2021 IFL season
LeagueIndoor Football League
SportIndoor football
DurationApril 23 – August 21
Number of teams12
Season MVPDrew Powell (Arizona)[1]
Finals championsMassachusetts Pirates
  Runners-upArizona Rattlers
Finals MVPAlejandro Bennifield[2]
IFL seasons

The 2021 Indoor Football League season was the thirteenth (and twelfth complete) season of the Indoor Football League (IFL). The league played the season with twelve teams, down from thirteen the previous season, by adding one expansion team, one team from the National Arena League, one team from the American Arena League, and four teams going on hiatus. In addition, three existing teams made their IFL on-field debut after the 2020 season was cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.[3]

As there were still many pandemic-related restrictions still in place during early 2021, the start of the season was delayed from February to April with the postseason to begin in August. The top eight teams qualified for the postseason with the Massachusetts Pirates, playing their first season in the IFL, defeating the Arizona Rattlers in the United Bowl on September 12.[2]

Offseason

On June 26, 2020, the Columbus Wild Dogs announced that they would not begin play until 2022.[4] On August 19, 2020, the Massachusetts Pirates, formerly of the National Arena League, were added to the IFL for the 2021 season as the league's first East Coast-based team.[5] On August 25, the league added the Northern Arizona Wranglers in Prescott Valley, Arizona, for the 2021 season, joining the Arizona Rattlers and Tucson Sugar Skulls as the third IFL team to be based in Arizona for 2021.[6] On November 6, the Louisville Xtreme of Louisville, Kentucky, was added.[7] The 2020 expansion Oakland Panthers,[8] as well as the Cedar Rapids River Kings, Quad City Steamwheelers, and the San Diego Strike Force withdrew from the season due to the effects of the pandemic.[9][10]

The initial schedule for the twelve teams was announced on November 17, 2020, with all teams playing 16 games between March 28 and July 24, 2021, before the playoffs.[11] On February 17, the league pushed back its start date to April 23 for four teams, with the rest of the teams to start on May 14. The four teams that started on April 23 were to still have 16 games, but the others teams were to play a reduced 14-game schedule.[12]

Teams

Team Location Arena Capacity Founded Joined Head coach
Arizona Rattlers Phoenix, Arizona Footprint Center[a] 18,422 1992 2017 Kevin Guy
Bismarck Bucks Bismarck, North Dakota Bismarck Event Center 10,100 2017 2019 Rod Miller
Duke City Gladiators Rio Rancho, New Mexico Rio Rancho Events Center 6,000 2015 2020 Martino Theus (until June 30)
Robert Kent Jr.[14]
Frisco Fighters Frisco, Texas Comerica Center 3,500 2019 2020 Clint Dolezel
Green Bay Blizzard Green Bay, Wisconsin Resch Center 8,600 2003 2010 Corey Roberson
Iowa Barnstormers Des Moines, Iowa Wells Fargo Arena 15,181 1995 2015 Les Moss
Louisville Xtreme Louisville, Kentucky KFC Yum! Center 22,090 2012 2021 Mark Stoute
Massachusetts Pirates Worcester, Massachusetts DCU Center 12,339 2017 2021 Patrick Pass
Northern Arizona Wranglers Prescott Valley, Arizona Findlay Toyota Center 6,000 2020 2021 Dominic Bramante
Sioux Falls Storm Sioux Falls, South Dakota Denny Sanford Premier Center 10,678 2000 2009 Kurtiss Riggs
Spokane Shock Spokane, Washington Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena 10,771 2006 2020 Billy Back
Tucson Sugar Skulls Tucson, Arizona Tucson Convention Center 8,962 2018 2019 Dixie Wooten
  1. ^ Was known as Phoenix Suns Arena at the start of the season until July 16, 2021.[13]

Regular season

Standings

Team W L PCT PF PA
yArizona Rattlers 12 2 .857 708 535
xMassachusetts Pirates 11 3 .786 627 455
xFrisco Fighters 10 3 .769 532 485
xDuke City Gladiators 7 7 .500 741 661
xIowa Barnstormers 6 6 .500 499 483
xSpokane Shock 6 6 .500 520 486
xBismarck Bucks 7 8 .467 613 616
xSioux Falls Storm 6 7 .462 569 558
Tucson Sugar Skulls 6 8 .429 574 597
Green Bay Blizzard 5 9 .357 494 569
Northern Arizona Wranglers 1 13 .071 443 736
Louisville Xtreme[a] 0 5 .000 153 223
(y) clinched regular season title • (x) clinched playoff spot
Final standings[b] • Source[15][16][17]
  1. ^ Terminated midseason
  2. ^ Standings reflect overall winning percentage per the official IFL source, but are not based on playoff seeds due to tiebreakers.

Schedule

The season began on the weekend of April 23–24 with two games: the Bismarck Bucks at the Green Bay Blizzard and the Massachusetts Pirates at the Louisville Xtreme. The four teams were the only teams playing until May 15 when the other teams joined. After initially postponing the Xtreme's June 12 home game, the IFL subsequently terminated the Xtreme's membership due to failing to maintain the league's minimum obligations and the team did not finish the season. All of the Xtreme's games were removed from the schedule.[18]

Week Date Visitor Score Home Venue
1 April 23[19] Bismarck Bucks 41–35 Green Bay Blizzard Resch Center
April 24[20] Massachusetts Pirates 49–18 Louisville Xtreme KFC Yum! Center
2 May 2[21] Massachusetts Pirates 36–40 Green Bay Blizzard Resch Center
3 May 7[22] Louisville Xtreme 29–49 Green Bay Blizzard Resch Center
May 8[23] Massachusetts Pirates 36–18 Bismarck Bucks Bismarck Event Center
4 May 15[24] Green Bay Blizzard 46–58 Bismarck Bucks Bismarck Event Center
May 15[25] Iowa Barnstormers 56–36 Sioux Falls Storm Denny Sanford Premier Center
May 15[26] Frisco Fighters 36–33 Spokane Shock Spokane Arena
May 16[27] Arizona Rattlers 51–20 Northern Arizona Wranglers Findlay Toyota Center
5 May 21[28] Tucson Sugar Skulls 36–42 Green Bay Blizzard Resch Center
May 22[29] Frisco Fighters 34–26 Louisville Xtreme KFC Yum! Center
May 22[29] Northern Arizona Wranglers 39–61 Bismarck Bucks Bismarck Event Center
May 22[30] Duke City Gladiators 63–55 OT Iowa Barnstormers Wells Fargo Arena
May 22[31] Arizona Rattlers 46–50 Sioux Falls Storm Denny Sanford Premier Center
May 22[29] Spokane Shock 34–26 Massachusetts Pirates DCU Center
6 May 29[32] Sioux Falls Storm 49–43 Louisville Xtreme KFC Yum! Center
May 29[33] Bismarck Bucks 42–49 Iowa Barnstormers Wells Fargo Arena
May 30[34] Tucson Sugar Skulls 55–35 Duke City Gladiators Rio Rancho Events Center
7 June 4[35] Arizona Rattlers 41–34 Green Bay Blizzard Resch Center
June 5[36] Louisville Xtreme 37–42 Massachusetts Pirates DCU Center
June 5[37] Sioux Falls Storm 64–28 Bismarck Bucks Bismarck Event Center
June 5[38] Iowa Barnstormers 33–13 Tucson Sugar Skulls Tucson Convention Center
June 5[39] Spokane Shock 42–24 Northern Arizona Wranglers Findlay Toyota Center
June 5[40] Duke City Gladiators 57–58 Frisco Fighters Comerica Center
8 June 12[41] Iowa Barnstormers 22–53 Bismarck Bucks Bismarck Event Center
June 12 Green Bay Blizzard Ppd.[42] Louisville Xtreme KFC Yum! Center
June 12[43] Tucson Sugar Skulls 34–44 Arizona Rattlers Phoenix Suns Arena
June 12[44] Duke City Gladiators 34–17 Northern Arizona Wranglers Findlay Toyota Center
June 12[45] Spokane Shock 50–32 Sioux Falls Storm Denny Sanford Premier Center
June 12[46] Frisco Fighters 40–33 Massachusetts Pirates DCU Center
9 June 18[47] Bismarck Bucks 50–29 Green Bay Blizzard Resch Center
June 19[48] Arizona Rattlers 51–36 Duke City Gladiators Rio Rancho Events Center
June 19 Louisville Xtreme X Frisco Fighters Comerica Center
June 19[49] Massachusetts Pirates 37–34 Tucson Sugar Skulls Tucson Convention Center
June 19[50] Sioux Falls Storm 47–57 Iowa Barnstormers Wells Fargo Arena
June 19[51] Northern Arizona Wranglers 37–63 Spokane Shock Spokane Arena
10 June 25[52] Iowa Barnstormers 44–48 Green Bay Blizzard Resch Center
June 25[53] Spokane Shock 35–56 Arizona Rattlers Phoenix Suns Arena
June 26[54] Frisco Fighters 53–48 Duke City Gladiators Rio Rancho Events Center
June 26[55] Bismarck Bucks 27–52 Sioux Falls Storm Denny Sanford Premier Center
June 26[56] Tucson Sugar Skulls 44–48 Northern Arizona Wranglers Findlay Toyota Center
June 27 Massachusetts Pirates X Louisville Xtreme KFC Yum! Center
11 July 2[57] Massachusetts Pirates 38–37 Frisco Fighters Comerica Center
July 3 Spokane Shock X Louisville Xtreme KFC Yum! Center
July 3[58] Northern Arizona Wranglers 38–52 Duke City Gladiators Rio Rancho Events Center
July 3[59] Arizona Rattlers 54–38 Tucson Sugar Skulls Tucson Convention Center
12 July 9[60] Iowa Barnstormers 35–42 Frisco Fighters Comerica Center
July 10[61] Bismarck Bucks 38–43 Massachusetts Pirates DCU Center
July 10 Green Bay Blizzard X Louisville Xtreme KFC Yum! Center
July 10[62] Northern Arizona Wranglers 19–62 Arizona Rattlers Phoenix Suns Arena
July 10[63] Duke City Gladiators 40–41 Tucson Sugar Skulls Tucson Sugar Skulls
July 10 Sioux Falls Storm 35–46 Spokane Shock Spokane Arena
13 July 16[64] Frisco Fighters 42–43 Bismarck Bucks Bismarck Event Center
July 17 Louisville Xtreme X Iowa Barnstormers Wells Fargo Arena
July 17[65] Duke City Gladiators 71–54 Northern Arizona Wranglers Findlay Toyota Center
July 17[66] Tucson Sugar Skulls 34–45 Spokane Shock Spokane Arena
July 18[67] Arizona Rattlers 44–68 Massachusetts Pirates DCU Center
July 18[68] Sioux Falls Storm 31–21 Green Bay Blizzard Resch Center
14 July 24 Louisville Xtreme X Massachusetts Pirates DCU Center
July 24[69] Green Bay Blizzard 34–26 Iowa Barnstormers Wells Fargo Arena
July 24[70] Northern Arizona Wranglers 30–33 Frisco Fighters Comerica Center
July 24[71] Spokane Shock 61–68 Duke City Gladiators Rio Rancho Events Center
July 24[72] Sioux Falls Storm 33–59 Arizona Rattlers Footprint Center[a]
July 24[73] Bismarck Bucks 27–34 Tucson Sugar Skulls Tucson Convention Center
15 July 30[74] Green Bay Blizzard 30–41 Bismarck Bucks Bismarck Event Center
July 31 Iowa Barnstormers X Louisville Xtreme KFC Yum! Center
July 31 Duke City Gladiators 48–60 Arizona Rattlers Footprint Center
July 31[75] Northern Arizona Wranglers 46–48 Tucson Sugar Skulls Tucson Convention Center
July 31 Frisco Fighters 37–33 Sioux Falls Storm Denny Sanford Premier Center
July 31[76] Massachusetts Pirates 63–57 Spokane Shock Spokane Arena
16 August 7[77] Green Bay Blizzard 33–50 Massachusetts Pirates DCU Center
August 7 Louisville Xtreme X Sioux Falls Storm Denny Sanford Premier Center
August 7[78] Tucson Sugar Skulls 28–55 Arizona Rattlers Footprint Center
August 7 Northern Arizona Wranglers 11–71 Duke City Gladiators Rio Rancho Events Center
August 7[79] Spokane Shock 34–45 Frisco Fighters Comerica Center
August 7[80] Bismarck Bucks 41–48 Iowa Barnstormers Wells Fargo Arena
17 August 13 Sioux Falls Storm X[81] Bismarck Bucks Bismarck Event Center
August 13[82] Arizona Rattlers 30–20 Spokane Shock Spokane Arena
August 14[83] Duke City Gladiators 59–63 Tucson Sugar Skulls Tucson Convention Center
August 14 Louisville Xtreme X Iowa Barnstormers Wells Fargo Arena
August 14[84] Sioux Falls Storm 49–55 Iowa Barnstormers Wells Fargo Arena[85]
August 14[86] Green Bay Blizzard 20–38 Frisco Fighters Comerica Center
August 15[87] Massachusetts Pirates 51–16 Northern Arizona Wranglers Findlay Toyota Center
18 August 21[88] Tucson Sugar Skulls 56–38 Northern Arizona Wranglers Findlay Toyota Center
August 21[89] Green Bay Blizzard 35–58 Sioux Falls Storm Denny Sanford Premier Center
August 21[90] Frisco Fighters 38–55 Arizona Rattlers Footprint Center
August 21 Bismarck Bucks 45–57 Duke City Gladiators Rio Rancho Events Center
August 21[91] Iowa Barnstormers 19–55 Massachusetts Pirates DCU Center
August 21 Louisville Xtreme X Spokane Shock Spokane Arena
  1. ^ Was known as Phoenix Suns Arena at the start of the season until July 16, 2021.[13]

Playoffs

The top eight teams made the IFL playoffs, where teams were ranked by winning percentage due to the imbalanced schedule. After Louisville was terminated midseason, the schedule was further imbalanced leading to several tiebreaker parameters needing to be used resulting in the fourth place Duke City Gladiators and fifth place Iowa Barnstormers switching seeding for the playoffs.

The quarterfinals consisted of the top seed hosting the eighth seed, the second seed hosting the seventh seed, the third seed hosting the sixth seed, and the fourth hosting the fifth seed. In the semifinals, the highest remaining seed hosts the lower remaining seed and the next-highest hosts the next-lowest from the quarterfinals. The semifinal winners then meet in the 2021 United Bowl.[11][92]

First round
(August 28–29)
Semifinals
(September 4–5)
United Bowl
(September 12)[93]
         
8 Sioux Falls Storm 42
1 Arizona Rattlers[94] 69
5 Duke City Gladiators 55
1 Arizona Rattlers 58
7 Bismarck Bucks 19
2 Massachusetts Pirates[95] 44
2 Massachusetts Pirates 37
(Pairings are reseeded after the first round)
1 Arizona Rattlers 34
6 Spokane Shock 33
3 Frisco Fighters[96] 44
3 Frisco Fighters 22
2 Massachusetts Pirates 43
5 Duke City Gladiators[97] 34
4 Iowa Barnstormers 33

References

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