World Football League

Team Directory

Birmingham Americans/Vulcans
Charlotte Stars / Hornets
Chicago Fire / Winds
Detroit Wheels
Florida Blazers
The Hawaiians
Houston Texans
Jacksonville Sharks / Express
Memphis Southmen
New York Stars
Philadelphia Bell
Portland Storm / Thunder
San Antonio Wings
Shreveport Steamer
Southern California Sun

Facts and information about the World Football League

  • Gary Davidson, one of the founders of the American Basketball Association (ABA) and the World Hockey League (WHL), was one of the driving forces behind the establishment of the World Football League (WFL). Although the ABA and WHL both eventually had teams absorbed by their counterparts the NBA and NHL, no WFL team would become part of the NFL.
  • The biggest news made by the WFL was when the league’s Memphis Southmen signed three star players away from the Miami Dolphins of the NFL; Larry Csonka, Jim Kiick, and Paul Warfield.
  • The World Football League played a 20 game regular season schedule with no preseason games during their first year. Though there were twenty games played, it was only a 19 week schedule as Labor Day weekend had the teams playing on Friday as well as Monday. For their 1975 season, the league had two exhibition games and then 18 regular season games.
  • In the middle of its first season, the WFL had two franchises relocate; the New York Stars to Charlotte, NC and the Houston Texans to Shreveport, LA.
  • Jacksonville, Florida was supposed site of the first World Bowl, the championship game of the World Football League, after the Jacksonville Sharks effectively went out of business the game was moved Birmingham, Alabama.
  • The WFL gave a cash prize, literally piles of cash on a table, to the MVP of the first World Bowl.
  • World Bowl I had the Birmingham Americans winning the championship over the Florida Blazers by a score of 22-21.
  • Only two teams from the 1974 season competed in the 1975 season with the same ownership groups; the Memphis Southmen and the Philadelphia Bell.
  • At the start of the league’s second season, due to a stadium scheduling conflict, they actually had a regular season game played before some teams were done playing their preseason games.
  • The entire World Football League, all teams and the league offices, shutdown after week 12 of the 1975 season.
  • Due to having the best record (9-3) at the time of suspension of play, the Birmingham Vulcans were declared WFL Champions of the 1975 season.
  • In the World Football League there were no point-after-touchdowns by kicking, it was called an Action Point and had to be run or passed across the goal line. The XFL would later revive this rule.
  • Like college football, in the World Football League Wide Receivers only needed one foot in bounds for it to be a legal reception.
  • In a rule later adopted by the NFL, defenders were not allowed to touch Wide Receivers after they’d traveled past three yards down the field; the NFL’s version of this rule was a five yard limit.
  • At the time the World League started play in 1974, it moved the goal posts to the back of the endzone. The NFL would follow suit, but from 1933 to 1974 the NFL had their goal posts at the front of the endzone.
  • In the World League, one player could be in motion and moving towards the line of scrimmage at the time the ball was snapped. The Canadian Football League and the Arena Football League both have this same rule.
  • In another rule that came from the CFL, in the WFL, there was no fair-catch rule to protect punt returners. This rule too was used by the XFL which came about 25 years later.

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