Written by Terry Tebrugge
Champions Indoor Football announced their 2021 game schedule on Tuesday. They also announced a major change in their online game streaming for the upcoming season.
The 2021 regular season game schedule is slightly reduced from past seasons, down from 12 games for each team to just 10 (five home and five away). All member teams from the 2019 season are returning in 2021, including the Amarillo Venom, Oklahoma Flying Aces, Omaha Beef, Salina Liberty, Sioux City Bandits, and Wichita Force. Joining them is the West Texas Warbirds. Based out of Odessa, Texas, the Warbirds were to have begun play in the CIF in 2020, before the season was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Their inaugural season will now take place in 2021.
The league will utilize a four team playoff format in which the teams with the four top records after regular season play concludes, will advance to the postseason.
Also on Tuesday, the league announced that all games in 2021 will be streamed live on YouTube, officially ending the league's four year relationship with Pluto TV.
The full 2021 CIF schedule is as follows:
The Indoor Football League (IFL) added their third Arizona franchise this afternoon with the addition of Prescott Valley. The franchise will be owned by Trey Medlock. The team will play out of Findlay Toyota Center, which seats 4,810 for ice hockey so roughly the same for indoor football. The team will form great in-state rivalries with the Arizona Rattlers in Phoenix and the Tucson Sugar Skulls a little farther south. You should expect these duels in the desert to be quite heated. The team will be the sole tenant of the venue by the 2022 season upon departure of the Northern Arizona Suns NBA G-League franchise. The Suns were purchased by the Detroit Pistons and will be moved to Wayne State Arena for the 2021-22 season.
The venue has played host to a team before, the Arizona Adrenaline who were members of the American Indoor Football Association (AIFA) in 2008 before suspending operations. However, suspending operations is the key phrase there as they were one of the few teams in the history of this sport to return to play. In 2011 they were admitted as members of the IFL. During their time in the AIFA they went 11-3 losing a divisional playoff game to the Wyoming Cavalry. As a member of the IFL they went 1-13. The two seasons combined including the one playoff game, the team went 12-18. However, one neat fact about their 2011 season is that they featured the first female to score a point in an IFL game when Nicole Joy did so.