The Spring League is a professional football league set in motion in 2017 and founded by Brian Woods. It was the second football league established by Woods following the Fall Experimental Football League (FXFL) that was in operation from 2014 to 2015.
The Spring League bills itself as an elite development league & scouting event for professional football talent.
About Brian Woods
Brian Woods grew up in Florida and was a walk-on safety at Ole Miss University. Woods spent time as a coach at Iowa State and interned for the New York Jets, working on the team’s salary cap. He later spent five years as an agent with HS International. Woods also found time to get a law degree from West Virginia University.
His first work with football leagues came when he ran the Medal Of Honor Bowl College Football All-Star Game. It was in that job that he got backers together to form the Fall Experimental Football League (FXFL).
Fall Experimental Football League (FXFL)
The Fall Experimental Football League (FXFL) was a professional football minor league that played two seasons in 2014 and 2015. The league’s goal, like The Spring League, was to be a professional feeder-system for the National Football League (NFL). The league claimed that 44 out of 126 players ended up on NFL rosters. After the FXFL ceased operations, Woods later created The Spring League in 2017. No word on why the FXFL closed its doors.
The Spring League
The initial 2017 season of The Spring League consisted of four teams that played six games. The Spring league played it’s 2017 season a total of three weeks in a single round-robin tournament. The tournament took place in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia at the Greenbrier resort. The teams in the tournament were identified by their geographic names such as North, South, East, West & California. There was also an additional game called The Spring League Showcase that was played in July of 2017.
They later announced a “Fall Showcase” that took place on November 6th-9th. 2018 in Miami, Florida.
For the 2019 season The Spring League announced they would be partnering with The XFL. This partnership is in place to help test rule changes the XFL hopes to implement for their 2020 season. On March 31st, 2019, the 2019 season of The Spring League began practice sessions with doubleheaders on April 6th and April 11th. For the first time in the league’s history, one of the teams had a brand name while the other three teams retained their generic geographic names. The team that used the South as their name are now called the Austin Generals. The team is named after their host city of Austin, Texas and uses the logo and the colors of the New Jersey Generals of the United States Football League (USFL).
All the teams in The Spring League use one central location for both the practices and games, which allows NFL Scouts, General Manager’s and Player Personnel Directors an opportunity to evaluate players in a single surrounding. Players are also evaluated by the Canadian Football League (CFL) and other professional leagues.
Several players who have participated in The Spring League also spent time on NFL rosters. The Spring League will also host Showcases in the Summer and Fall to provide additional opportunities for players to be evaluated. The league’s goal is to “serve as an instructional league and showcase for professional football talent.”
It will be interesting to see which players from The Spring League talent pool the XFL will sign for their upcoming 2020 season. The XFL is set to relaunch on February 8th & 9th, 2020, which is the weekend after the NFL’s Superbowl.
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