Af2

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The title of this article is incorrect because of technical limitations. The correct title is af2.

af2 (short for arenafootball2) is the name of the Arena Football League's minor league, which started play in 2000. The rules are the same as for the parent league. While the parent league moved its season opening to February to accommodate a television contract with the National Broadcasting Company in 2003, af2 stayed with the "traditional" Arena season of April-July.

Like most other minor sports leagues, the af2 exists to develop football players, and also to help players adapt to the style and pace of arena football. In addition, the af2 is similar to other minor leagues because af2 teams play in smaller cities and smaller venues. While the AFL is played in larger cities like Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Chicago, the af2 fields teams in cities such as Oklahoma City, Bakersfield, and Fresno.


Contents

Arena Cup

The Arena Cup is the af2's championshi game, held each August (results are below). For the league's first five years, it was held at the arena of the higher seeded team. However, as their parent league, the AFL, has changed, the af2 has changed too. The 2005 Arena Cup will be played at a neutural site for the first time. It will be played in Bossier City, Louisiana.

For the 2000 and 2001 Arena Cup's, the game was televised nationally by TNN (now Spike TV), who carried AFL games on Sunday afternoons at the time. However, when the AFL announced their Televised games would be shown on NBC rather than TNN, the Arena Cup telecast was lost. The 2002 Arena Cup was televised by the Vision Network, and the 2003 game was televised by KWHB, a local station in Tulsa, Oklahoma (Tulsa's af2 team was playing in the game, needless to say). After having no television coverage in 2004, the game will once again be telecast nationally in 2005, now by Fox Sports Net.


Baker's Vision

In a June 2003 interview with Sports Illustrated, AFL commissioner David Baker briefly mentioned the af2, saying how one day, he envisions the league growing to 100 teams.

As of 2005, this vision seems rather unlikely The af2 is fielding twenty teams in 2005, down from twenty-five in 2004. In fact, the league has seen declines in the number of teams every year since the 2002 season, when they fielded thirty-four teams. This is possibly due to the fact that the league grew too quickly (the league saw thirteen new teams in 2001, and ten in 2002), since historically, massive expansions have little success (the NIFL, a rival indoor league, has seen large amounts of expansion teams since they began in 2001 and many struggle very much financially). With that said, it seems rather unlikely, at least in the near future, that Baker's vision will come to fruition.



Current af2 teams

American Conference

Eastern Division

Southern Division

National Conference

Midwest Division

Western Division

Arena Cup Results

  • 2000: Quad City Steamwheelers 68-59 Tennessee Valley Vipers
  • 2001: Quad City Steamwheelers 55-51 Richmond Speed
  • 2002: Peoria Pirates 65-47 Florida Firecats
  • 2003: Tulsa Talons 58-40 Macon Knights
  • 2004: Florida Firecats 39-26 Peoria Pirates

See also

External link


Sources

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