Ultimate Indoor Football League
|Current season or competition:
2014 UIFL season
Continental Indoor Football League logo
|Formerly||United Indoor Football League|
|No. of teams||3|
|Most recent champion(s)||Florida Tarpons|
|Most titles||Cincinnati Commandos
& Saginaw Sting (1)
Conquest Sports Foundation
Conquest Club Card
La Quinta Inns & Suites
|Related competitions||Champions Professional Indoor Football League
Continental Indoor Football League
Professional Indoor Football League
The Ultimate Indoor Football League (UIFL) is a regional professional indoor football league that began its inaugural season on February 18, 20111 as the Ultimate Indoor Football League before playing as the United Indoor Football League in 2012, then switched back to "Ultimate" for the 2013 season.
On February 18, 2011, the first-ever UIFL game was played between the Saginaw Sting and the Eastern Kentucky Drillers.1 The inaugural game was held at the Dow Event Center in Saginaw, Michigan.1 The league co-founders are Michael Taylor and Andrew Haines; Haines was also the owner and founder of the Atlantic/American Indoor Football League and the Mid-Atlantic Hockey League. The UIFL has a logo nearly identical to the one used by the AIFL in the 2006 season (though it favors blue instead of red), and will apparently also use the AIFL red, white, and blue football also in use in the American Indoor Football Association. The league is based in Canton, Ohio.
The league's first five teams were located in the Appalachia region, with teams based in Canton, Ohio; Johnstown, Pennsylvania; Pikeville, Kentucky; Highland Heights, Kentucky; and Huntington, West Virginia. Of those five markets, three (Canton, Johnstown, and Huntington) had teams in Haines' previous league, the AIFL. The two markets in Kentucky have never had a professional indoor football team in any league (though Highland Heights is usually considered part of the Cincinnati, Ohio metropolitan area, and the city of Cincinnati has had several indoor teams). The sixth team, the Saginaw Sting, came from the Indoor Football League.
The complete 2011 season concluded without any teams folding, nor any games being missed or rescheduled. The Northern Kentucky River Monsters finished with the best regular season record, 11-3. However, due to league sanctions they were not able to host any playoff games and were dropped to a four seed.
Saginaw finished 9-5, followed by Eastern Kentucky at 8-6, Huntington at 7-7, Johnstown at 6-8, and Canton at 1-13.
Saginaw defeated Northern Kentucky, 48-47, in the first semifinals of the Ultimate Bowl I Playoffs, sponsored by Trophy Awards. In the other semifinal game, Eastern Kentucky advanced to the championship game with a 20-4 victory over Huntington. Ultimate Bowl I, also sponsored by Trophy Awards, was played Friday, June 9, 2011, at the Dow Center in Saginaw, MI, with the Sting claiming a 86-69 victory over the visiting Drillers.
Following the Northern Kentucky River Monsters' elimination from the playoffs, owner Jill Chitwood and the UIFL came to terms allowing the River Monsters to leave the UIFL.2
On June 15, 2011, Michael Taylor and Andrew Haines sold their controlling slate in the UIFL to Assured Equities IV, a Florida corporation, for the sum of 1.45 million dollars.3 As part of the acquisition, UIFL Co-Founder Andrew Haines will remain as League President and a member of the Board of Directors, and UIFL Co-Founder Michael Taylor will continue as a consultant and a member of the Board of Directors for Assured Equities.4
For 2012, there will be at least eleven new expansion teams, based in Rome, Georgia; Estero, Florida; Tupelo, Mississippi; Marion, Ohio; Cincinnati, Ohio; Erie, Pennsylvania and Lakeland, Florida. Of these markets, five (Rome, Tupelo, and Lakeland) previously had teams in the AIFL, while Estero previously had a team in arenafootball2; The Cincinnati Commandos and Marion Blue Racers have come previously from the Continental Indoor Football League; and the Erie Explosion moves from the Southern Indoor Football League. (Incidentally, the acquisition of the Explosion brings the league full-circle; the Explosion was the last surviving remnant of the AIFL, tracing its history to the Erie Freeze in 2005.)
On January 19, 2012, the league was sold by Cecil Van Dyke and Assured Equities IV, back to Andrew Haines and Michael Taylor.6 The league took on the name United Indoor Football League for the 2012 season (at the time, the United (outdoor) Football League had suspended operations; the league reverted to the Ultimate Indoor Football League when the outdoor UFL ended its suspension). Six teams folded in the process, including charter members Canton and Huntington, plus four teams (Carolina Aviators, Danville Dragons, Tennessee Rail Runners, and Kentucky Monsters) that never took the field, reducing the number of teams in the league from 16 to 10. Haines resigned his post as league president in June 2012.7
The 2013 season saw a reduction to six teams. Furthermore, prior to championship weekend, three of the four teams that had been eliminated had announced their intentions to jump leagues and join the Xtreme Indoor Football League, yet another league co-created by Andrew Haines. The UIFL has stated it is exploring all options regarding the future of the league. The Florida Tarpons won Ultimate Bowl III, with a victory over the Corpus Christi Fury.
An asterisk * indicates a team new to the UIFL for the 2013 season.8
|Corpus Christi Fury*||Corpus Christi, Texas||American Bank Center (8,156)|
|Florida Tarpons||Estero, Florida||Germain Arena (7,128)|
|Miami Inferno||Coral Gables, Florida||BankUnited Center (7,972)|
|Year||# of teams||Expansion teams||Folded teams||Annexed teams||Suspended teams||Left league||Relocated teams||Name changes|
Eastern Kentucky Drillers
Northern Kentucky River Monsters
Mississippi Hound Dogs
Western Pennsylvania Sting
Northern Kentucky River Monsters
Marion Blue Racers*
|Northern Kentucky River Monsters***
|2013||6||Corpus Christi Fury
Eastern Kentucky Drillers****
Marion Blue Racers****
|Rome Rampage → Georgia Rampage
Western Pennsylvania Sting → Miami Sting***
|2014||2||Miami Inferno||Sarasota Thunder||Georgia Rampage*****
- * - Joined from Continental Indoor Football League
- ** - Joined from Southern Indoor Football League
- *** - Suspended indefinitely by the UIFL
- **** - Left for the CIFL
- ***** - Left for the Xtreme Indoor Football League
- UIFL & NKY River Monsters Agree to Part Ways
- UIFL's selling agreement
- Assured Equities IV Acquires the UIFL
- Reigning UIFL MVP Lorenzen named Commissioner
- "United Indoor Football League forms; acquires UIFL assets.". UIFL. January 19, 2012. Retrieved January 19, 2012.
- UIFL announces divisional alignment