A change of pace is coming to the Blue Cross Arena in downtown Rochester.

Professional baseball and hockey have graced the sports scene for many years in Rochester.

But its time for the Rochester Red Wings and the Rochester Americans to step aside and make room for the Brigade. Arena Football League II is getting ready to swarm Rochester.

The roster

I could tell you the whole starting line-up for opening day, but chances are you won’t recognize any of them.

Instead of the money-hungry National Football League, the Brigade players are individuals who are interested in playing the game of football.

Names like quarterback Mike Carubba and placekicker Doron Regev may not ring a bell to most football fans in the area, but soon enough those names maybe dinnertime conversation.

Rochester currently has 28 players that are all from the surrounding area.

Eight of those players played their college careers at local colleges including St. John Fisher, SUNY Brockport and Buffalo State.

Playing field

Arena football is not like a regular game of football.

The field consists of a padded surface that is 85 feet wide by 50 yards long.

Instead of the 10-yard end zones in the NFL, the AFL2 has eight-yard end zones with goal posts that are nine feet wide.

Surrounding the playing field are nets and barriers made of high-density foam rubber.

Rules of the game

The rules for the league are also different.

For kickoffs, a kicker must launch the ball from his own goal line and the receiving team can receive the kickoff whether it bounces off the net or not.

On fourth down, the offense must go for a touchdown, first down or field goal- Punting is illegal.

Each side of the ball, offense and defense, will consist of eight players who must play offense as well as defense with exception of the quarterback, kicker, offensive specialists and two defensive specialists.

The AFL2 is a league that consists of 27 teams from all over the country, with four new teams that are set to enter the league for the 2002 season.

Each team plays a 16-game schedule, not including the playoffs, which total seven games.

In its inaugural game, the Brigade will face off against the Lafayette Roughnecks at the Cajundome in Lafayette, La.

Ticket info

Their first home game is April 13, as they will battle the Roanoke Steam at the Blue Cross Arena. Ticket prices range from $10 to $35. Spice up your Easter weekend by calling (866) 4-AF2-TIX for ticket information.

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