American seven-man gridiron football league
SportAmerican football
First season2015
CEOSener Korkusuz
PresidentRyan DePaul
Motto"The Game America Wants"[1]
No. of teams22
Country United States
Most recent
Las Vegas Insomniacs (1st title)
Most titlesPaterson U (3 titles)
TV partner(s)DAZN
Stadium (sports network)
Sponsor(s)Cricket Wireless
Official websiteA7FL.com

The American 7s Football League (A7FL) is a semi-professional league in the United States which plays a seven-man version of gridiron football called American 7s Football. Launched in 2015, its games are played without football helmets or other protective equipment.[2] The A7FL is the only organized level of competition in American 7s football.[citation needed]

League players are not paid during the season and most of them are primarily amateurs.[3][4] Instead cash prizes are awarded to division and national champs (divided among the roster of roughly 25 players).[5] For the 2022 season the prize pool was $50,000.[6]


Founded in 2014 with play commencing the following year, the A7FL plays a seven-game schedule running from March to May, with playoffs running from June to July.[7] It can trace it history to a New York metropolitan area league called Town Beef that started in 2008 and played 11-on-11 full-contact football with no helmets or pads.[4]

The league primarily attracts semi-professional football players seeking opportunities to stay in shape during spring.[8] In 2016, the league participated in a safety study led by the New Jersey Institute of Technology.[9]

In 2023, the league had its first former NFL starter sign with a team, that being cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, who signed with the Tampa Nightcrawlers.[10]

Differences from other leagues

A7FL players play without pads or helmets as part of what the league describes as an effort to reduce the potential of head injuries resulting from helmet-to-helmet contact.[7] League games also do not include kickoffs, field goals, or punts, and, instead of the kickoff, implement a unique version of special teams called a 3-on-1 throw off (three 'throwing' players and one receiver). Games are played on narrow fields of 37 yards' width (34 m, between one set of hash marks and the furthest sideline away) to accommodate fewer players on the field on each team.[7][11] A7FL games are played between two seven-man teams; teams are, additionally, required to cap their rosters at 35 active players.[12]


Teams that participated in the 2024 season.[13]

Eastern Conference
Division Team
Northeast East Orange Renegades
Rahway Shnow Tribe
Paterson U
Silk City Animals
Trenton BIC
Baltimore Watchmen
DC Buzz
Florida Tampa Nightcrawlers
O-Town Orange
Orlando Ghosts
Western Conference
Division Team
Midwest Cin City Chaos
Covington Heist
Olentangy Volcanoes
QC Crush
Indianapolis Octane
Columbus Explorers
Nevada Las Vegas Insomniacs
Las Vegas Sickwidit
Vegas Force
Vegas Over the Top
Vegas Pit Bosses
Vegas Gold

Championship results

Season Date Champions Runners-Up Site
2015 June 27, 2015 Paterson U 38 Union City Chiefs 6 St. John Vianney High School
2016 June 24, 2016 Trenton BIC 32 Union City Chiefs 26 St. John Vianney High School
2017 July 9, 2017 Union City Chiefs 28 PA Immortalz 26 Palisades Credit Union Park
2018 July 8, 2018 Baltimore Gators 28 Baltimore Vikings 14 Baltimore, MD
2019 July 14, 2019 PA Immortalz 25 Paterson U 19 Sylvester Land Memorial Field
2020 August 23, 2020 Paterson U 49 Old Bridge Hawks 7 St. John Vianney High School
2021 July 18, 2021 Paterson U 47 Trenton BIC 41 Asbury Park High School
2022 July 10, 2022 Trenton BIC 32 Paterson U 30 Asbury Park High School
2023 July 23, 2023 Las Vegas Insomniacs 50 Tampa Nightcrawlers 46 Anderson Auto Group Fieldhouse

Media coverage

Eleven Sports Network acquired the exclusive United States and international rights to broadcast the A7FL 2017 Championship on July 9, 2017, played at Palisades Credit Union Park. Through Eleven Sports Network's distribution with DirecTV, Verizon FiOS, and AT&T uVerse the A7FL 2017 Championship was to be accessible by over 70 million homes worldwide.[14] In 2018, Eleven Sports Network acquired the exclusive United States and international rights to broadcast a 21-game package including the playoffs and championship, and in 2019, the non-exclusive U.S. and international rights to the playoffs and championship.

In 2019, Twitch acquired the exclusive United States and international rights to a 21-game package of the season including the playoffs and championship. In 2020, A7FL again partnered with Eleven Sports Network for the exclusive United States and international rights of the season, including the playoffs and championship. For 2021, FITE TV acquired the United States and international rights to the A7FL's season including the playoffs and championship. Starting in 2022, select Games of the Week -- including the playoffs and championship - were broadcast on Stadium (sports network), YouTube, DAZN, and A7FL.tv.


The CEO of the A7FL is Sener Korkusuz[15] and its president is Ryan DePaul.[7]

In 2019, UFC co-founder David Isaacs joined the A7FL to serve as chairman of the advisory board. Isaacs said, "Removing equipment to make any sport safer seems counterintuitive and we faced similar issues when we launched the UFC and created the sport of mixed martial arts. With the A7FL, football can be safer but still thrilling full-contact competition. I can't wait to get started."

Athletes playing in the A7FL are required to sign a player injury waiver and be 18 years of age or older.[15]

Once expanded to 32 teams, the league will be structured around eight groups divided into two conferences – the east and west. The teams play each other twice – in the regional stages during the regular season – with the top two teams going forward to a divisional championship. The winners of the divisional championships will play each other to decide the winner of the championship.[12]

See also


  1. ^ Engstrom, Tim (July 30, 2016). "League offers football without pads, helmets". Albert Lea Tribune. Retrieved August 5, 2014.
  2. ^ Gibbs, Lindsay (March 31, 2016). "Can This New Football League Be The Savior The Sport Needs?". Think Progress. Retrieved September 10, 2016.
  3. ^ "A7FL Frequently Asked Questions". A7FL. 14 April 2024.
  4. ^ a b "No Helmets, No Pads, Full-Contact Tackle Football: Meet the Men of the A7FL". SI.com. 4 April 2018.
  5. ^ "'Professional backyard football': A7FL takes pay to play on the gridiron to next level". NorthJersey.com.
  6. ^ "Why Has The American 7s Football League Succeeded While Other NFL Competitors Have Failed?". Benzinga.
  7. ^ a b c d Lariviere, David (March 13, 2015). "Safety-First Football League To Launch Season Next Saturday". Forbes. Retrieved July 30, 2016.
  8. ^ "Football helmets are creating more problems than they solve". The Sporting News. May 28, 2015. Retrieved July 30, 2016.
  9. ^ "Foot Ricain met the CEO of American 7's Football League". Foot Ricain. May 11, 2016. Archived from the original on October 25, 2016. Retrieved August 21, 2016.
  10. ^ "Tampa Nightcrawlers". A7FL. 2023-05-21. Retrieved 2023-06-02.
  11. ^ "Football league throws away helmets and pads in the name of safety". WQAD-TV. March 25, 2015. Retrieved July 30, 2016.
  12. ^ a b "A7FL Rules" (PDF). a7fl.com. A7FL. Archived from the original on August 4, 2016. Retrieved July 30, 2016.
  13. ^ "A7FL Standings". www.a7fl.com. Retrieved 11 May 2023.
  14. ^ "A7FL 2017 Championship Announced". prnewswire.com (Press release). A7FL. Retrieved June 20, 2017.
  15. ^ a b "A7FL Tackle Football League". TMZ. August 16, 2016. Retrieved August 21, 2016.
  • v
  • t
  • e
Halls of fame
Other outdoor
  • American 7s Football League
  • United Football League
Indoor leagues
Proposed leagues
Related topics
High school
Youth / middle
  • Category
  • Commons
  • Portal
  • v
  • t
  • e
Professional gridiron football leagues in North America
Defunct national
Defunct regional
On hiatus
Defunct Outdoor
Arena football
  • X League (2009–present)