National Indoor Football League

Last updated
National Indoor Football League
National Indoor Football League logo.png
National Indoor Football League logo
Sport Indoor football
Founded 2001
San Diego Shockwave
Official website
2004 Beaumont Drillers vs Waco Marshals Beaumont drillers vs waco marshals nifl.jpg
2004 Beaumont Drillers vs Waco Marshals
2007 San Antonio Steers San Antonio Steers vs Beaumont Drillers.jpg
2007 San Antonio Steers

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. Green Bay Packers head coach Matt LaFleur, Buffalo Bills running back Fred Jackson, New Orleans Saints quarterback John Fourcade and Pittsburgh Steelers Super Bowl running back Bam Morris, all played in the NIFL. The league folded in 2008.



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, 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

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


  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. 1 2 Anne Marie Apollo (June 6, 2007). "Short, strange season for Green Cove Lions". The Florida Times-Union . Retrieved December 14, 2010.

Related Research Articles

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

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The Fayetteville Guard was a professional indoor football team in the National Indoor Football League (NIFL) and American Indoor Football Association (AIFA). They played home games at the Cumberland County Crown Coliseum from 2005 to 2010.

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.

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.

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 were owned by Teri Carr. From 2005 to 2016, the Fever played their home games at the Toyota Center in Kennewick, Washington. On June 30, 2016, the team announced it would go dormant for the 2017 season and beyond.

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American Professional Football League Indoor gridiron football league

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