EAFL League Play to Return in 2018

After a five year absence, the Eastern Australian Football League (EAFL) will return in 2018 with seven clubs playing a round robin to determine the regional season champions.

The Boston Demons, New York Magpies, Philadelphia Hawks, DC Eagles, Baltimore Dockers, North Carolina Tigers, and Columbus ARFC will meet in a series of mini-carnivals, called “pods,” over the course of the season.   Each club will have an opportunity to host one of the seven rounds.

The men’s competition will be played over seven rounds; each round will consist of a three team pod in each the teams play each other in a series of 2x20 games.  Each team will therefore play a total of six games, with the ladder and tiebreakers following that of the AFL (points, then percentage).  The format for the women’s competition is still to be confirmed.

Originally formed in 2005, the EAFL was founded when the Northeast AFL and Southeast AFL merged to form a new regional circuit.  The original lineup included Boston, New York, Philadelphia, the Baltimore-Washington Eagles, Western PA Wallabies, and Florida Redbacks.  Wallabies and Redbacks left the league in 2006, and the EAFL continued as a five team competition.

From 2005 through 2011, the EAFL schedule was a full, round robin format.  Scheduling and travel limitations prevented a full schedule from being completed in 2012 and 2013, which led to the round robin format being put on hiatus.  The USAFL Eastern Regional Tournament ostensively took the place of the league format.  

Earlier this year, however, a number of teams began talking about the possibility of reforming the competition.  Again travel and other considerations were an obstacle, as well as the weight of committing to a full six game schedule.  This was taken into consideration with the creation of the pod format, which clubs hope will be a step towards a fuller competition.  Extensive talks between club presidents and league consultants on how to best meet all concerns climaxed with the release of the schedule.

“The EAFL pod system promises to up the level of competition and give teams opportunities to challenge each other team in the region while minimizing travel requirements,” said USAFL Eastern Vice President Scott Morris.

“This should allow us to grow the competition in the short term as we look to develop new teams and expand the reach of this great sport throughout the region.”

The Boston Demons won the inaugural EAFL title in 2005 before New York was tops the following year.  Following back-to-back premierships by Baltimore-Washington in 2007-2008, the Magpies then reeled off five straight titles in a row before the competition went on hiatus.  The Eastern Regional Tournament will remain intact.  It is planned  for June 23, with the location still to be confirmed.

2018 Eastern Australian Football League Schedule

Round 1 – May 19 – Washington, DC
DC Eagles, North Carolina, Columbus

Round 2 – June 2 – Raleigh, North Carolina
North Carolina, Philadelphia, New York

Eastern Regionals – June 23 – Location TBC

Round 3 – July 14 – Baltimore, Maryland
Baltimore, New York, Columbus

Round 4 – July 28 – Columbus, Ohio
Columbus, Boston, Philadelphia

Round 5 – August 11 – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, Baltimore, DC Eagles

Round 6 – August 25 – Boston, Massachusetts
Boston, Baltimore, North Carolina

Round 7 – September 8 – New York, New York
New York, DC Eagles, Boston

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