The Continental Indoor Football League (CIFL) is an indoor football league based along the Midwestern United States region. It began play in April 2006 as the Great Lakes Indoor Football League (GLIFL). It was formed by Jeff Spitaleri, his brother Eric, and a third member, Cory Trapp, all from the Canton, Ohio area.
The league was originally called the OPIFL (short for Ohio-Penn Indoor Football League), but then executives decided to increase the league's appeal to the entire Great Lakes region. So far, the league has been relatively successful, having a cumulative attendance of over 75,000 in the inaugural regular season. However, the league, like other indoor football associations, has been plagued by folding franchises and unenforceable policies. For example, the 2006 champion Port Huron Pirates were found to have been paying some of their players over the league salary cap. 2007 saw several teams fold during the season, and during the 2008 season, the league's most successful team, the Rochester Raiders, moved to another league due to frustration over the failure of the league to provide notice of an opponent's forfeiture, resulting in lost ticket and advertising revenue. The league also failed to return the Raiders' owners' emergency fund deposit, which was collected specifically to protect against such occurrences.
The CIFL is among several indoor football leagues that maintain a mostly regional operation, with most of its teams clustered in the Midwestern United States. Teams have gone back and forth between the CIFL and the other regional leagues, as well as the Indoor Football League (a national league of similar caliber), over the course of the league's history. The CIFL claims itself to be the longest continually operating current indoor football league in the United States, noting that older leagues such as the Arena Football League and American Indoor Football have suspended operations at least once since the CIFL's founding.
In July 2012, the CIFL changed ownership for the first time in its history, when Jeff Spitaleri sold the CIFL to Indoor Football Incorporated, which included Rob Licht, Jim O'Brien and Stuart Schweigert. The group is also the owner of the Saginaw Sting. The new ownership of the league looks to help current team's brand their product better, as well as look to expand the league, but its primary goal is to have competitive franchises.
Famous quotes containing the words indoor, football and/or league:
“As a man grows older, his ability to sit still and follow indoor occupations increases. He grows vespertinal in his habits as the evening of life approaches, till at last he comes forth only just before sundown, and gets all the walk that he requires in half an hour.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)
“In football they measure forty-yard sprints. Nobody runs forty yards in basketball. Maybe you run the ninety-four feet of the court; then you stop, not on a dime, but on Miss Libertys torch. In football you run over somebodys face.”
—Donald Hall (b. 1928)
“Were the victims of a disease called social prejudice, my child. These dear ladies of the law and order league are scouring out the dregs of the town. Cmon be a glorified wreck like me.”
—Dudley Nichols (18951960)