The German Football League (GFL) is an American football league in Germany and was formed in 1979. Playing rules are based on those of the American NCAA. In 1999, the league switched its name from American-Football-Bundesliga to German Football League. In terms of attendance figures, cumulative salaries paid by teams, performance in international exhibition games and competitions and ability to draw foreign talent, the GFL is arguably the strongest national league in Europe. The GFL is partitioned into north and south conferences, each with eight teams. In each conference, every team plays against every other team of its own conference, both at home and away. Until 2011, each team also played home and away interconference games against the team from the opposing conference that finished the previous season on the same rank. However, this was abandoned with the league expansion to 16 teams. After the end of the regular season, four teams from both conferences enter the playoffs, to determine the German championship. The winner of a conference plays against the 4th place team of the other group, second against third of the other conference. Better placed teams enjoy home field advantage in the playoffs (regardless of record) – the seeding ensures that two teams that finished on the same rank in their division can only meet in the (neutral site) final. The final is called the German Bowl. The lowest ranked team of each conference plays a home and away series against the winner of the second division, and may be relegated if they lose. In case one or several teams withdraw from the GFL, relegation is forgone, more teams are promoted or other measures are taken to "fill up" the divisions to nominal strength if possible. More information...

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