By Chris Mabry and Seth Tucker
GRAND ISLAND - NE, IFL Fans it's finally here. The schedule for the 2021 season is finally out. Before we go through the schedule, here's a breakdown at what to look for in 2021.
This upcoming IFL season will feature 12 teams. They will be divided into two conferences each with six members. All 12 teams will compete in a 17 week regular season with each club playing a total of 16 games with two bye weeks. At the end of the regular season, the top four teams will qualify for the playoffs and compete for a spot in the United Bowl.
Here are the teams playing this season:
1. Sioux Falls Storm
2. Louisville Xtreme
3. Iowa Barnstormers
4. Green Bay Blizzard
5. Bismarck Bucks
6. Massachusetts Pirates.
7. Arizona Rattlers
8. Tuscan Sugar Skulls
9. Northern Arizona Wranglers
10. Duke City Gladiators
11. Spokane Shock
12. Frisco Fighters
The season will kickoff on Sunday, March 28th, 2021, with the defending champion The Sioux Falls Storm will take on the Green Bay Blizzard at home in the Hall of Fame Game. This will be the lone matchup for that week. Following week one, every team is in action, with the first teams not taking a bye week until week three. All teams will have had their bye week by Week 16.
The Duke City Gladiators have a tough stretch of games in Weeks 4-9, playing five away games in this stretch, only broken up by a bye week in week six.
The Louisville Xtreme and Spokane Shock are the only teams to play back-to-back games against the same opponent, with the two teams playing each other weeks 10 and 11.
The Pirates and Shock each play 11 different opponents, most in the league, while the Gladiators, Barnstormers, and Wranglers each play six different opponents, least in the league.