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(photo credit: Rory Kress)
The four-team Israel Football League takes the field this week. The opening preseason game will be played at Kraft Family Stadium in Jerusalem on Thursday evening when Big Blue Jerusalem faces Mike's Place Tel Aviv. The second preseason game takes place at noon on Saturday, November 3, when Real Housing Haifa hosts Dancing Camel HaSharon at Kibbutz Ein Hashofet.
IFL Commissioner Eric Amkraut announced that the nine-game regular season will get underway at Kraft Family Stadium in Jerusalem on Friday, November 16, with Big Blue Jerusalem hosting Dancing Camel HaSharon at noon. A day later, Real Housing Haifa hosts Mike's Place Tel Aviv at Kibbutz Ein Hashofet, also at noon.
Mike's Place Tel Aviv will play its home games at the Maccabi Tel Aviv soccer club training facility in Kiryat Shalom. Dancing Camel HaSharon's home venue is Baptist Village in Petah Tikva. Each team will play at least four home games, and the Wingate Institute will serve as a neutral venue.
Opening week will have two games, and there will be an average of one game per week until the end of the regular season in early March. The playoffs and championship games will be played in mid-March.
The IFL is operated by the non-profit organization, American Football in Israel. All venues will be able to accommodate hundreds of spectators, and modest entry fees will be charged to defer the costs.
"This is a completely grassroots league and all the players are Israeli and amateurs," said AFI President Steve Leibowitz. "We are new to this version of the game, but we intend to reach a level of play that will be exciting to watch."