This summer not only will our Britball senior teams be competing, but between the 20 to 30 July the city of Wrocław in Poland will play host to the World Games 2017.
This will be the first time since 2005 that American Football will be included in the World Games. The inclusion of American Football is through the “Invitational Sports” program, which allows the host city to nominate additional sports to be included alongside the official sports.
Although the participants are treated the same as those competing in the official sports, medals earned will not affect the final medal tables.
In a statement by Tommy Wiking, the president of the International Federation of American Football (IFAF)*, said
“We are honored by the decision of IWGA. It is another great news for our discipline. The presence of IFAF is a great thing for us because it is very important to promote American football on such a big event like World Games, with a lot of athletes and sports, and to promote our organization, of course. Polish League of American Football has been establishing the highest standards of organizing football events in Europe. I am convinced that the tournament in Wrocław will bring enormous success and we thank to the City of Wroclaw for their big support.”
The president of the Polish American Football Association, Jedrzej Steszewski, had this to say on the matter,
“We are very happy that a major American football tournament will be held in Poland in 2017. The World Games 2017 in Wrocław are an unique opportunity that allowed unprecedented development of our senior National Team. Thanks to significant support of Polish Ministry of Sports and Tourism our athletes are able to prepare to the World Games at Olympic facilities. Moreover we were able to provide the National Team with splendid coaching staff that is involved in Polish coaches’ development too. Forthcoming tournament in Wrocław is a great challenge for us. We are going to compete with some of the best teams in the World. Our National Team is one of the very youngest in Europe – we established it only in 2013. Nonetheless we are very optimistic and we are looking forward to a superb tournament – on-and-off the field.”
Back in 2005, in the German town of Duisberg, the teams competing were Australia, France, Germany, and Sweden. The Australians were shut out in both the semi-final and the third place playoff, whilst Germany staged a late game comeback in the final to win it all.
This time the competitors will be Poland, France, Germany, and USA. With the USA having won the previous three IFAF World Championships, the most recent in 2015, this could be an opportunity for the Europeans to show how far they’ve come.
*Or, at least, one faction of IFAF…