Yes ladies (and gents? Are there any out there?), I am about to talk about football!
Arena Football is a lot like the NFL, with a few key differences. Believe it or not, the league is celebrating its 26th year! It is still a professional league, but the game is played indoors, hence the “Arena” part. The guys do get paid, just not million dollar contracts like in the NFL. A lot of these guys are really playing it for the love of the game! They usually have to get jobs in the off-season, which is exactly the opposite of the NFL, August through March.
As you can see above, arena football can be a very high scoring game. The reason? The field is only 50 yards, instead of 100 like the NFL. Oh man does this make for some intense games. I mean really, a quarterback can throw a pass the entire length of the field for a touchdown! That being said, it means a team can score really quickly. Last season, C’s team was down 9 points with a minute to go and they ended up winning! (You can’t take a knee in arena football, you must keep playing)
Another difference is that there are no sidelines on the field. The entire field is surrounded by a padded wall (in our home stadium it is about 3.5 feet tall). Multiple times a game you can hear the boom of a player being shoved into that wall. It sounds really dramatic. Even though they don’t actually have sideline space though, pushing another player into or over (yes it happens a lot) the wall is considered “out of bounds” so the clock stops, like in the NFL.
Because the field is a lot smaller, obviously there aren’t as many players on the field. In arena football there are only 8 players on the field at a time, versus 11 in the NFL. Also, an arena team can only have 25 players on its roster (versus 52 for an NFL team) which means a lot of the guys play multiple positions. An arena team can’t afford to have players that only play special teams (except for the kicker) so players on the kick returns and such most also play an offensive or defensive position.
One last major difference that is noticeable right away are the goal posts. In the NFL, the regulation width is 18 feet, 6 inches. In arena football, they are a measly 9 feet! Let me tell you, it definitely looks tiny from the stands. Granted, the kicker obviously isn’t kicking as far, but there isn’t much room for error. Yikes.
So that’s a very basic overview of Arena Football! Next time I will talk more about C and what he does!
In order for the team to make it to the coveted Arena Bowl on August 17th, they must beat 2 of the 3 teams they lost to this season. Eek. This Sunday is their first game and the next playoff game will be the following weekend. It will be a tough road, but I believe they can make this happen!