IFAF Senior World Championship heads to home of professional football

The fifth International Federation of American Football (IFAF) Senior World Championship will take place at the birthplace of professional football – Canton, Ohio – from July 9-18.

Eight national teams comprised of men age 20 and older will compete during four rounds of play to earn the gold medal.The field will include Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Japan, Mexico, South Korea and the United States, the two-time defending champion.

The sport’s national governing body, USA Football is now assembling America’s national teams for the international competition. They will also serve as tournament host. Dan Hawkins, former head coach at Boise State and Colorado, will lead the 2015 U.S. Men’s National Team.

All games will be played at the Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium. Round robin match-ups are July 9, 12 and 15 with consolation games and the medal round on Saturday July 18.

The IFAF Senior World Championship has been held every four years since 1999. The United States defeated Canada, 50-7, in Vienna, Austria, for the 2011 gold medal. The U.S. beat Japan, 23-20, in double overtime in Kawasaki, Japan, to win the 2007 tournament, the first that included Team USA. Prior to the United States’ participation, Japan earned gold medals at the first two IFAF Senior World Championships played in Palermo, Italy (1999), and Frankfurt, Germany (2003).

IFAF is working with 78 countries spanning six continents that possess national federations dedicated to American football. Among the world’s fastest-growing international federations of sport, IFAF has grown from 21 member nations in 2006.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) granted IFAF provisional IOC recognition in December 2013. A vote on football becoming an Olympic sport could take place as early as 2017. If approved, football would join the Summer Olympics lineup in 2024 at a host city yet to be determined.

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