Fairhope Storm, league suspend play due to COVID-19 precautions


FAIRHOPE, Ala. – It was a good-news, bad news week for the the Storm as they earned their first victory at home 24-22 last week against the Alabama Steel on Majors Field at Fairhope Municipal Stadium. But the league has suspended all play in alignment with state and federal public-health emergency recommendations. 

The Fairhope semi-pro team now has a win, a loss and a tie in the new IAFL (Independent American Football League). The Storm is now 1-1-1 heading into mandated COVID-19  break following last weekend’s win over the Steel. The league has suspended play indefinitely in a protective measure against spread of coronavirus.

Fairhope coach Fred Riley said the league had set a limit of 500 fans per game, then reduced it to 50. But, is now suspending operations indefinitely. The IAFL  hopes play can resume, including a possible playoff scenario even if it goes longer than previously expected.

In an official league statement, the IAFL released on Monday, March 16:

Due to the number of fields being shut down, the IAFL will suspend operations. The season will pick up as soon as fields are open again and the season will be completed.

Riley said the entire season has not been cancelled, but play will be postponed until further notice. The Storm were set to host Childersburg tomorrow, March 21 and had a road game at Birmingham after that. It isn’t clear if missed games will be made up or another selection process may be used to a determine playoff schedule using existing regular-season records.

Fairhope (1-1-1) played to a tie (18-18) in their league debut on the road against the Rams at Childersburg in week one. And took a close heartbreaker loss to the Birmingham Sabers 11-10.