The Kraft Family Israel Football League (IFL) is proud to announce that for the first time ever, American football will be broadcast from Israel, as its championship game, Israel Bowl VI, will be aired on the Jewish Live Television Network (JLTV) throughout the US on Sunday March 31 from 4:00-7:00 PM Eastern.
The IFL is an 11-team league completing its 6th season of play in Israel. The League was founded with the support of Robert & Myra Kraft, of the NFL’s New England Patriots, and has become the fastest-growing sports league in Israel as it continues to introduce American football to enthusiastic Israelis throughout the country.
“We have seen tremendous interest from Israelis coast-to-coast who have quickly become extremely passionate about tackle football,” explains IFL Commissioner Uriel Sturm. “The way that our sport is able to blend the concepts of aggression and physicality with notions of strategy and extreme teamwork is something that resonates powerfully with Israeli mentality, not to mention the unrivaled exhilaration and fun that comes along with strapping on a helmet and shoulder pads.”
The more than 400 players who compete in the IFL come from a broad geographic diversity, including 25 different states, Washington D.C., as well as from Canada and Europe. Many played organized high school football in their native countries, some players currently serve in the Israeli Defense Forces and others are simply athletic Israelis who have been taken by the sheer power, speed, intensity and overall challenges that (American) football represents. Alumni of the league have even gone on to play NCAA college football in the US, including to high-profile schools such as the University of Michigan.
This year’s Israel Bowl will be played in Jerusalem’s Kraft Family Stadium between reigning-champion Tel Aviv Sabres (11-0) and 2010-11 champion Judean Rebels (7-5). The Sabers are led by hard-nosed Coach Jon Sharon a host of stars, including Banning Fudge and QB Adi Hakami, while the Rebels are piloted by Coach Avi Eastman and his 18-year-old son, Dani.
The IFL has been featured in the New York Times, TMZ as well as a short clip with US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro.