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Messages for UTFL: Ultimate Touch Football Manitoba Touch Football History Edition

Comment Posted by jon Mar 05, 2021 06:17 PM

We continue to cover the history of touch football in Manitoba and today we examine the Ultimate Touch Football League (UTFL). The UTFL was an upstart league that began with just 8 teams in 1998 to its heyday in 2009 when the league had over 100 teams and was the largest in Manitoba at the time. The UTFL had three owners during its time period and was a disruptive force (in both good and bad ways), and to their credit the league fundamentally changed football in Manitoba.

As the "little sister" to the more established WTFL for years, the UTFL had to do something radical to put themselves on the map. That occurred when the UTFL introduced the "multi-player" rule. For the first time, players could play on multiple teams in the same league. Simply stated, this rule changed the game forever. Now players were free to play with their friends and with higher division teams. The UTFL grew exponentially and the other leagues in the city had to follow suit in order to keep up. Now players were playing on 2,3,4 or more teams, sometimes in multiple leagues. The best way I can explain it is to use a poker analogy. Poker exploded once online gambling became mainstream. Players could play thousands of hands in such a short period of time, whereas "old school" players took years to get the same level of practice. Suddenly, Manitoba was producing some of the top players and teams in the country, and with no disrespect to the older generation of teams, the new school players were combining better athleticism with an equitable knowledge base. The new school teams such as the Avengers, Sunparties, Guild of Calamitous Intent, Aztecs, Doggs, etc., were suddenly not only competing with, but knocking off the established teams of the time. Love it or hate it, the rule was here to stay.

Unfortunately, the UTFL folded after the sale of the league in 2013 after some mismanagement. The UTFL which shot upwards in trajectory so suddenly, fell to Earth just as suddenly. Touch football in Manitoba would make a great 30 for 30 episode!

Anyone who can identify any missing information to make the history more complete, please contact us! In terms of championships, I believe we have them all archived. We are missing some statistics, MVPs, league leaders from the later years. If anyone can help fill in the blanks, I am sure we can provide some nice swag!

Here is a link to the UTFL historical data:

You can also find the link under our newest heading on the sidebar "Touch Football History"

The PIT Crew


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