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Indoor Football

Soccer is played indoors.

Indoor soccer is a five-a-side football variant that is similar to Association Football. It’s also known as arena soccer, indoor football, minifootball, quick football, floorball, or showball in different parts of the world. The sport was created in the United States and Canada as a way to play soccer during the winter months. Though the sport is based on association football, it has undergone several changes to make it more suitable for indoor play, such as the use of walls to hold the ball in play.

The sport is played on a rectangular shaped court with an artificial turf surface in indoor arenas. The play area is completely encircled by walls. There are no offsides or out-of-bounds in association football, and the ball will bounce off the walls without stopping play.

A match consists of four 15-minute quarters and is played between two teams. There are six players on each side, including the goalkeeper. The goal of the game is to score as many goals as you can.

Substitutions are allowed at any time during the match. The team with the most goals at the end of the game wins the game. If both teams are tied at the end of the game, the golden-goal rule is used to play an additional 15 minutes.

Indoor football is a minor sport common in the United Kingdom, the United States, Mexico, and Brazil. In these nations, the sport is played in league competitions.

Football in the Arena

In the 1980s, trucking company owner Keary Ecklund was interested in bringing an Arena Football League franchise to Green Bay, but the AFL told him the city was too small for one of their teams. Instead, he joined the PIFL as a founding member. Ecklund had the chance to see how running an indoor football league could work and how it didn’t as co-owner of the Green Bay Bombers and Madison Mad Dogs. He soon became tired of having to cover the costs of underfunded PIFL teams travelling to Wisconsin. Ecklund was able to make his move after the Arena Football League resolved its case with the PIFL, resolving the last legal question surrounding indoor football.
He declared the establishment of the Indoor Football League on July 23, 1998. To cut down on travel expenses, Ecklund will focus on midsize markets in the Midwest rather than making teams spread across the globe. To prevent underfunded owners, Ecklund will initially own nearly every team himself, delegating day-to-day operations to local management groups. He also named NFL Hall of Famer Kellen Winslow as commissioner, while Ecklund was in charge of all league decisions.

The Wisconsinite dreamed a 20-team league and persuaded Tom Schaefer, owner of the Colorado Wildcats, to join him, but Schaefer left the team after the PIFL season ended. Instead, Ecklund focused on his Wisconsin teams, reducing the league to an eight-team circuit that included the Peoria Pirates, Dayton Skyhawks, Duluth-Superior Lumberjacks, Lincoln Lightning, Steel Valley Smash (Wheeling, WV), and Topeka Knights. Just Lincoln and half of the Topeka franchise is owned by outsiders. The first season’s attendance was generally strong, with Peoria and Lincoln proving to be runaway success stories. Green Bay won the first IFL championship by a razor-thin margin over Peoria.

We might be the largest football league in the world in two years, but the midsized market is the secret, Ecklund told the Duluth News Tribune. That has never been done before in this sport. They’ve always been able to keep it in the big markets. New York City has hosted arena football twice. In the last 12 years, 33 arena football teams have gone out of business, but they continue to plug the major markets. �

Pro Bowl logo of the IFL

The Bismark Blaze, Black Hills Machine, Billings Thunderbolts, Casper Cavalry, Erie Invaders, Fargo Freeze, Flint Flames, Johnstown Jackals, La Crosse River Rats, Minnesota Purple Rage, Sioux City Assault, Sioux Falls Cobras, and Witchita Warlords joined the IFL the following season, bringing the total number of teams to 21.

Ecklund told the Wichita Business Journal, “I know it sounds like it’s a pretty big expansion.” “Our divisions will be built around the teams that we will have in the first year. Rivalries are the most exciting games. This is the foundation of the game.”

Logo of the IFL Gold Cup

The Knights were renamed the Kings after Ecklund took full charge of the team in midseason due to a management dispute in Topeka. Even the increased rivalry couldn’t prevent Peoria from winning the IFL championship game in 2000, as they defeated Bismarck.

The Pirates will not be able to defend their IFL title, which disappointed many indoor football fans. Arenafootball2 executive director Mary Ellen Garling revealed on October 20, 2000 that the Indoor Football League and all franchises except Topeka had been purchased by af2. While the league stated that it would field teams in all former IFL markets, only Peoria, Lincoln, and Wichita (as the Stealth) would make the cut. NIFL teams were fielded in most of the remaining IFL markets.

“For arenafootball2, today is a watershed moment,” Garling said. “With the purchase of the IFL, arenafootball2 will be able to expand and create a new fan base that has never heard of Arena Football before, while continuing our expansion target of reducing travel expenses and building natural geographical rivalries.”

“We’re proud that the Indoor Football League will contribute a critical component to arenafootball2,” Ecklund said. “We will give the largest number of fans the best opportunity for long-term enjoyment of Arena Football by merging these leagues. We believe the af2 teams will benefit from the excitement and support we’ve created in IFL markets.”

There were a couple of rule changes in the IFL. The rouge, a single point awarded to the defence when a kickoff returner is tackled in his own end zone, was the most notable. Receiving teams were often held on their toes by a “live punt” rule.