A7FL: The Definition of Gridiron Diversity
There’s a new breed of football athlete in a new league that is soon to be the bridge for football fans in the spring and summer as they wait for the NFL season to start. The seven-on-seven tackle football league that uses no pads, no helmet, and a new exciting version of the special teams style of play, gives fans a unique and entertaining brand with legit athletes from D1 schools to NFL rosters.
The A7FL was founded in 2014 by CEO Senser Korkusuz and President Ryan DePaul who wasted no time getting started the very next year with on-field play and upgrades to their front office adding UFC co-founder David Isaacs to serve as chairman of the advisory board. Isaacs proved to be a perfect hire given his background getting the UFC’s style of fighting approved, a tackle football league without pads and helmets, the A7FL needed a person with his experience to get the league accredited.
A number of us have been playing this style of football going back to our younger days. As we stroll down memory lane, remember getting the other kids in your neighborhood together, all we had was us and a football. Growing up in the bay area we didn’t play two hand touch unless we were on concrete, and even then, some of us still played this game the way it was intended as far as I’m concerned which is fast, smart, and physical. This game, depending on where you were from, may have been called many different names. Fast forward to 2023 and we finally have our game being played at a high level. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you 7 on 7 no pad or helmet tackle football.
Since its debut in 2015 the league has expanded to now 25 teams with the Nevada division on the rise having won its first national title, by the way, congrats to the Las Vegas Insomniacs and Derek Duncan founder of the Nevada division, the A7FL appears to be not only legit but also another resource for athletes to gain exposure and earn an opportunity to play at highest level this game has to offer. Since the league has added expert scouts such as Luis Ojeda and others, the league has been able to recruit great talent from top division collegiate athletes to former NFL players and the option for a financial incentive which helps the league maximize their ability to maintain high level talent participants.
Though the game has its signature style of play whether it's the 3 on 1 special teams throw off and receive part, to the no center snap, or tackle rules, football fans will be seeing a product that not only takes them back, but also gives them an exciting alternative moving forward. Looking at the upwards trend for the A7FL and just days after an epic championship game what's next for the rising gridiron league? My guess is business as usual: expand, upgrade, recruit talent, and have fun doing it.