UFL - A (VERY) SHORT HISTORY

With UFL II preseason on the near horizon (keep checking in here for more details soon) we here at UFL News wanted to give you a little background to the history of the league.

ACADEMY MINIS IN 2015

Back in 2013 the Leeds Academy was formed to promote and support the sport of American Football in Leeds and Yorkshire.

Most of the work was done in schools, but with the numbers of children engaging with the sport as an alternative to the mainstream sports on offer it soon became obvious that there was a need to accommodate the young boys and girls wanting to play outside of school time. So the Academy Assassins teams were started to do just this.

Most of those attending were aged between 12-19, but a small number of children were coming along with relatives who fit in to the under 11 age group. It was decided that there would be "Mini Sessions" for these children to get them active and to let them have fun like their older siblings.

At first the group remained static at 3-6 children, but unfortunately for them the possibilities of playing games against other children from similar teams were not practical. Still the Academy pressed on and In 2016 it was decided to join the BAFA (Britain's governing body for American Football) National Leagues. Unfortunately the travel was problematic due to the large distances expected of them and a number of other considerations and incompatibilities meant that the Academy took the tough decision to remove their flag teams from national competition and create an in house league.

This was a bold move; there was a large number of children in the organisation - in the region of 20 - but there were only between 12-16 children coming regularly, week in, week out.

Despite this, the coaches and committee pressed on to form the Ultimate Flag League (UFL), with the ambition to build a league that would mimic the structure of the NFL's season, but whose primary function was to give a fun and active Saturday morning for the boys and girls.

Everybody hoped, but none dared to believe that the first UFL season would be so successful - 4 teams, over 40 children, loads of fun - but with the children and their parents buying in so eagerly the year was a complete success for all involved and we look to keep growing and improving the league for all our players, coaches and parents to enjoy.

See you in UFL II?


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Leeds Beckett University, Headingley, Leeds, UK

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