Stars Football League

Last updated
Stars Football League
Sport American football
CEO Peter Hulthwaite
Country United States
Most recent
Miami Ironmen
Official website

The Stars Football League (SFL) was an American football league that operated primarily in Florida from 2011 to 2013. The league was headquartered in Grosse Pointe, Michigan.



The league followed standard American football rules, with two exceptions. Field goals of over 50 yards were awarded four points instead of three, as in NFL Europe. The league also offered a three-point conversion from ten yards, just as the original XFL did in its playoffs. These rule changes were intended to help teams that fall behind in a game to catch up more quickly. [1] The league did not use instant replay (the league never acquired a television contract, making instant replay impossible). [2] The league also used a slightly shorter play clock. [3]

Teams were restricted to 35 [4] or 36 players on each roster, [3] with any person 18 years of age or older eligible to play. [5] [6] Its level of play could be classified somewhere between minor league and semi-professional; players were compensated between $100 and $500 per game, on par with most indoor football leagues, but had to pay their own travel expenses for away games. [7]


TeamCityStadiumYearsHead coach
Daytona Beach Racers Daytona Beach, Florida Municipal Stadium (2011)2011–2013Dahryll Brown
Ft. Lauderdale Barracudas Fort Lauderdale, Florida Central Broward Regional Park (2012–13)2011–2013 Bobby Thompson
Swampdogs F.C. (Ft. Myers/Pompano) Fort Myers, Florida Bishop Verot High School (2012)2012–2013Marty Culpepper
Miami Ironmen Miami, Florida Central Broward Regional Park2013Brian "Hurricane" Jones
Michigan Coyotes Pontiac, Michigan Traveling team 2011
New Orleans Jazz F.C. New Orleans, Louisiana Tad Gormley Stadium 2011

2011 season

The League awarded charter memberships to eight cities in seven states. Teams were awarded to Las Vegas (Nevada), Little Rock (Arkansas), Pontiac (Michigan), New Orleans (Louisiana), Mobile (Alabama), and Charleston (South Carolina), along with Daytona Beach and Fort Lauderdale (Florida). For reasons unknown the Las Vegas Gamblers, Little Rock Ironmen, Charleston Admirals and the Mobile Gladiators never made it to play; the Ironmen, in particular, have been the subject of repeated relocations (the SFL has indicated the Ironmen club would play in Little Rock, then Bradenton, Florida, then Cleveland, Ohio, before finally beginning play in 2013 nominally representing Miami, Florida, and sharing a stadium with Fort Lauderdale).

The Michigan Coyotes, having a much greater distance between themselves and the rest of the league, were declared a traveling team for their two games in the 2011 season. Had any home games been scheduled the team was to play at the Silverdome (Wisner Stadium was another potential stadium that the league mentioned for the team). Fort Lauderdale played its first season at Lockhart Stadium and Daytona Beach at Municipal Stadium.

The league released its 2011 schedule on July 2, 2011; said schedule was abruptly cut short in early August after several on-the-fly schedule and venue changes. In the end, each of the four teams played two of the other three teams at least once, with Daytona Beach and Fort Lauderdale playing each other three times, due to their proximity to each other. Winners of each game are underlined.


June 30, 2011
Daytona Beach 26 @ Fort Lauderdale 13
July 16, 2011
Fort Lauderdale 22 @ Daytona Beach 4
July 22, 2011
Fort Lauderdale 9 @ New Orleans 15 (OT)
July 23, 2011
Michigan 18 @ Daytona Beach 38
August 4, 2011
Fort Lauderdale 29 @ Daytona Beach 31
August 12, 2011
Michigan 6 @ New Orleans 21

Final standings

2011 Stars Football League
New Orleans Jazz201.000
Daytona Beach Racers31.750
Fort Lauderdale Barracudas13.250
Michigan Coyotes02.000

2012 season

The 2012 season was originally scheduled to begin on Armed Forces Day (May 19, 2012) and continue through July; although a northern division was originally planned in addition to the Florida teams, neither of the two new proposed teams (in Cleveland and Canton, Ohio) meant to complement the existing Michigan Coyotes (who were to play that year at Atwood Stadium in Flint) would form, eventually forcing the Coyotes' mothballing. New Orleans left the league and joined other semi-pro leagues. In Florida, the SFL also proposed a team named the "Orange" (initially in Tampa and then in Fort Pierce) and a team based at South County Stadium in Port St. Lucie, neither of which came to fruition; likewise, the plan to play a game in Freeport, Bahamas's Grand Bahama Stadium also never occurred. In the end, of the roughly eight teams originally announced as participants in the 2012 SFL season, only three would make it to play: Daytona Beach (who had originally left the league, only to return) and Fort Lauderdale, in addition to the Fort Myers Swampdogs (also known as the Southwest Florida Swampdogs), who played the season at Bishop Verot High School. Daytona Beach's lone home game (the season opener) would be held at Lawnwood Stadium in Fort Pierce.

The season finally began on June 9, 2012, with a matchup between Daytona Beach and Fort Lauderdale in Fort Pierce. Fort Lauderdale won the contest on a last-second field goal, by Garrett Ewald of Coral Springs. Fort Myers played its first game June 16.


June 9, 2012
Fort Lauderdale 13 @ Daytona Beach 10 in Fort Pierce
June 16, 2012
Fort Myers 14 v. Fort Lauderdale 0 in Fort Pierce
June 30, 2012
Daytona Beach 16 @ Fort Myers 9
July 7, 2012
Daytona Beach 6 @ Fort Lauderdale 0
July 14, 2012
Fort Myers 10 @ Fort Lauderdale 21
July 28, 2012
Daytona Beach 16 @ Fort Lauderdale 14 (SFL Championship Game)

Final standings

2012 Stars Football League
Daytona Beach Racers21.667
Fort Lauderdale Barracudas22.500
Fort Myers Swampdogs12.333

2013 season

After numerous proposals and another erroneous draft schedule was released in the 2012-13 offseason, by the time of the April 2013 training camps the league had settled on an expansion to four teams for the 2013 season, adding the Miami Ironmen. The league began play on June 8, 2013 with a baseball-style doubleheader in Fort Lauderdale.

Two days before the start of the season, the league also announced that all six of the SFL's scheduled games for 2013 will take place at Central Broward Regional Park. The Swampdogs were nonetheless renamed the "Pompano Swampdogs" despite no connection to that city; likewise, the league made no effort to relocate the Daytona Beach Racers back to its namesake city, although the team's head coach continued to send news reports to the local newspapers there. [8] The schedule is single round-robin, with each team playing each other once.


June 8, 2013
Swampdogs 8 v. Daytona Beach 6
June 8, 2013
Miami 18 @ Fort Lauderdale 14
June 15, 2013
Swampdogs 14 @ Fort Lauderdale 22
June 15, 2013
Daytona 6 v. Miami 42
June 27, 2013
Swampdogs 2 v. Miami 10
June 27, 2013
Daytona 0 @ Fort Lauderdale 7
July 2, 2013
Miami 14 @ Daytona 0 (Semifinal)
July 2, 2013
Swampdogs 12 @ Fort Lauderdale 8 (Semifinal)
July 6, 2013
Swampdogs 6 v. Miami 21 (SFL Championship Game)

Final standings

2013 Stars Football League
Miami Ironmen501.000
Fort Lauderdale Barracudas22.500
Pompano Swampdogs23.400
Daytona Beach Racers04.000


The team formally dismissed all of its coaches in February 2014 and ceased operations; the league released a draft schedule that was to begin the 2014 season in April, but the schedule was removed after none of the games were played and the 2014 season was silently canceled. Commissioner/owner Peter Hulthwaite announced the league's assets were up for sale on August 24, 2016.

Related Research Articles

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. 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.

Lockhart Stadium Demolished soccer stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Lockhart Stadium was a stadium used mostly for soccer in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States. It was the home of the Fort Lauderdale Strikers of North American Soccer League. It has seen use in a variety of sports, particularly soccer and American football.

Hard Rock Stadium Stadium in Miami, Florida

Hard Rock Stadium is a football stadium located in Miami Gardens, Florida, a city north of Miami. It is the home stadium of the Miami Dolphins of the National Football League (NFL). Hard Rock Stadium also plays host to the Miami Hurricanes football team during their regular season. In addition, the facility hosts the Orange Bowl, an annual college football bowl game. It was the home to the Florida Marlins of Major League Baseball (MLB) from 1993 to 2011. From 2019, the stadium is home to the Miami Open tennis tournament, played in March.

Fort Lauderdale Sun was a U.S. soccer team which played two seasons in the United Soccer League. In 1984, the team was known as the Fort Lauderdale Sun. Before the 1985 season they changed their name to the South Florida Sun.

The Daytona Tortugas are a minor league baseball team based in Daytona Beach, Florida. The team plays in the Florida State League (FSL). They are the Class A-Advanced affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds of Major League Baseball. The team plays at Jackie Robinson Ballpark; opened in 1914, the park seats 5,100 fans. In 2015, the inaugural season of Tortugas baseball, Daytona finished with a 77-58 record and won the Florida State League North Division Championship with a two-game sweep of the Clearwater Threshers in the first round of the playoffs.

The Fort Myers Mighty Mussels are the Class A Advanced Minor League Baseball affiliate of the Minnesota Twins Major League Baseball club, based in Fort Myers, Florida. Home games are played at the CenturyLink Sports Complex in Hammond Stadium, which has a capacity of 7,500, and opened in 1991. The park is also used as the Minnesota Twins' spring training facility. Prior to Twins Spring training and the 2014 Florida State League season, Phase I of a two-part renovation was completed with the addition of an outfield boardwalk. The second phase of the renovation, which includes new sky suites, concessions, wider concourses and new offices for the Miracle staff, was completed before Spring training in 2015. Due to the start of construction on Phase II in August 2014, the Miracle played the final 10 home dates, including playoffs, at JetBlue Park.

Fort Lauderdale Strikers (2006–2016) American soccer team (2006–2016)

The Fort Lauderdale Strikers were an American professional soccer team based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida founded in 2006, that last played in the North American Soccer League (NASL), the second tier of the American soccer pyramid in 2016. The majority of their home games were played in Lockhart Stadium. The Strikers were named after the original Strikers, who played in the old North American Soccer League from 1977 to 1983.

Miami Rugby Football Club is a rugby union club in Miami, Florida. According to rankings in Rugby Magazine, Miami is amongst the top five clubs in the Southeastern United States. They have regularly won the Florida State Championship. Miami Rugby traces its origin to 1969 when it was founded by Keith Cooksy and Reverend John Howells, the Anglican priest at the University of Miami, who wanted to provide visiting British Royal Navy ships and teams in the Bahamas with competitive rugby. Miami Rugby competes in the USA Rugby South against clubs from Florida, as well as touring African, Argentine, British, French, German, Uruguayan, and West Indies Clubs. Miami Rugby has also toured the Americas.

Miami Fury

The Miami Fury is a football team in the Women's Football Alliance. Based in Miami, Florida, the Fury plays its home games at Carter Park.

Sports in Florida

The U.S. state of Florida has three National Football League teams, two Major League Baseball teams, two National Basketball Association teams, two National Hockey League teams, and two Major League Soccer teams.

The 1985 USL season was the United Soccer League's second and final season. The season was abruptly canceled after the pre-season League Cup and one regular season game.

The 1988 American Soccer League was the first season of the third American Soccer League which took place during the summer of 1988.

The Fort Lauderdale–Tampa Bay rivalry, also known as the Florida Derby, refers to the suspended soccer rivalry that most recently involved the Fort Lauderdale Strikers and the Tampa Bay Rowdies, both of whom played in the North American Soccer League through the 2016 season. Over the years the rivalry has spanned more than one hundred matches across eight soccer leagues and several tournaments, and involved nine different teams from the two regions of Florida. At times it has involved players, coaches, management and fans. Even the press has fanned the rivalry's flames at times. From 2010 through 2014, the winner of the regular season series automatically won the Coastal Cup as well. The status of the rivalry beyond 2016 remains unclear because the Rowdies have since joined the United Soccer League, while the Strikers ongoing ownership and legal battles of 2016 and 2017 have left them defunct.

The Buccaneers–Dolphins rivalry is between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Miami Dolphins of the National Football League. It is an in-state, interconference matchup between the two oldest NFL teams in the state of Florida. It has been active in most years since the Buccaneers joined the league as an expansion team in 1976. The rivalry is mostly a mainstay of the preseason, as the teams have been in different conferences since 1977 and as such only play each other during the regular season once every four years.

The Florida Football Alliance (FFA) is an Adult Amateur Minor League of American football based out of Boynton Beach, Florida. Founded in May 2007, the league opened its first season of operation on January 19, 2008 and remains the oldest continuous operating organization of its type in the Sunshine State. At present, the FFA comprises 14 teams for the 2018 season. Member teams are divided into two separate conferences, Alliance and Florida. Within each of the respective conferences, there are two divisions and all teams play a 10-game regular season schedule that traditionally begins in late January of each year. At the end of the regular season, qualified teams compete in a post-season playoff schedule that begins in April. The champion of each respective conference then compete for the league championship in the final game of the year, dubbed the "Alliance Bowl". Alliance Bowl-XI is scheduled for May 19, 2018 at Larry Kelly Field at Municipal Stadium in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Inter Miami CF American professional soccer club

Club Internacional de Fútbol Miami, known in English as Inter Miami CF or simply Inter Miami, are an American professional soccer club based in the Miami metropolitan area. The team began play in Major League Soccer (MLS) in the 2020 season at Inter Miami CF Stadium, the site of the former Lockhart Stadium. Inter Miami's first MLS match was played on March 1, 2020, away to Los Angeles FC, which resulted in a 1–0 defeat.

Sport in Miami

The Greater Miami area is home to four major league sports teams — the Miami Dolphins of the National Football League, the Miami Heat of the National Basketball Association, the Miami Marlins of Major League Baseball, and the Florida Panthers of the National Hockey League. The Miami Metro area is also home to a number of soccer teams the newest only top division side being Inter Miami CF of Major League Soccer.


  1. Berardino, Mike (July 21, 2011). Tiger Woods, Steve Williams and the four-point field goal (Three Things). South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Retrieved July 25, 2011.
  2. Buda, Joe (2011-06-29). Stars Football League to Debut on June 30. The Las Vegas Informer. Retrieved 2011-06-29.
  3. 1 2 Shacklette, Buddy (2011-06-29). Ready or not, Racers to start season. Daytona Beach News-Journal. Retrieved 2011-06-29.
  4. Semipro football: Fort Pierce Orange set tryouts for Saturday. Treasure Coast Newspapers. Retrieved February 27, 2012.
  5. Menning, Rick (2011-03-21). Players sought for pro spring football league team... South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Retrieved 2011-06-29.
  6. Harris, Michael (July 22, 2011). New Orleans Jazz is back ... as part of new professional football league. Retrieved July 25, 2011.
  7. Berardino, Mike (July 25, 2011). Money isn't the driving force in the fledgling, four-team Stars Football League. Sacramento Bee. Retrieved July 25, 2011.
  8. Linder, Brian (June 9, 2013). Daytona Beach Racers drop season-opener in overtime. Daytona Beach News Journal. Retrieved June 10, 2013.