New England Football League Preseason of Innovation | New England Football League

 
 

New England Football League

Preseason of Innovation

If it seems like a busy offseason in the NEFL, it is. All of these major announcements, new and exciting initiatives being unveiled nearly every week have all eyes on the NEFL’s upcoming 2021 season. Social media has been on fire with activity, and it is far from slowing down. The league is about to reach an all-time high of 3,000 followers.

Offseason like no other
Amid a global pandemic, many leagues and most NEFL teams took 2020 off. The NEFL encouraged its teams to make the decisions that made sense for them, whether their preference was to sit out or to play. The League committed to providing those of its teams who were willing and able to compete, the opportunity to do so in a safe and organized manner. While many leagues cancelled altogether and others had seasons plagued with chaotic schedule changes, team covid outbreaks, fields lost to covid protocol violations etc., the NEFL planned and executed.
A subcommittee was formed, comprised of NEFL people in state, municipal and school department positions to keep current on the shifting regulatory landscape. The league added a Medical Advisor and developed a robust Covid Safety Protocol that incorporated aspects of NH and CT CDC recommendations and approaches used by the SEC and other conferences. The result was a shortened season with zero game-related covid cases, no team outbreaks and no compliance complaints or venue issues.

For teams who didn’t play, it became a very extended offseason. Several teams who had joined as a group in 2019 when the old EFL collapsed, decided to give that another try, and a few others followed, citing a desire to play those teams while that lasts. Most of the NEFL teams instead set their sights on making the league’s 28th season its most innovative yet.

Season of Innovation
Over this extended offseason for many, the NEFL committed to a streamlined, more agile operation. A cooperative attitude among teams and the league has led to innovating and getting things done – some things, like expanding access to minority officiating, have been underway for a while, and just got pushed to fruition. Others have been newly identified, planned and implemented rapidly. The changes are all exciting and there are plenty:

• In order to raise the profiles of our teams and players, the NEFL established a social media presence that had previously been an afterthought. The league now has a record 3,000 regular followers and activity on multiple platforms is climbing fast.

• The NEFL announced a first-of-its-kind partnership with the Association of Black Sports Officials, serving dual purposes of expanding our pool of qualified officials and more adequately reflecting the demographic mix of our participants.

• The league has established the NEFL Players Association, getting players a direct voice at the league level, a presence on the Competition Committee, player stat tracking, player voting for All-Stars and League Awards, and more. Players automatically access those privileges and more as soon as they register with their team.

• The NEFL Film Room now features access to some historic games from the past, and a new video policy will make current season’s action available during this season too!

• The NEFLPA Flag Football Tournament will be an exclusive tournament for members only. The late May event will be flag football as only semi-pro talent can do it! NEFL teams will enter using only their registered NEFLPA players in a Top Gun competition.

• Three New Teams have been added in the last few weeks, with a fourth coming in days and others possibly in the works, adding to a roster of solid, well-run organizations.

• Multiple New Announcements are coming over the next few weeks including an NEFL score alert app, a media deal for game broadcasts, and they just keep coming!

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