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sa 5 Mar

Norwich Devils WomenCrikey!  The Norwich Devils Women have bought us a whole handful ofBuy us a coffee coffees, how very kind.  Their season starts in May and they host a four team tournament in Norwich and July.

mo 21 Feb

Norwich Devils Second Rookies DaySaturday an impressive number of new faces at the Norwich Devils Women second rookies day plus enough coaches to make a Top Trumps set (if we knew what that meant).  Despite cold and later rain everybody stuck at it cheerfully with a pleasant friendly atmosphere.  The season starts this April with a three? four? team tournament at the Devils.

mo 30 Aug

Norwich Devil with an injured ankleThe second three teamer of the Women's Central East Conference Saturday was held at the Peterborough Lions Rugby Club.  Despite helpful directions from the Royals' #27 finding the ground confused both us and the satnav.  Committed play from all three teams but perhaps most impressive was the Leicester Falcons finishing the day with just nine players for seven a side contact and still grinding it out.  New to us a penalty in the end zone is a safety, make sense, how can you give a yardage penalty.

mo 24 May

Snapping the ballSix players at the Iceni Spears yesterday for flag football training in Thorpe St Andrew .  A minimum flag team is just five as so amply proved by the Hyde Park Renegades back before the virus.  Impressed to see passers getting spin on the ball and coach Jamie Fowle told us the Opal Series will be running this autumn so there will be competition ... can't wait.

sa 6 Mar

International Women's DayPerhaps fortuitously with International Women's Day on Monday the NFL has appointed their second woman official and the first African-American woman official Maia Chaka.

sa 23 Jan

Last year Sarah Thomas became the first woman to officiate a Super Bowl playoff game.  She managed the measuring chain and down marker the NFL havingRef Alisha Darkins in Norwich and lighter mood renamed the role from Head Linesman to the gender independent Down Judge ... she's doing it again tomorrow fortnight at this year's Super Bowl.

In East Anglia we're lucky to benefit from ref Alisha Darkins who does not lack attitude when disorder breaks out ... Get off my field!.

su 29 Nov

Play Like A GirlSarah Fuller eh?  How long before we get a woman in the UK premiership?  Soccer that is.

mo 2 Nov

Iceni Spears v Waveney Wolves in LowestoftSaturday In Lowestoft speedy Waveney Wolves were running through multiple Iceni Spears tackles but with time the Spears started making their tackles.  A Spears trick play along the lines of It's the wrong ball worked beautifully.  We think maybe just three or four flags in all three games which were played with an outstanding spirit though heavy rain inevitably dampened the final match.

su 6Sep

Iceni Spears Sunday practice in Thorpe St AndrewDriving this morning to Norwich for the Iceni Spears noticeable was classic and sports cars coming the other way surely for Classics at Glemham.  Very encouraging that there are now enough Spears for players left over on the sideline during scrimmaging.  Hand sanatising during breaks and general good vibes but sadly coach Jamie Fowle is not anticipating any competitions this year.

mo 6 Jul

The Iceni Spears contact team are now Norwich Devils Women's American Football ... we would have gone with the Norwich Devillettes but then what do we know?

mo 27 Apr

Last week Mark Kermode on coming of age films included French film girlhood.

th 5 Mar

Alisha Darkins reffing in NorwichCongratulations to East Anglian Alisha Darkins who will be wearing the white hat this Sunday for Britball's first all women referee team.  As Sunday is International Women's Day perhaps Down Judge might be a better job title for Leanne Spencer than Head Linesman:)

th 14 Nov

Hyde Park Renegades v Black WidowsSaturday in Norwich was women's flag american football Opal series round four.  Hosted by the Iceni Spears we were very pleased to see their numbers have grown to offence and defence plus players over but not GB defensive end Victoria Ware as she'd injured her ankle playing netball.  In contrast the Hyde Park Renegades (in white) had the just the minimal five and were devastating.

sa 5 Oct

Megan Delaney Cheshire Bears DLAn insight into women's american football from Cheshire Bears defensive lineperson Megan Delaney.(a one time roller derbyist)  A safety (around 2:58) because the QB threw the ball out the back of the end zone.  We've seen player panic in a uni game do the same and we've done similar playing rugby <blush>.

su 18 Aug

Iceni Spear Victoria WareDevastated that Great Britain women's american football last night won their match against Finland but failed to win the European Championship by two points.  Towards the end our stomachs got so tight we felt ill but gratifying that Iceni Spear Victoria Ware playing defensive end for GB made such a contribution even if Pinky and Perky the commentators couldn't get her surname right.

fr 28 Jun

Ref Alisha Darkins at UEA Pirates v Queen Mary VipersIf you become an american football referee in the UK you get paid, get expenses, have a buddy/mentor when starting, there are at least two women refs in East Anglia, and you get called sir (or sometimes ma'am).  More info on the BAFRA web site.

th 7 Feb

Women's american football gets its own Facebook album.

su 3 Feb

Women's american football in NorwichWe arrived yesterday in Thorpe St Andrew in time for the lunch break (impressive catering) to be told it had tried to snow earlier but thankfully the rain had held off.  Women's american football team Iceni Spears were hosting the Peterborough Royals and Essex Hellcats for joint  training followed by a seven a side tournament.  In the event there weren't enough players to make two seven sides so empty slots were filled by coaches and as one player observed We've learnt more this afternoon than we would from three practices.

mo 21 Jan

 Céline Sciamma's film Girlhood - pic contributedWe found French director Céline Sciamma's film Tomboy highly involving and rewarding not least because it made the Parisian suburbs look idyllic.  So very gratifying to find a sealed copy of her later film Girlhood in the Framlingham EACH chazza.  Here the banlieue is relentlessly gritty and though Vic essentially remains trapped in her situation the opening sequence is women's american football from team Les Molosses.

mo 10 Oct

Classroom work on the playbookSome changes at the Iceni Spears in Norwich; Vicki Ware is training with the GB national team and Craig Thompson is the new head coach moonlighting from Norwich Devils' offensive coordinator.  Last weekend on a surprisingly pleasant Sunday after a filthy Saturday the Spears were training in Thorpe St Andrew followed by classroom work on the play book.  New no contact flag and contact players plus total newbies always welcome.

tu 27 Feb

Staffordhire Saxons v Kent ExilesWomen's american football in Peterborough Saturday was five a side but with multiple substitution hosts the Peterborough Royals with eight players and the Staffordshire Saxons with just six had a difficult job.  The rules are pretty much those for flag football but with contact from kitted players, we were soon understanding and enjoying play.

su 4 Feb

Not easy getting up from squashy crash matsDespite the cold and some snow the Iceni Spears womens american football had turned out in Thorpe St Mary for training.  Some new faces and much hilarity during tackle practice because it's not easy to get up from squashy crash mats plus the pergola tried to blow away.  This year the Spears aren't competing in either league contact or flag so as to develop their newer players but will be playing some friendlies in the spring.

fr 2 Feb

Iceni Spears flag trainingSunday's going to be busy: take stuff back to B&Q in Norwich, american football Iceni Spears Open Day followed by UEA Pirates v Cambridge Pythons, and then the roller derby world cup final streamed at the Beeb.

fr 8 Sep

Iceni Spears flag trainingSunday in Thorpe St Andrew Norwich the Iceni Spears were flag training.  We were pleased to see new faces including a Norwich Devils coach moonlighting.  He told us the Devils are 4-0 on the season and pretty much guaranteed to join the league next year.  Visiting website Brit Blitz joined in the training and a mixed ten minute each way game to finish the morning.

we 24 May

After three years of watching UK gridiron we've finally realised it's college rules not NFL ... thought some of those decisions were a bit odd.

mo 24 Apr

Flag football at the Iceni SpearsSunday near Norwich the Iceni Spears were training for the autumn's Opal flag football series.  Flag football is no (hopefully) contact American football where you're tackled if an opponent can grab a flag from your waist.  The flags can be just football socks tucked into your waistband or like the Spears yellow streamers held in place by plastic poppers.  The Spears have an everybody welcome flag rookie day next month.

mo 6 Mar

Iceni Spears walking a play in the changing roomYesterday near Norwich we watched Iceni Spears women's American football walk through some plays in the changing room and then go outside to practice in icy rain ... that's commitment.  The season long Sapphire series for women is five or seven a side.  We couldn't imagine how a sport that normally has eleven (twelve in Canada) on the pitch players per team could work with five but watching the Spears routine a play we saw that with just five everybody really has to know what they should be doing.  Looking forward to seeing these impressive ladies compete this coming weekend in Peterborough.

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