History of American Football in Hong Kong
  • 2003-2005 – The first signs of Football in Hong Kong appeared. A group of expats (American/British) organized the Black Mountain sponsored Easter Flag Football tournament at Happy Valley Sports Ground, generating over 100 players and spectators. This became an annual event for the next 2 years moving location to the Hong Kong Football Club.

  • 2006/2007 – The same organizers ran a summer flag football league at Kings Park. This lasts only a year before folding as players/teams lose interest.

  • 2007-2009 –  We see the formation of some local teams dotted around Hong Kong: Tuen Mun Unicorns, Mei Foo Stormers, Knights, Falcons, Criminals, Buccaneers, Wizards are only a few of them. They were mainly school mates meeting on a weekend to throw a pigskin around. Some of these groups still exist today, but some have faded out. Some play(ed) two hand touch, some play(ed) wrap up, and some evolved to a non-kitted tackle type of football. One or two groups bought Helmets & Shoulders pads, but only a few people, not enough to build a team.

  • 2009-2011 – The Hong Kong Flag Football Association  (Local group) was formed, hosting annual flag tournaments in 2010 & 2011 with the previously mentioned local teams participating. Plus they organized various trips to Guangzhou to play flag/wrap up games with China teams in and around Guangzhou. The HKFFA dissolved in 2011.

  • 2008-2011 – Local teams still played games between each other, mainly during the holidays. These were usually non-kitted tackle.

  • April 2011  – The Hong Kong American Football League was formed, with a mix of locals/expats being the core group. We started with flag tournaments during the summer of 2011, but initially only had 3 teams participating. The HKAFL also looked at starting a non-kitted tackle league in the summer of 2011, with existing local teams. However only 2 teams agreed to participate and thus that idea was scraped.

  • Following the summer of 2011, we began hosting beginner clinics to try to promote flag football. With limited response, it was decided it was time to go hard or go home: Geared Football… if this didn’t work, nothing would, the HKAFL was close to coming to a halt.

  • Luckily the timing was right, it was meant to be as firstly our equipment suppliers Forelle gave us a generous 40% discount to help develop the sport out here in Hong Kong. Plus we were even luckier that the HK Government saw fit to give everyone HK$6,000 which meant a lot of people could afford to buy their own equipment. Thus the Hong Kong Cobras were born.

  • Dec 2011  –  The HK Cobras had their first practice, 2 months later, 50 sets of equipment landed at our doorstep (literally). Geared Football had finally arrived in Hong Kong.

  • Early 2012 –  Football was at a new level of seriousness in Hong Kong. The word spread and we thankfully found some expats who were interested and willing to voluntarily coach the HK Cobras. Word spread of our organizations development, and our flag tournaments picked up more interest, getting between 6-8 teams participating every month, filled with locals and expats, a beautiful sight to see.

  • The HK Cobras played their first match against the Philippines, 05/05/2012.

  • Sep 2013 - The HKAFL launches its first Flag Football League with 10 teams signed up. Over 120 players sign up. The Flag Football season runs as a 10 game season + playoffs. Honey Badgers claim Champions beating Ballhawks 36-24 in the finals.

  • Sep 2013 - McSorley's comes on board as HKAFL's clubhouse sponsor. Monday night's Watch NFL grow into a regular social event for football fans.

  • May 2016 - Hong Kong hosts its first International Flag Football tournament! Teams came from Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and the Philippines to compete.
  • 2016-2019 - The HKAFL ran three successful Flag Football League seasons with 12 - 16 teams competing each season. Over 500 players participated. Tackle (geared) football continued to thrive, with three existing teams: The HK Cobras, The Warhawks, and the Combat Orcas.
  • 2020 - The 2020-2021 HKAFL Flag Football League was disrupted due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. However, the season was able to continue in Spring 2021 with the HKAFL 2021 Spring Tournament. The Championship Finals was played between the IcyHots and Revengers, with the Revengers emerging victorious 26 - 9. Tackle (geared) football continued to practice and compete internally in HK between the Cobras, the Warhawks, and the Orcas, as their participation n the CNFL season were disrupted.
  • Fall 2021 - The HKAFL Flag Football Fall Season will begin in mid September. Tackle (geared) football have began practices and are holding tryouts.
Although many challenges are still to come, Football is here to stay in the 852!

We apologize for any inaccurate data mentioned in this page. Pre 2010 our presence was not in Hong Kong and therefore had to gather all information 2003-2010 through contacts and other 2nd hand sources. If there is anything you would like to correct, please contact us at enquiries@hkafl.com.

Honourable Contributors

The HKAFL could not have grown without the support of key individuals who volunteered their time to help the growth of American Football in Hong Kong. There are many, but this short list are the key individuals who really helped grow the HKAFL:

Alex Berriman - President (2002 - 2014)

Julia Hobbs - President (2014 - 2020)

Christopher Yuan

Graham Corner

Lebbeus Lam

Pei Hsu

Pierre Veyret

Andrew Morentz

Jay Ma

Aldo Legarda

Jonny Kuilderd

Alex Schultz

Mani Chawla

Rob Hata

Travis Gavalis

Bobo Wong

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