The Washington Valor enter their second year of play as the 2018 schedule has been released along with new AFL playoff rules.
Upon the release of the schedule, there were some noticeable changes of opponents. The Valor will only be playing the Baltimore Brigade, Philadelphia Soul and the newly expanded team the Albany Empire. Tampa Bay Storm and the Cleveland Gladiators were on the inaugural schedule last season. The Storm ended up folding after increasing league costs and decreasing team revenue. The Gladiators have suspended their 2018 and 2019 season due to renovations at Quicken Loans Arena.
The Valor will play a total of 12 regular season games, six at home and six on the road. They will play each AFL team four times, two at home and two on the road. Washington will end their season with three-straight home games.
The Washington Valor’s home opener is set for Week 2, when Washington welcomes the Empire, playing in their inaugural season, to Capital One Arena on Sat., April 21, at 7 p.m. On all schedules, Week 5 will be a bye week for all AFL teams instead of spreading bye weeks throughout the season.
2018 Washington Valor Regular Season Schedule
WEEK DATE OPPONENT VENUE TIME
1 Fri., April 13 @ Baltimore Brigade Royal Farms Arena 7 p.m.
2 Sat., April 21 vs. Albany Empire Capital One Arena 7 p.m.
3 Sat., April 28 @ Philadelphia Soul Wells Fargo Center 7:30 p.m.
4 Sat., May 5 @ Albany Empire Times Union Center 7:30 p.m.
5 BYE BYE BYE BYE
6 Sat., May 19 vs. Baltimore Brigade Capital One Arena 3 p.m.
7 Sat., May 26 @ Albany Empire Times Union Center 6 p.m.
8 Sat., June 2 vs. Philadelphia Soul Capital One Arena 6 p.m.
9 Sun., June 10 @ Philadelphia Soul Wells Fargo Center 4 p.m.
10 Fri., June 15 @ Baltimore Brigade Royal Farms Arena 7 p.m.
11 Fri., June 22 vs. Philadelphia Soul Capital One Arena 7 p.m.
12 Fri., June 29 vs. Albany Empire Capital One Arena 7 p.m.
13 Sat., July 7 vs. Baltimore Brigade Capital One Arena 3 p.m.
New Playoff Rules
The league will open the 2018 playoffs with a two-game home-and-home playoff series. The highest seeded team for each matchup will have the option to select their home date weekend in the playoff series. If the same team wins both postseason games of the home & home series, that team will advance to ArenaBowl XXXI.
In the event that the series ends in a 1-1 tie, the team with the highest aggregate score in the series will advance. Should the aggregate score of the series be tied at the end of regulation of the second game, the teams will immediately play a standard format overtime period to determine which team advances. The champion of the Arena League will still be crowned in a traditional head-to-head matchup in ArenaBowl XXXI.
There will also be changes to game play that will shorten the duration of games and speed up the pace of play.