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All About Arena Football

Updated on February 18, 2008

Brief History of Arena Football

James F. Foster invented the idea of arena football. He got the idea when he was watching his first indoor soccer game in 1981. Foster spent the next five years creating and fine- tuning the rules, regulations, and safety, of an indoor football league. Even though he spent those years attempting to perfect the idea, to this day, the rules are still being altered to some minor degrees.

Foster established the Arena Football League in 1987 with a small and an ESPN contract. Four of the first teams to come alive were the Pittsburgh Gladiators, Washington DC Commandos, Chicago Bruisers, and the Denver Dynamite.

There are currently, other indoor football leagues, to date, but Foster and his Arena Football (patent trademark) will always been know and registered as the first indoor football league.

Arena Football Stadium

Arena Football

The main difference between regular football and arena football is well, arena football is indoors whereas regular football is outside.

The benefits of arena football is that despite the weather, there will always be optimum conditions inside of the arena. Players don't have to fight through snow or slip in the mud puddles.

In regards to the game play of arena football, there is an emphasize on forward passing rather than rushing the football, whereas in typical NFL football games, about half of the offense plays call for 35- 40% of the plays being rushed down the field. In indoor football rushing tends to only constitute about 10% of the offense plays.

A few indoor football leagues include:

  • Arena Football League (AFL): started in 1987
  • American Indoor Football Associations: started in 2005
  • American Professional Football League: started in 2003
  • Continental Indoor Football League: started in 2006
  • Independent Indoor Football Alliance: started in 2008
  • Intense Football League: started in 2004, and restarted un 2006
  • United Indoor Football: started in 2005


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    • camdjohnston12 profile image

      camdjohnston12 6 years ago

      Great arena football.