The 2016 International Bowl Series
featuring games pitting under-19 football stars from the United States against Canadian counterparts, will take place beginning Jan. 31 at AT&T Stadium. The first game will kickoff at 3 p.m. that day.
Before the week is over, however, local fans and North American visitors will be treated to eight international matchups – two on Jan. 31 and three each on Feb. 3 and Feb. 5. In the process, they’ll get to see 800-plus outstanding young players, from ages 13-18.
“The first International Bowl was played in 2010 on the heels of the inaugural International Federation of American Football Under-19 World Championship, which took place in June and July 2009 in Canton, Ohio. What started as an annual international competition between top high school football players in the United States and throughout the world has evolved into a series of games featuring the best high school and middle school players in the U.S. and Canada.”
-Steve Allic, an official of USA Football, which is presenting the Arlington showcase.
Allic said the event will be a true festival of football, with each team taking part in a week of practice and jamborees leading up to an opportunity to represent their countries in one of football’s greatest venues. Allic said fans should get quite a show – and some stellar football.
“These are not exhibitions,” he said. “These are official international competitions. There are no playing time rules or modified game rules. Teams are playing to win.”
Allic said that at the Under-19 level,
which will be in the spotlight on the opening day, many of the athletes are taking part in their last game before signing the following week with universities such as Alabama, Baylor, Florida State, Iowa, Michigan, Ohio State, Oregon, Southern Cal, Stanford, TCU and dozens of other “Power Five” conference schools.
Some notable North Texas players from past International Bowl games were Anthony Hines (Plano), Jared and Jalen Mayden (Sachse), Jack Topping (Parish Episcopal) and Tristen Wallace (DeSoto).
“The International Bowl is football’s largest annual international competition,” Allic said. “Young athletes grow up dreaming of playing for their country, but many football players don’t realize they have that opportunity. Many arrive in Arlington thinking they are part of an all-star game. By mid-week, you see the realization dawn on them that this is something special.”
Along with game day events at AT&T Stadium, all U.S. practices are open to the public. That schedule will be announced closer to the event at internationalbowl.com. Tickets may be purchased there, too.