Beijing China – Shenyang, one of the last Chinese universities to start a CAFL football program, at the top at the end.
The program, only founded just 3 months ago, showed tremendous growth over the course of the tournament, and found themselves in Saturday’s championship game against a Hebei team that had not been challenged all week. The mood was as dramatic as the game itself. Perfect blue sky on a 88-degree day. The game was as heated as the weather, and so were the young players, who were playing organized competition for the first time.
In a wild first quarter, with rugged play and hard hitting, the official crew was put to the test, when both benches emptied after a hard hitting collision. Three key Hebei players were ejected, one player was tossed for Shenyang. The brawl seemed to inspire the underdogs. They trailed Hebei most of the way, but the teams were never separated by more than 9 points. In a wild fourth quarter, Shenyang grabbed their first lead. They held on to win the first CAFL China Collegiate Championship 46-42.
I China is more geared to arena football because they don’t have the stadiums built, They have arenas all major city and there’s 20 cities that’s way bigger than New York that already have government-owned arenas built.
They’ve tested the waters by holding an exhibition between two AFL All-Star teams in Beijing back in November. Despite there being well over one billion people in the country, China is a largely untapped market in terms of American football for now.
Most are confident that this foray into China will ultimately be a successful and lucrative one for all involved!