Islanders, Frenzy kick off arena season
By Kyle Sakamoto
Advertiser Staff Writer
It's understandable considering the Islanders and Frenzy, both af2 expansion teams, will play their first games in franchise history.
Both teams are in the National Conference's West Division.
"It's very difficult to tell for both teams," Benjamin said when asked what to expect tomorrow.
"We're going in blind. We don't know what each other is going to do. Neither one of us has a history to go back on. What we have hasn't been tested."
The Islanders will hold their first practice at the Blaisdell on the morning of the game.
The practice will focus on working the end zone rebound nets, according to Benjamin.
They have been forced to practice at various sites because of scheduling conflicts with the arena.
The Islanders won't be at full strength entering the game, according to Benjamin.
"We're thin in some areas due to injuries," he said. "We're walking wounded with Band-Aids and wraps. This is not how you want to start the season."
The Islanders will have a bye next week before playing host to the Bakersfield Blitz on April 13. Fresno will also have a bye next week.
"Fortunately we have a bye week next week," Benjamin said. "It's a difficult thing because we have only three weeks (of practice before the start of the season). It's a disadvantage for new teams, but we aren't playing a veteran team, we're playing an expansion team."
Benjamin will see a familiar face playing for the Frenzy.
Eddie Klaneski, who helped Benjamin and the Hawai'i Hammerheads win the 1999 Indoor Professional Football League championship, is listed as a starting wide receiver and defensive back for Fresno.
Benjamin said the Islanders contacted Klaneski, but he wasn't interested.
"We'd like to have Eddie," Benjamin said. "But I don't know why Eddie's not here. We have a history with him and he's done well. Maybe we're not good enough for him."
Pay per view: Fans who cannot make it to the Blaisdell tomorrow can catch the game in the comfort of their living rooms. But it'll come at a price.
All eight Islanders' home games will be broadcast live on Pay-Per-View channel 77/Dig. 777 at 7 p.m.
The cost is $6.95 per game.
Tomorrow's game will be rebroadcast at 8 p.m. Monday on Oceanic channel 16.
"It's terrific exposure," Benjamin said. "People can see who we are and what we do. Hopefully people can support us at the Blaisdell after seeing us (on TV). Everyone's been cooperative and helpful and gotten us quite a bit of exposure."
The Islanders and Frenzy will meet two more times this season with the games at Fresno's Selland Arena on May 25 and July 27.
Arena football rules
The Playing Field
- Field dimensions: 50 yards long, 85 feet wide with 8-yard end zones.
- Goal posts: nine feet wide with a crossbar height of 15 feet (NFL goal posts are 18 1/2 feet wide with a crossbar height of 10 feet).
- Rebound nets: The goal-side nets are 30 feet wide and 32 feet high. The bottom of the nets are eight feet above the ground.
- Sideline barriers: 48 inches high and made of high density foam rubber.
- Eight aside: Each team has eight players on the field.
- Two ways: Players must play offense and defense with the exception of the quarterback, offensive specialist and defensive specialist.
- Line: Four offensive players must line up on the line of scrimmage. Receivers may move toward the line of scrimmage when the ball is snapped.
- Three defensive players must be down linemen (in a three- or four-point stance). One linebacker may blitz on either side of the center. Alignment is two or more yards off the line of scrimmage. No stunting or twisting.
- First downs: Four downs are allowed to advance the ball 10 yards for a first down.
- Quarters: Four 15-minute quarters with a 15-minute halftime.
- Stoppage: The clock stops for out-of-bounds plays and incomplete passes only in the last minute of each half or when the referee deems it necessary for penalties, injuries or timeouts.
- Timeouts: Three per half per team.
- Extra for drop kicks: Six points for a touchdown; one point for a conversion by place kick; two points for a conversion by drop kick; two points for a successful run or pass after a touchdown; three points for a field goal by place kick; four points for a field goal by drop kick; two points for a safety.
- Kickoffs: From the goal line. Any kickoff that travels out-of-bounds will be placed at the 20-yard line or at the spot where the ball traveled out. The receiving team may field a kickoff or missed field goal that rebounds off the net.
- No punting: On fourth down, a team may go for a first down, touchdown or field goal.
- Legal catch: Receivers must have at least one foot inbounds when catching a pass. A forward pass that rebounds off the end zone nets is a live ball and in play until it touches the playing surface.