The Sapphire Series represents the National Championship for women’s contact football in the UK and there have been some serious changes over the offseason!
In the UK, the women’s game is one of the fastest growing facets of American Football and this rapid growth and development has necessitated another restructuring of the Sapphire Series.
The major change for the Series this year is the removal of five-a-side teams. The long-term aim for BAFA for women’s contact football is to ultimately reach the full 11v11 version of the game in the competitive leagues. Whilst this is still a long way off, the movement from 5v5 to a complete 7v7 league for this year is a big step in that direction.
The only 5v5 teams competing last year were in Division 2B. The teams from this Division stepping up this year to play 7v7 include the Oxford Saints and Kent Exiles. Unfortunately, the Peterborough Royals and Staffordshire Saxons were unable to put teams forward this year as they focus on recruitment to re-enter the leagues next season.
To accommodate this overhaul of the league, there has been a bit of a reshuffle of alignments including some teams being promoted for the upcoming season! The top two teams from Division 2A last season, the Portsmouth Dreadnoughts and the Sandwell Steelers have been promoted to Division One.
Division One North
|Leeds Carnegie Chargers (C)||7||1||0||439||35||390||22|
|Edinburgh Wolves (P)||7||1||0||306||102||204||22|
|East Kilbride Pirates||2||4||0||60||265||-205||10|
|Derby Braves (R)||1||3||0||43||174||-131||8|
Division One South
|Birmingham Lions (C)||7||1||0||365||81||284||22|
|London Warriors (P)||6||2||0||250||144||106||20|
|Portsmouth Dreadnoughts (R)||0||2||0||6||62||-56||2|
Meanwhile, in Division Two previous Five-a-side teams have been joined by new outfits the Cheshire Bears and the Birmingham Lions B.
Division Two North
|Birmingham Lions B||2||6||0||159||265||-106||12|
Division Two South
|Wembley Stallions (+) (C)||8||0||0||233||12||221||24|
|Kent Exiles (P)||4||4||0||131||177||-46||16|
|Cardiff Valkyries (-)||0||6||0||60||162||-102||5|
Notably, the timings for the Sapphire Series have also changed with games starting in December, as opposed to February. The format this year will follow teams taking part in four tournaments and eight regular season games. The top two teams from each conference will then compete in a National Finals Tournament.
We are really excited at DC for the Sapphire Series to get underway. Best of luck to all the teams getting involved, especially those five-a-side teams expanding to the seven-a-side format, and to the new teams entering the league!
You can keep up to date with Sapphire Series news, standings and results on our Sapphire Series 2018/19 page:
If you’ve got news you wish to share with the Britball Nation via DblCoverage.com, just get in touch!
We’re eager to share all the great things going on across the community, so if you’ve got something good going on, why not share it with the largest Britball community by contacting us via our Facebook page or at editor@DblCoverage.com.