World Bowl

World Bowl

The World Bowl was the American football Championship game of NFL Europa, similar to the Super Bowl of the National Football League.

The World Bowl trophy itself was a globe made of glass measuring 35.5 cm (14 inches) in diameter and weighing 18.6 kg (41 lbs).


World League of American Football

When NFL Europa was founded in 1991 as World League of American Football (WLAF), with teams in North America and Europe as well as expansion plans for Asia, the name World Bowl was appropriate. It was kept after 1995 when the league limited itself exclusively to Europe.

Venues as NFL Europa

From 1995 to 1997, the World Bowl venue was decided by the standings after 5 weeks of the 10-week season. All venues before, and since, were predetermined before the season.

The 2002 World Bowl was hosted in Rhein Fire home town of Düsseldorf as a farewell to the old Rheinstadion. After the new LTU arena was completed, the 2005 World Bowl was hosted there again. It would return in 2006, as a first ever back to back WB site. Düsseldorf has currently no Bundesliga team and was not selected for FIFA World Cup games, so football is a major sport there, unlike in other NFL Europa towns.

World Football League

The former World Football League, a short-lived 1970s competitor to the NFL, also named its championship game the World Bowl. In the only WFL World Bowl contested, the Birmingham Americans defeated the Florida Blazers 22-21 on December 5, 1974 at Legion Field in Birmingham, Alabama.

World Bowl (WLAF, NFL Europe, and NFL Europa Championships)

*Note: Roman Numerals were not officially used by NFL Europa until World Bowl IX. Before 2001, the games were billed as World Bowl 2000, World Bowl '99, etc.

Team Statistics


* The inaugural World Bowl set two firsts that are yet to be repeated: The London Monarchs shut out the Barcelona Dragons, and Monarchs safety Dan Crossman is the only defensive player to be named World Bowl MVP (the other awards have been collected by 7 quarterbacks, 3 running backs and 3 wide receivers).

* From 1998 to 2004, only German teams won the World Bowl – a streak broken in 2005 by the single remaining non-German team, Amsterdam Admirals.

* Teams from the same country have played in the big game six times. There was only one All-American final: World Bowl II (Sacramento Surge/Orlando Thunder). The rest have all been German – VI (Rhein Fire/Frankfurt Galaxy), a three-year run: X (Berlin Thunder/Fire), XI (Galaxy/Fire) and XII (Thunder/Galaxy), and XV (Hamburg Sea Devils/Frankfurt Galaxy).

* Three teams have won the championship in their home stadium: the Monarchs in the inaugural World Bowl at Wembley Stadium, the Claymores at Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh (WB IV) and the Dragons at the Estadio Olimpic de Montjuic (WB V). The Claymores' and Dragons' victories were possibly predictable, as between 1995 and 1997 the league not only decided the venue with the leader of the league at the 5-week stage, but also the first team to make it into the World Bowl. This was dropped after WB V, in favour of the top two teams after 10 weeks going to the big game.

* Since the league's 1995 relaunch, the World Bowl has been the league's only postseason game. In 1991 and 1992 however, playoff semi-finals were held involving the three division champions and a wild card team.

* There have only been 2 non-German teams been able to win the World Bowl when they were not playing on their home field (Sacramento Surge, World Bowl II and Amsterdam Admirals, World Bowl XIII).

* Only one non-German team has been able to win the World Bowl in Germany (Amsterdam Admirals in World Bowl XIII).

* In all three World Bowl births the Admirals lost their starting quarterback before going to the World Bowl, leaving the big job for the backup quarterback.

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