Arena football

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Arena football is a ball sport that emerged from American football and is very similar to it , which is one of the games referred to collectively as gridiron football . The main difference is that arena football is played indoors.


Due to the limited space, arena football is played with modified rules from open-air football. The playing field is significantly smaller (50 yards = 45.72 m) and surrounded by a wall that is supposed to act as protection due to the spatial density. This “downsizing” of the game media runs through all areas of the game, so the closer together posts (a kind of U-shaped goal in football) can be compared to American football. In addition, there are only eight players on the field per team (three fewer than in NFL football), and all but two specialists and the quarterback have to play in attack and defense (ironman football).

Another obvious difference, however, is that in addition to the posts, networks are curious. The kick-off (the tee shot with which the ball is brought into play) goes into the net and is only recorded when it falls.

Since in arena football, in contrast to normal football, an attacking player can also move forward before the snap , a wide receiver usually sprints towards the line of scrimmage in order to gain an advantage over the defense.

The Punten the ball is generally prohibited. If the ten yards (= 9.144 m) required for a new first attempt have not been achieved in the first three attempts , the offense has the option of either scoring points with a field goal on the fourth attempt or covering the required yards with one move, to enable a new first attempt or to immediately score points with a touchdown .

Because of these factors, arena football is a very fast-paced game with very high end results that are seldom seen in normal American football because the pass attack has priority. Due to the small alternative space, the teams only use the running game in exceptional situations.

Difference arena vs. Indoor football

An alternative to arena football is indoor football. While the size of the playing field and the number of players are identical, there are differences in the line-up and behavior of the individual positions. While in arena football only one receiver may be "in motion" before the snap, in indoor football any receiver may move before the snap.

There is also a major difference on the defensive. There must always be at least five defensive players in an imaginary "box" located in a strip 5 yards behind the line of scrimmage. In addition, there is a so-called Mac Linebacker and Jack Linebacker in Arena Football . The Mac linebacker can tackle the quarterback at any time, but the jack linebacker only has to move in an imaginary "box" and is only allowed to leave it, for example to attack the quarterback when the quarterback comes out of his pocket or throws the ball. If the jack linebacker leaves his "box" beforehand, the defense receives a penalty. The inventor of arena football, Jim Foster , wanted the ball to be thrown more than in the NFL , as it is extremely difficult to walk with the ball because there are so many players gathered on a narrow section of the field.

There are no Mac or Jack linebackers in indoor football. Any defender may attack and tackle the quarterback at any time. There is also a 5 yard long zone in indoor football, but only the defensive linemen are allowed to stay in it. This makes it much easier to run the ball in indoor football.

Famous players

Probably the most famous former arena football player is quarterback Kurt Warner , who was signed by the St. Louis Rams after his season with the Iowa Barnstormers . He not only advanced to the NFL MVP , but also won the Super Bowl with the Rams .

The best player ever to play in the Arena Football League is Eddie Brown . In 2006 Brown was voted the best player in league history. However, he never got to work in the NFL. Incidentally, he is the father of former star wide receiver Antonio Brown .

Even Jay Gruden , who in the NFL, the Cincinnati Bengals and Washington Redskins head coach coached, won four Arena Bowls as a player and two as a coach in the Arena Football League .


- Arena Football League (1987-2019)

- af2 (2000 - 2008)

- Indoor Football League (2008 - today)

- Intense Football League (2003-2008)

- United Indoor Football (2008-2008)

- Champions Indoor Football (2014 - today)

- National Arena League (2017 - present)

Individual evidence

  1. Brandon Russell: The Difference Between Arena Football and Indoor Football. In: Last Word on Sports. March 6, 2018, accessed January 11, 2020 (American English).
  2. ^ Arena league experience shaped Kurt Warner's NFL career. In: Cards Wire. July 14, 2017, accessed on January 11, 2020 .
  3. ^ Warner 12th in Arena League's Top 20; Brown No. January 1 , 2006, accessed January 11, 2020 .
  4. Jay Gruden | Retrieved January 11, 2020 .