In the United States, indoor arena football is played in indoor arenas that are similar in size to ice hockey arenas. The only exceptions are NFL teams that have indoor playing fields.
Although varied, the rules for this type of football are designed for games to be played in a much smaller arena. The season for this type of football typically begins by late winter and lasts until the middle of summer.
The History Of Indoor Arena Football
The first games to be documented were played in New York in 1903. The games were referred to as the World Series of Professional Football. These football games were played on a field that were 70 by 35, and the fields were made of dirt. However, the game was played according to the rules for outdoor football games in the fresh air. Unfortunately, the games were discontinued a few years later due to poor attendance numbers. A friend of mine who owns a Minneapolis Air Duct Cleaning company said those were the days when it was as raw as college ball, but I prefer the more refined game that it is now.
Although there have been a few attempts to make indoor football games a true sport, it was not recognized and widely accepted until Arena football was developed. The game was placed into development in the 1980s, and a test game was staged in Rockford, Illinois in 1986. After the test game, a demonstration season began the following year. These first games were televised on ESPN in 1987 as well.
The challenges involved making sure the game could be adopted to a field that is smaller in size than the NFL regulated field. Although AstroTurf is now considered the norm, it was a major issue when indoor arena football first began. However, the creator of the sport decided that artificial turf was easier to roll up and put away when other sports needed to be played.
The current indoor arena football teams play at levels that are semiprofessional or minor league. There have been some indoor arena players who have made the transition to professional football, and the sport continues to grow with the addition of new leagues.