The IFAF Senior World Championship is an eight-nation football tournament held every four years since 1999. Games will be played in Graz, Innsbruck and Vienna. Team USA defeated Japan, 23-20, in double overtime in Tokyo, Japan, to win the 2007 tournament, the first that included the United States. Prior to America’s participation, Japan earned gold medals at the first two IFAF Senior World Championships played in Palermo, Italy (1999), and Frankfurt, Germany (2003).
Bay was a first-team All-Ivy selection as a senior captain last fall, plus was selected to the New England FCS All-Star Team. The 6-3, 250-pound native of Marietta, Ga., led the Ivy League with 8.0 sacks and three forced fumbles and ranked sixth and seventh in the FCS on a per game basis in the respective statistical categories despite being limited to just eight games. Bay registered at least one sack in each of the final six games, with a career-high three at Cornell. In the final game of his career, he made a season-high 10 tackles, three for a loss, with 1.5 sacks and a forced fumble in a 31-0 blanking of Princeton. The 2010 Gordon P. Bennett Award winner — given to the Big Green offensive or defensive lineman who exemplifies the high degree of performance, sportsmanship and character — finished his career with 123 tackles, 23 tackles for a loss, 11 sacks, five forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries, plus blocked three kicks.
Team USA is led by former Northwest Missouri State University head coach and three-time NCAA Division II national champion Mel Tjeerdsma (pronounced “CHURCH-ma”). Six players will be added to the U.S. roster in the coming weeks. All IFAF Senior World Championship players must be at least 20 years old. Bay is the only player from the Ivy League on the team.
“Our roster holds tremendously skilled players who recognize that success in football is rooted in playing as a team – and playing for America galvanizes us even more,” Tjeerdsma said. “We’ll be ready to face excellent competition in Austria and celebrate the world’s greatest game on an international stage.”
The United States is part of Group A along with Australia, Germany and Mexico. Group B includes Austria, Canada, France and Japan. A round robin schedule in group play determines who will compete for gold and bronze medals.
USA Football is the sport’s national governing body in the United States. National team participation does not affect NCAA eligibility.
USA Football, the sport’s national governing body in the United States, inspires participation, and ensures a positive experience for all youth, high school, and other amateur players. The independent non-profit hosts more than 80 football training events annually for coaches, players and youth football league commissioners. USA Football is the official football development partner of the NFL and its 32 teams and manages U.S. national teams for international competition. Endowed by the NFL and NFL Players Association in 2002 through the NFL Youth Football Fund, USA Football distributes $1 million annually in equipment grants and offers youth league volunteer background check subsidies. Former NFL team executive Carl Peterson is USA Football’s chairman.
For more information on USA Football and a complete roster for the U.S. Men’s National Team, visit usafootball.com.