After two U.S. Forces Japan-American Football League games were ruled forfeits, commissioner Joseph Howell announced Friday that the regular season will be shortened.
Howell said the season will end Sept. 6 because of military commitments and the three-team playoffs will begin Sept. 13 and end with the title game on Sept. 20.
Howell, citing league bylaws that make teams notify the league of postponements at least 48 hours prior to the game, ruled the Atsugi-Kadena contest and the Misawa-Futenma game forfeits.
Ten games have been postponed, canceled or forfeited since the start of the season, eight since Aug. 6.
Atsugi, stranded by transportation problems, protested the forfeit.
Calling the decision an “injustice,” Atsugi head coach Russ Casimire cited a league bylaw stating that games should not be ruled forfeits if teams have no way to reach a site.
“We were trying to get a flight out of here. We have no control over flights,” he said Friday night. “We’ve had problems getting flights out of here for the last three years. For them to think we don’t want to travel is ridiculous. We’re handcuffed.”
Howell said Friday he would not change his mind.
Kadena and Misawa face military exercises in late September and early October.