as 2009 IFL member but then announced they would take season off while Dr Pepper Arena was being renovated and never returned.
  • Minnesota Havok – Announced for 2016 season but were terminated by the league one month prior to the season for failure to reach minimum operational standards.

Timeline

Oakland PanthersDuke City GladiatorsTucson Sugar SkullsSan Diego Strike ForceQuad City Steamwheelers (2018–)Bismarck BucksSalt Lake Screaming EaglesArizona RattlersSpokane ShockSpokane EmpireWichita Falls NighthawksIowa BarnstormersBillings WolvesMinnesota AxemenNew Mexico StarsCedar Rapids River KingsWyoming CavalryWenatchee Valley VenomReading ExpressNebraska DangerLehigh Valley SteelhawksBricktown BrawlersArizona AdrenalineTri-Cities FeverRichmond RevolutionLa Crosse SpartansGreen Bay BlizzardChicago SlaughterAustin TurfcatsTexas Revolution (indoor football)Everett RaptorsAmarillo VenomWichita WildWest Michigan ThunderHawksSioux Falls StormSioux City BanditsSan Angelo Stampede ExpressSaginaw StingRochester RaidersRiverCity RageOmaha BeefWest Texas RoughnecksMaryland ManiacsFairbanks GrizzliesEl Paso GeneralsCorpus Christi HammerheadsColorado Crush (IFL)Bloomington EdgeBillings OutlawsAbilene Ruff RidersAlaska WildIndoor Football League

United Bowl Championship

The United Bowl is the IFL's championship game. It has been played every year since 2009. The current United Bowl Champions are the Iowa Barnstormers, who won their first United Bowl championship in 2018. The Sioux Falls Storm won six straight United Bowls from 2011 to 2016.

The IFL continues to use the "United Bowl" name originally used by United Indoor Football. The UIF used this name before they merged with Intense Football League to form the Indoor Football League. The UIF held United Bowl I, II, III, and IV in 2005 through 2008, with all four being won by the Sioux Falls Storm. Although the name "National Indoor Bowl Championship" was used for the 2008 contest between the UIF and the Intense Football League, the "United Bowl" name continues to be used for the combined league's championship instead.

Media

The IFL streams all games through YouTube. Some teams also have individual TV and radio contracts with local or regional TV and radio channels.

Media deals

TeamTV Station(s)Radio Station(s)
Arizona Rattlers Your Phoenix CW [64] and Fox Sports Arizona [65] NBC Sports Radio 1060 AM [66]
Bismarck Bucks BEK Sports [67] None
Cedar Rapids River Kings MC-22 [68] None
Duke City Gladiators NoneNone
FriscoNoneNone
Green Bay Blizzard NoneNone
Iowa Barnstormers MC-22 [69] Newsradio 1040 WHO [70]
Oakland Panthers NoneNone
Quad City Steamwheelers NoneNone
San Diego Strike Force NoneNone
Sioux Falls Storm None KWSN Sports Radio 1230 AM [71]
Spokane Shock NoneNone
Tucson Sugar Skulls The CW Tucson [72] KFFN ESPN Tucson 104.9 FM [73]

Hall of Fame

The Indoor Football League Hall of Fame was established in 2014. The inaugural 2014 class of inductees included quarterback Terrance Bryant, radio sportscaster Rich Roste and former IFL Commissioner Tommy Benizio. The 2015 class included quarterback Chris Dixon, running back LaRon Council and defensive back/kick returner B.J. Hill. The 2016 class included linebacker Mark Blackburn, defensive back Lionell Singleton and Colorado Ice/Crush owner Tom Wigley. The 2017 class included wide receiver James Terry, head coach Robert Fuller and defensive lineman Cory Johnsen. [74]

Related Research Articles

The Arizona Rattlers are a professional indoor American football team based in Glendale, Arizona. They are currently members of the Indoor Football League (IFL). The Rattlers were founded in 1992 as an expansion team in the Arena Football League and were the third oldest active franchise in the AFL until their departure in 2016. They play their home games Gila River Arena while their former primary home, Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix undergoes renovations. The Rattlers are led by head coach Kevin Guy. Since the team's establishment in 1992, the Rattlers have won ten division titles and have played in nine ArenaBowl Championship games, winning championships in 1994, 1997, 2012, 2013, 2014. The Rattlers also won the 2017 United Bowl in their first season in the IFL.

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.

The Sioux Falls Storm are a professional indoor football team based in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The Storm joined the original Indoor Football League as an expansion team in 1999 as the Sioux Falls Cobras, and first took the field for the 2000 season. They currently participate in another iteration of the Indoor Football League; prior to that, the Storm were in United Indoor Football (UIF), where they won all four of the league's championship games. In the newer IFL, the Storm have won seven of the eleven championships in the league as of 2019.

The Spokane Shock are a professional indoor American football team based in Spokane, Washington, playing their home games at the Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena. The team was initially a member of arenafootball2 (af2), the Shock won division titles in all four seasons and ArenaCups in 2006 and 2009 before they joined the Arena Football League (AFL) in its 2010 relaunch. The team advanced to the playoffs three times after joining the AFL, winning ArenaBowl XXIII in their first season, making them the only arena football franchise to win both the ArenaCup and the ArenaBowl. The AFL franchise was folded in October 2015 and the ownership group obtained a franchise in the Indoor Football League (IFL), known as the Spokane Empire, as the rights to the Shock name still belonged to the AFL.

The Bloomington Edge are a professional indoor football team based in Bloomington, Illinois, with home games at the Grossinger Motors Arena. 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 Cedar Rapids River Kings are a professional indoor football team based in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The River Kings joined the Indoor Football League (IFL) as an expansion team in 2011 as the Cedar Rapids Titans and first took the field for the 2012 season.

The 2013 Cedar Rapids Titans season was the second season of the Cedar Rapids Titans as a football franchise in the Indoor Football League (IFL). One of just nine teams competing in the IFL for the 2013 season, the Cedar Rapids Titans were members of the league's United Conference. The team played their home games at the Cedar Rapids Ice Arena in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The Titans had been scheduled to play this season in the renovated U.S. Cellular Center but construction delays kept that building from re-opening during the 2013 IFL season.

The 2013 Sioux Falls Storm season was the team's fourteenth season as a professional indoor football franchise and fifth in the Indoor Football League (IFL). One of just nine teams competing in the IFL for the 2013 season, the Sioux Falls Storm were members of the United Conference.

The 2014 Green Bay Blizzard season was the team's twelfth season as a professional indoor football franchise and fifth in the Indoor Football League (IFL). One of nine teams competing in the IFL for the 2014 season, the Green Bay Blizzard were members of the United Conference. The team played their home games at the Resch Center in the Green Bay suburb of Ashwaubenon, Wisconsin.

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 with no other benefits.

The 2015 Indoor Football League season was the seventh season of the Indoor Football League. Playing with ten teams in two conferences located in mid-sized cities predominately in the central United States, the league's regular season kicked off on February 28, 2015, when the reigning league champion Sioux Falls Storm travelled to the Bemidji Axemen. The regular season ended 16 weeks later on June 20, 2015, with the Green Bay Blizzard visiting the Iowa Barnstormers. The playoffs were held in two rounds with the top two teams in each conference facing off in a conference championship game followed by the winners of those games meeting in the United Bowl.

The 2016 Cedar Rapids Titans season was the team's fifth season as a professional indoor football franchise and fifth in the Indoor Football League (IFL). One of ten teams that competed in the IFL for the 2016 season, the Titans were members of the United Conference.

The United Bowl is the Indoor Football League's championship game. It has been played every year since 2009. The current United Bowl Champions are the Sioux Falls Storm who won their seventh United Bowl. The Storm won six straight United Bowls from 2011 to 2016.

The West Michigan Ironmen are a professional indoor football team based in Muskegon, Michigan, 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 2016 Billings Wolves season was the second season for the professional indoor football franchise and second in the Indoor Football League (IFL). One of ten teams that compete in the IFL for the 2016 season, the Wolves are members of the Intense Conference.

The 2017 Indoor Football League season was the ninth season of the Indoor Football League (IFL). Playing with ten teams in two conferences spread across the midwestern and western United States, the league's regular season kicked off on February 16, 2017, when the Salt Lake Screaming Eagles hosted the Nebraska Danger. The regular season ended 18 weeks later on June 18, 2017, with the defending league champion Sioux Falls Storm visiting the Iowa Barnstormers and the Wichita Falls Nighthawks visiting the Nebraska Danger. The playoffs were held in two rounds, with the top two seeds in each conference playing against each other in the conference championships. The winner of those games met in the United Bowl.

The 2018 Indoor Football League season was the tenth season of the Indoor Football League (IFL). The league played with six teams, after the suspension of operations of three teams, the departure of another two teams, and the addition and subsequent suspension of two teams.

The 2019 Indoor Football League season was the eleventh of the Indoor Football League (IFL). The league played this season with ten teams, up from six the previous season, by adding two expansion teams and two teams from Champions Indoor Football.

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 Tucson Sugar Skulls are a professional indoor American football team based in Tucson, Arizona. They are members of the Indoor Football League (IFL) since the 2019 season as an expansion team. They play home games at Tucson Convention Center's Tucson Arena. The team are led by owners Kevin & Cathy Guy and Ali Farhang. Kevin Guy also serves as head coach and general manager of the Arizona Rattlers of the IFL.

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