Six teams will again compete in the European Football League (EFL) in 2016 for the EFL Bowl. In the preliminary round teams will play one home and one away game each and are split into two groups. Group winners will square off in the final game on June 11 or June 12 for the trophy. For the preliminary round with its matches during April and May 2016 the alignment has been set.
Two-time and defending EFL Bowl champion Kiel Baltic Hurricanes will join the Amsterdam Crusaders and the Hamburg Huskies in group A to start its quest for a „three-peat“. In group B the Black Panthers Thonon les Bains from France, the Badalona Dracs from Spain and Frankfurt Universe from Germany compete for a spot in EFL Bowl III.
The EFL in its current format was launched in 2014 to complement the Big6, a joint initiative of the six major European clubs in American football. Teams that are intending to join the Big6 in the future or in general clubs who strive to gather experience in international competition may take up the challenge in the EFL which uses a similar format as the Big6.
Games in group A (home team mentioned first)
Hamburg Huskies - Kiel Baltic Hurricanes
Amsterdam Crusaders - Hamburg Huskies
Kiel Baltic Hurricanes - Amsterdam Crusaders
Games in group B (home team mentioned first)
Badalona Dracs - Black Panthers Thonon les Bains
Frankfurt Universe - Badalona Dracs
Black Panthers Thonon les Bains - Frankfurt Universe
Gameday weekends are:
Week 1: 09./10.04.2016
Week 2: 23./24.04.2016
Week 3: 07./08.05.2016
EFL participants for 2016 in detail:
Kiel Baltic Hurricanes: defending and two time EFL champions (2014 and 2015), host of both EFL Bowls since 2014, German champions in 2010, hold the longest current streak of consecutive playoff berths in Germany's GFL North (2007-2015)
Amsterdam Crusaders: long-time powerhouse of Dutch American football, Eurobowl champions 1991 and 1992, five-time Eurobowl finalists and 16-time Dutch champions (most recently in 2010)
Hamburg Huskies: continuing Hamburg's rich tradition in American football, with a special focus on junior development. Following the success of the club's U19 team in Germany's GFL Juniors the senior team made it to the GFL in 2015 and earned a playoff berth in its debut season
Black Panthers Thonon les Bains: two-time French champions (2013 and 2014) and Casque de Daimant finalist in 2015, Thonon won the last EFAF Cup in 2013, the year before EFAF Cup was replaced by the EFL in its current format
Badalona Dracs: six-time Spanish champions (most recently in 2014) and runner-up in Spain's national championship in 2015, the Dracs are a regular contender in European competitions, were EFAF Cup finalists in 2002 and semifinalists in the Eurobowl competition in 2003 and 2004
Frankfurt Universe: founded after the dissolution of NFL Europe's Frankfurt franchise by devoted fans eager to uphold the memories, the club just recently has fulfilled its long-time goal of promoting to Germany's top division GFL with a perfect season in GFL 2. Currently Frankfurt's participation in EFL is tentatively scheduled.