2017 USAFL Regional Series Announced
For the third straight season, the USAFL will travel around the country bringing exciting Australian football action to three American cities.
The 2017 USAFL Regionals series sees the best men’s and women’s teams in the country converge to see who will lift the hardware in a pivotal series of midseason matches.
Last year saw 26 clubs and several hundred players take to grounds across the country, and this year the hope is that more teams and footballers will get involved to help continue to make these among the best events on the USAFL calendar.
This year’s tournaments will take place within a five week span, kicking off on June 10th.
“The USAFL, in partnership with local convention and visitor’s bureaus, will fully support these regional tournaments by covering umpires’ fees, field rental, and other costs,” said the league in a statement. “This is in line with our vision of creating more quality competitions and products for clubs and members alike.”
While attendance at these regional tournaments is not compulsory, the results of these tournaments will play a large role into seeding for Nationals.
CENTRAL REGIONALS – June 10th @ Burns Park, North Little Rock, Arkansas
EASTERN REGIONALS – June 24th @ TBC, Raleigh, North Carolina
WESTERN REGIONALS – July 8th @ Westminster City Park, Westminster, Colorado
Three capital cities, and three areas with varying statures in the history of the sport of Australian Football in the USA.
The series kicks off in what is a new frontier for the USAFL, the state of Arkansas. The Central Regional will be hosted by the brand new Little Rock Coyotes, who are looking to grow the game in a sports fertile part of the southeast United States. The Austin Crows will look to defend their Central Regional D1 title here for the third straight year, while clubs like Dallas, Columbus, and Houston look to show their mettle.
Two weeks later, the scene shifts to the east coast and the Raleigh, North Carolina area, to be hosted by the North Carolina Tigers. The Tiges put on a strong showing in last year’s tournament in New York, but were held off by Baltimore-Washington in Division 2. The New York Magpies will come to the Tar Heel state looking to defend both its men’s and women’s D1 flags from 2016.
Finally, the tour finishes a fortnight afterwards in the northern suburbs of Denver at spacious Westminster City Park. The hometown Bulldogs are one of the most storied USAFL clubs on both the men’s and women’s cards, and will face stiff competition from the teams on the West Coast. Golden Gate and Sacramento were victorious on the men’s side last year, while the Portland Sockeyes and Minnesota Freeze ladies teamed up to take out a very competitive women’s division.
Each match will be important, not only for team growth, but also for seeding and preparation for this year's USAFL National Championships, to be held October 21-22 in San Diego.
For more about the USAFL Women’s program, e-mail women’s coordinator Drea Casillas.
(Photo Credit: Seattle Grizzlies/Valerie Barber-Axthelm)