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Volume 24 No. 156

Leagues Governing Bodies

     In the current issue of SI, Austin Murphy offers a "warm
Willkommen back" to the NFL's World League of American Football
after its two-year hiatus.  "In its reincarnation the league is
emphasizing frugality -- players earn, on average $15,000 for the
10-week season -- and entertainment."  The World League
Experience, "designed to give Europeans an appreciation of
football skills," mirrors the league's NFL Experience.  Despite
new rules, an all-European focus and heavy marketing efforts,
"media coverage has been sparse, and attendance through the first
six weeks of the season has been disappointing."  Murphy notes
that the play of the European "nationals" (each team carries
seven Europeans) has improved greatly.  If 6'6" German-born
lineman Olaf hampel is right when he says that the presence of
non-kicking European players in the NFL soon will be "no big
deal," Murphy writes that the NFL's "experiment in Europe will
not seem so wacky after all" (SI, 5/22 issue).

     In its first five months, USA Hockey InLine has registered
more than 56 in-line hockey leagues totalling more than 9,000
players.  USA Hockey InLine's program follows that of USA Hockey,
the national governing body for the sport in the U.S., including
"sanctioning" of leagues and registration of players, coaches and
referees.  USA Hockey Exec Dir Dave Ogrean:  "The tremendous
response we've seen to USA Hockey InLine in the first five months
of operation confirms our belief that interest in hockey, both on
and off the ice, is at an all-time high in the United States."
Four companies -- Karhu, USA (Jofa, Titen, Koho and Canadien),
Canstar Sports USA (Bauer, Cooper), First Team Sports (Ultra
Wheels), Hillerich & Bradsby of Canada (Louisville Hockey) --
have signed on as Gold Level Official Sponsors for USA Hockey
InLine's first year.  In addition, USA Hockey InLine has signed
on former NHL player Brian Mullen as "Coach-in-Chief" and former
WHA/NHL referee Ron Foyt as "Referee-in-Chief" (USA Hockey
InLine).