By Greg Halbleib
BLOOMINGTON – The Bloomington Edge indoor football team says it will play an independent schedule this year after its former league filed legal action to block the team from changing leagues.
A judge in Sioux City, Iowa last week ruled in favor of Champions Professional Indoor Football, or CIF, in a lawsuit seeking to block the Edge from playing anywhere else. The Edge and fellow former CIF member West Michigan Ironmen announced last fall they were moving to the Indoor Football League, where Bloomington played from 2009 to 2012, but the CIF claimed an agreement signed last July prohibited both teams from playing indoor football in any form other than in that league in 2018.
Edge general manager Charles Welde said the timing of the ruling put this season in jeopardy if the team pursued an appeal.
“Instead of filing an injunction when we wanted to try to switch leagues back in September, the CIF waited until January 16,” Welde explained. “Then you had the actual hearing and the results another week and a half later, and we get to the point now where we’re two and a half weeks out. There’s no way we could get a hearing even scheduled before our first game, so we’re in a spot where we really don’t have a choice.”
Welde said the team plans to keep the first five home dates and play a total of six home games at Grossinger Motors Arena. Welde said the team has been working on alternate opponents just in case.
“We knew this was an option, so we’ve actually already reached out to teams…within two, three, four hours (away),” Welde said. “So we have teams that we’re talking to and vetting as far as filling dates on our home schedule.”
Welde said he hopes to have the schedule finalized this week.
Welde said the judge’s ruling only affects this year, and the Edge and West Michigan have options to play in the IFL in 2019.
Greg Halbleib can be reached at email@example.com.