Last updated : Friday, 01 December 2023


The NFL3 is an amateur football league that was founded in 1999 by Robert Licopoli. The league is intended to create some unity among the previously fragmented world of amateur football in the United States. About 100 teams are members of the NFL3, which operates through a franchise model.

Organizational Structure

  • The NFL3 has four conferences: North, South, East, and West.
  • Each conference is subdivided into two regions.
  • About 100 amateur teams compete in the NFL3, although nearly a third of these will not officially compete in the league until 2010.
  • Past champions include the Indianapolis Tornados, the Kane County (IL) Eagles, and the Dallas Diesel.
  • A region has four divisions.
  • Divisions are intended to group teams in geographic proximity so that travel time and expenses for visiting teams are minimized.
  • Teams are operated under franchise arrangements with league ownership.
  • The league management includes a president, a commissioner, a general manager, and a director of officials.

Player Requirements

  • The minimum age for an NFL3 player is 18.
  • A player must pay dues to participate and is not paid for playing.
  • A player must supply his own helmet and other safety equipment, but uniforms are supplied by the team.
  • A player must have insurance and sign a team contract that addresses liability issues along with expectations for personal conduct.
  • Teams typically practice twice a week and play one game a week.

Stepping Stone to the Big Time?

The NFL3 bills itself as a minor league for the NFL. The NFL3 hosts an annual combine for NFL scouts. Younger players who are not in college find the NFL3 to be a useful venue for displaying their talents for college scouts. The league's network with NFL and college scouts is a major reason that NFL3 players are willing to pay their expenses to play.


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