Patiala, Punjab, 27th February 2015: For the first time in India, select universities are competing in an All India Inter University American Football Championship. Going by the name of the ‘Elite Bowl 2015’, the tournament is being organized by the Elite Football League of India and Association of Indian Universities, along with hosts, Punjabi University, Patiala. There are 16 teams participating in the first version of the tournament in India from all across the country.
The tournament is being played on grounds specially designed for American Football, complete with line-marking and goal posts. The sixteen teams have been divided into two divisions – Division I teams will play tackle football and Division II teams will play flag football. Tackle football for the better teams in Division I will be played in full American Football protective gear, while flag football played by the Division II teams is devoid of the protective gear. The structure of the tournament begins with quarterfinals on the opening day, followed by semi-finals tomorrow and the final taking place on 2 March 2015.
The opening morning of the tournament saw 4 flag football quarterfinals take place between Division II teams. Jaipur National University edged past Chandigarh University, Gharuan to register a close victory with the final score 22-20. Gujarat University, Ahmedabad comfortably defeated their in-state rivals Auro University, Surat 33-12, while the battle of the Jaipur teams was won by JECRC University, Jaipur who beat Poornima University 21-6. The last quarterfinal saw Shiksha O Anusandhan University, Bhubhaneshwar picking up an easy 19-6 victory against Dr. B.R. Ambedkar University, Agra.
The Division I teams squared off later in the evening with the first three quarterfinals seeing some high-octane action. The first Division I game was between two southern teams – Bangalore University, Bangalore and Osmania University, Hyderabad. Osmania University fielded 8 players who have experience playing for the professional team, Hyderabad Skykings, in the 2012 version of the Elite Football League of India. Osmania University took advantage of poor defense by Bangalore University. Further, poor passing by Bangalore University led to costly interceptions and resulting touchdowns for Osmania University. Osmania University dominated the game from start to finish with a 31-0 victory.
In the second quarterfinal of the evening, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar (GNDU) faced Jain University, Bengaluru. GNDU surprised Jain University with a hot start having 2 touchdowns in the first quarter. Jain University quickly managed to pull the game back with 2 touchdowns of their own in the second quarter. GNDU, however, managed to keep the momentum going in the second half and maintained their lead with strong defense to win the game 25-12.
The third quarterfinal was won by the hosts Punjabi University, Patiala (PUP) on the back of 2 touchdowns, one in each half, against Lovely Professional Univeristy, Phagwara (LPU). PUP’s defense shut down the LPU team, who were unable to score and PUP registered a 14-0 victory.
Results from Day 1:
Tackle football quarterfinals (up to 9:00 p.m.):
- Osmania University bt Bangalore University, Bangalore: 31-0 (6-0, 6-0, 13-0, 6-0)
- Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar bt Jain University, Bengaluru: 25-12 (12-0, 6-12, 7-0, 0-0)
- Punjabi University, Patiala bt Lovely Professional University, Phagwara: 14-0 (0-0, 7-0, 0-0, 7-0)
Flag football quarterfinals:
- JECRC University, Jaipur bt Poornima University, Jaipur: 21-6
- Shiksha O Anusandhan University, Bhubhaneshwar bt B.R. Ambedkar University, Agra: 19-6
- Jaipur National University bt Chandigarh University, Gharuan: 22-20
- Gujarat University, Ahmedabad bt Auro University, Surat: 33-12
Complete list of teams taking part in the Elite Bowl 2015 are as follows:
Division I teams:
- Bangalore University, Bangalore
- Osmania University, Hyderabad
- Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar
- Jain University, Bangalore
- D. University, Rohtak
- University of Madras, Chennai
- Punjabi University, Patiala
- Lovely Professional University, Phagwara
Division II teams:
- Auro University, Surat
- Gujarat University, Ahmedabad
- B.R. Ambedkar University, Agra
- Shiksha O Anusandhan University, Bhubhaneshwar
- Chandigarh University, Gharuan
- Jaipur National University
- JECRC University, Jaipur
- Poornima University, Jaipur