Good news for football fans: spring fever and football fever can now coexist. The Alliance of American Football (AAF) is a professional league that made its debut in February 2019. The AAF season will last from late winter through the spring.
WHAT IS THE AAF?
The AAF is an eight-team professional league. It will have a 10-week regular season and a four-team playoff. The season will end with a late-April championship matchup in Las Vegas.
AAF rosters feature a mix of former players of other professional leagues and college standouts. The league will provide players career planning and counseling for life after football. Players will also receive scholarships for post-secondary education each year they play.
Organized by veterans of the football industry, the AAF doesn’t take the first word of its name lightly. Its mission is to build a kinship between the sport, the players and the fans. Players will receive bonuses for both strong play and engagement with the fans.
The AAF divides its eight teams into two conferences: Eastern and Western.
The teams are the:
- Arizona Hotshots
- Atlanta Legends
- Birmingham Iron
- Memphis Express
- Orlando Apollos
- Salt Lake Stallions
- San Antonio Commanders
- San Diego Fleet
Each team features a roster of 50 players. The AAF formed rosters with a regional allocation. Teams have players based on proximity to their colleges or where they last played in a pro league. An exception was a “pick or protect” draft for quarterbacks. Teams could keep their allocated QBs or select players from an outside locality.
WHAT ARE THE AAF RULES?
Rules and gameplay of the AAF differ slightly from other football leagues. Some of the differences include:
- No extra-point kicks. When teams score a touchdown, they must attempt a two-point conversion.
- No kickoffs. After scores and at the beginning of each half, teams will begin on their own 25-yard line.
- A 30-second play clock. One of the AAF’s goals is to speed up games so that they finish in under two and a half hours. To achieve this goal, there will be a shorter play clock and fewer commercials.
- No replays. Outside of two coach’s challenges per team, there will be no other replays during the games.
The league also plans to enforce strict head-safety protocols.
HOW TO WATCH THE AAF
Affordable tickets make it easy to see your favorite AAF team in person. However, there are still ways to watch for out-of-market fans. At least one AAF game will broadcast live on cable per week and fans can stream all games for free via an app. The app will also feature integrated fantasy sports.