Learn the Game

NFL UK Grass Roots

Grass Roots

The United Kingdom has a thriving American football scene with boys, girls, men and women trying their hand at this fast-paced and action-packed sport.

And the popularity of American football continues to grow at a grassroots level with recent independent studies suggesting more than 40,000 people over the age of 16 are playing the sport in England at least once per month. That’s a significant increase on the figure of 19,500 people in 2010-2011.

The BAFA National Leagues feature a total of 54 teams competing at the senior level, while 36 squads are taking part in the Under-19 competition and 33 clubs are represented at the Under-17 level. At the senior level, 19 teams are competing in the top-flight Premiership conference, including the reigning champion London Warriors.

Student football has seen some of the greatest growth in recent years with more than 70 teams now competing in the BUCS/BAFA University League. The league grew by another five per cent during the 2013-2014 season and now has more than 4,300 participants at universities from as far afield as Southampton to Stirling. The Stirling Clansmen were crowned as the new national champions at the BUCS/BAFA University Finals in Leeds in March, overcoming the similarly undefeated Birmingham Lions in a true ‘Battle of Britain’ showdown.

BAFA has plans for further growth of student football in 2014-2015 through the launch of regional co-ed, mixed-sex flag football competitions.

Women’s football has enjoyed some of the fastest growth in the United Kingdom at a student, national and international level. The Great Britain Women’s Team made their debut against Sweden and the number of women playing American football has grown by 300 per cent in the past year.

With flag football also available for men and women at senior level and boys and girls at the junior level, everyone has the chance to try their hand at the sport of American football.

For more information on how to get involved with your local team, visit www.britishamericanfootball.org