EFAF to aid home-grown talent

Category: EFL - published 2013-04-10 by EFAF

The first weekend of April the 2013 EFL season started at Amiens in France. The match between the two national champions from France and Germany ended with a 55-13 win by the Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns over host Amiens Spartiates. Hopes of the Spartiates to turn a dismal and up to now winless season in the French national league into a success on the European level were not fulfilled. The overall winner of the contest (second leg is played on April 27) will face defending Eurobowl champion Calanda Broncos from Switzerland in the quarterfinals. With a Danish-Finnish battle between Sölleröd Gold Diggers and Helsinki Roosters and an Austrian-Czech duel between Graz Giants and Prague Black Hawks the EFL preliminary round continues on April 13.

The European Football League is the competition that serves Europe's top teams as the ultimate challenge, where they have to bring their playing potential to the limits. It is one of EFAF's most important goals to create fair rules and regulations for EFL and other EFAF competitions that allow top European clubs to compete at the highest level. On the other hand the flagship competition of American football in Europe of course also has to serve the development of the sport itself in Europe.

Different concepts lead to success, sometimes even seemingly contradictory paths lead up to the same common goal of all European football clubs: to increase awareness for and participation in the sport of American football on the European continent. The main basis for this are ever-improving skills of European coaches and players, especially at the early stages in youth football. Europe's clubs have come a long way already, which shows in the ever-increasing numbers of European players in NCAA teams in the United States or even in the foreseeable selection of a third German player in the upcoming NFL Draft.

The EFL competition, the other EFAF Club competitions and of course the national championships and leagues are intended primarily as opportunities to compete for the athletes. The best of them may continue their sporting careers in the United States, and not only for those it is of tremendous help to be able to compete with American-trained players in European games. In a lot of European teams these Americans are key players, role models and gladly share their expertise with their teammates, which benefits home-grown talent in European clubs.

It is of great importance in terms of future development to EFAF that this interplay of European and American players in the clubs will be kept in a perfect balance. National rules are independent, as the member organizations of EFAF set their courses independently. EFAF however as the governing body for American football in Europe has to accomplish the task of finding a reasonable pan-European solution for this area and establish it for the club competitions to further guarantee for equality of opportunity in these.

So the implementation of a „Home-Grown policy“ for the European competitions is on the way. But rule changes naturally only will come into effect after close consultation with participating or potentially involved clubs. At the preparatory meeting for the 2013 EFL season at Milan a first draft of such a policy was discussed. The vast majority of clubs called for an introduction of such rules, but asked for a transition period until next season. The time until then will be used to further specify the rules of the original draft and set a timetable for implementation. The original proposal had required that in EFL games at least six players from each platoon (offense and defense respectively), would have to had started their football activities in the home country of their club.

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