AIFA - American Indoor Football Association
The American Indoor Football Association was the indoor football league in which the Baltimore Mariners played before the team disbanded. The American Indoor Football Association or AIFA was formed in 2006. The league was created at the same time the Atlantic/American Indoor Football League (AIFL) debunked. Most teams that played in the AIFL joined the AIFA after the AIFL folded. A few joined the short lived WIFL league. The AIFA is no longer an active league after its merger with the Southern indoor football league. You can read more about this further down the page.
The AIFL was a very young league when it defunct ed in 2006 having only been established in 2005. The league had 6 teams when it formed in 2005 and a failed attempt at rapid expansion brought the league to its knees and made the teams join the AIFA instead.
The AIFA had better luck and was able to expand more successfully. In 2008 they expanded and moved into the western United states. The AIFA league then split into two entities with the eastern teams in one and the western teams in one. Each of the two owners Morris and Mink received ownership of one section. Morris received the eastern entity and Mink the western entity, the rights to the AIFA name and a television contract running through 2013. This allowed the Eastern entity to be merged with the Southern Indoor football league and all the eastern teams was merged into the Southern Indoor football league. The Western teams continued to play in what remained of the AIFA. AIFA west was supposed to feature a 2011 4 team season but instead ceased operations in January 2001. This followed upon the news that the Tucson Thunder Kats would suspend operations until 2012 and the news that a fourth team representing Eugene, Oregon that was supposed to join the league opted not to do so. The AIFA still developed a schedule to play a season with only 3 teams but the Reno Barons and the Stockton Wolves did not like this and broke from the league. These two teams have formed their own two team Western Indoor football association league for 2011.
With only one team AIFA west was forced to suspend operations. The goal is to relaunch in 2012 with 8 to 12 teams.
The Southern Indoor football league original seemed to be doing better and featured 16 competing teams in the 2011 season but most of the teams decided to leave the Southern Indoor Football league and instead formed two new leagues, the Texas-based Lone Star Football League and the Southeast-based Professional Indoor Football League. The Southern indoor football league now have 3 teams in the league.
The AIFL and the AIFA have has a high team turn over rate and a high number of the teams have folded while others have moved. Only Erie, Pennsylvania have continuously had a team in the leagues since its inception.
The Baltimore Mariners were the last AIFA Champions.