A Tifo or Tifosi comes from an Italian word for choreography displayed by fans in the stands of a stadium in connection with a sporting event, most commonly connected to soccer or “futbol.” It is the phenomenon of supporting a sports team to another level than the average fan and creating a display through mosaics, banners and in some cases pyrotechnics. A Tifo often begins being put together weeks ahead of the club’s biggest matches, from a local derby to cup finals, from historic rivalry games to the opening weekends of the season. A Tifo’s primary developers and designers come from the club’s ultras or supporters groups. Tifos are meant to motivate players as a 12th man and show the passion and love for the club from their biggest supporters, in the club’s biggest moments. These displays can often represent local identity, tradition and pride, but can also be used for intimidation or mocking of opposing fans, clubs, and players.
The Tifo is important to the culture of the game in numerous ways, but most importantly, it is arguably the pinnacle display of fan support. It is the ultimate way for a set of fans to show their club and their players that they are behind them. We have often heard that without fans, there is no soccer; the Tifo highlights this fact well. Players, coaches, staff and board members come and go, but fans are forever; they are the true heartbeat of any club and make the game thrive.
Midfield Press was founded and operated by supporters and as such, feels it is important to recognize fans for their dedication and commitment to their clubs. We are all fans of the game and appreciate the passion that the beautiful game brings out of all of us. We want to recognize the most dedicated and passionate lower league supporters on a yearly basis, just as the players, coaches, teams, and staff are recognized on a yearly basis by the media. We believe that an award for the best Tifo is one of the best ways to recognize the commitment of a supporter group to their club.
The Tifo Title Belts will be annual awards presented by Midfield Press beginning in the 2018 season to the lower league supporters group with the best Tifo and 2-pole of the season. The Tifo Title Belts will give the supporters the opportunity to wear and show off the award in the stands during the next regular season. The Belts will be updated with a yearly engraving adding the winning supporters group to the Belt, similar to the Stanley Cup. There will be one Belt for best Tifo, the Heavyweight Title, and one for best 2-pole, the Lightweight Title. The design of the Tifo Title Belts will be announced before the international World Cup break.
These awards are not simply to recognize the single best Tifo and 2-pole in lower league soccer each season, but to have a single place to display images of all lower league North American tifos and 2-poles. We want to promote the passion for the game in the lower divisions though our monthly Tifo series to be released on the first Monday of each month. This will accompany the promotion of the year-end award throughout the season. Here we will be able to include the image of every Tifo and 2-pole from the previous month submitted to us, so that supporters across the country and around the world can see the passion of the fans in the lower leagues in the US and Canada.
The Tifo Title Belt is symbolic of a champion, a group of people who battled together with their team. True supporters are there without fail, even when their team is at their worst. The Belt is an award for those fans who are there for their club no matter what and for no one else. It is recognition for the winning supporters group to have for the next season and to show off to their rivals. It will also then represent an award that they will fiercely want to defend, like a title belt, which will hopefully see the winners going even bigger in year two to stay on top.
We want to both show off the current lower league tifo game and help raise it to another level!
The Midfield Press Heavy and Lightweight Tifo Titles
Rules and Eligibility
The Tifo Title Belts will be two annual awards presented by Midfield Press in tandem beginning in the 2018 season. The awards will go to the lower league supporters group with the best Tifo and 2-pole each season. The Tifo Belts will give the supporters the opportunity to wear and show off the award in the stands during the next regular season.
1.01 The Belts will be updated with a yearly engraving, similar to the Stanley Cup, with each year’s winner added to the Belt.
1.02 There will be two belts
1.021 Heavyweight Title for major Tifos
1.022 Lightweight Title for 2-poles
1.1 The Midfield Press Tifo Title Series will be released on the first Monday of each month, and will provide a single location to show off lower league Tifos and 2-poles in lower league soccer.
1.11 One Tifo and one 2-pole will be selected each month for acknowledgement on the Midfield Press website.
1.12 All Tifos and 2-poles submitted that are eligible will be included in the series.
The monthly Midfield Press Tifo Title Series will be open to any lower league club, both men’s and women’s teams from the USA and Canada, unless otherwise ineligible.
2.1 Supporters of clubs from USL, NPSL, PDL, UPSL, WPSL, UWS, MASL (indoor) MLF (futsal) and all USASA leagues are eligible and all other adult amateur leagues from Canada and Mexico.
2.2 Supporters of clubs from MLS and NWSL are ineligible.
2.3 Supporters of USL Hybrids (RGV, Reno 1868) will be eligible, but USL, PDL and WPSL 2 or Reserves will not be eligible.
2.31 Supporters of USL, MLS 2’s that are ineligible:
LA Galaxy 2
New York Red Bulls 2
Seattle Sounders 2
Swope Park Rangers
Portland Timbers 2
Toronto FC 2
2.32 USL, PDL B ‘s that are ineligible
New York Red Bull U-23
OKC Energy U-23
Portland Timbers U-23
Seattle Sounders U-23
Colorado Switchbacks U-23
Colorado Rapids U-23
Orange County U-23
San Diego Zest (LA Galaxy)
2.33 WPSL reserves that are ineligible
Chicago Red Stars Reserves
2.4 If NISA is sanctioned and plays in late 2018, any supporters group that forms will have their Tifos and 2-poles eligible for the months of play beginning August, September and October/November (until the USL Final). If the season continues beyond that point, any submissions will be considered part of the 2019 Midfield Press Tifo Title competition.
2.5 Any Tifo and 2-poles from the 2018 season from any of these eligible supporters groups or any friendlies during the 2018 season may be submitted for consideration.
2.6 If an unsanctioned rogue league or Division Zero league starts up prior to August of 2018, their supporters groups will have their tifos and 2-poles eligible for the months of play up to October / November (until the USL final). If the season continues beyond that point, any submissions will be considered part of the 2019 Midfield Press Tifo Title competition.
Submission will be photos (multiple angles welcome) sent to firstname.lastname@example.org by a leader or representative of the supporters group.
3.01 Please submit the name of the photographer. Note: Photos submitted are permitted to be reproduced by Midfield Press and monthly winning photos will also become property of Midfield Press.
3.02 Please send all photos in high resolution PDF or PNG format.
3.03 Please include a game date, who played in the match and what the final score was. (Recommended: A caption of 2-3 sentences with an explanation about the moment or the Tifo/2-pole is welcome. Note: These captions maybe edited by Midfield Press.)
3.1 Once a month, all photos submitted from the previous month will be put into a single article to be released on the first Monday of each month. (They will all be part of our monthly Tifo Title Series.)
3.2 The deadline to submit an entry for each month is 3:00am EST on the 1st of the month.
3.21 October submissions will be extended through November, including all games up until 3:00am EST following the conclusion of the USL final.
This will happen on a monthly basis for the 2018 Season.
4.1 The Midfield Press staff will pick their favorite Tifo and 2-pole from each month to be the headline/winning Tifo/2-pole in our monthly Tifo Title Series.
4.11 The 8 winners from each monthly Tifo Title Series from both categories from March-October/November will be part of the year-end voting for the Tifo Title Belts.
4.2 Voting for the Tifo Title Belt winners will take place during the first 2 weeks following the conclusion of the USL Championship match.
4.3 The Belts will then be sent directly to the wining supporters group following our announcement of the winner on the first Monday following the USL Championship game.
4.31 If possible, a Midfield Press contributor will present the Belts to the winning supporters group at their next get together.
4.4 The Belts will be returned at the conclusion of the following lower league regular season so that it can be engraved and presented to the next years’ winner (roughly in October 2019).
5.0 The Voting
The vote will be split equally between 3 groups: the supporters groups that submitted a Tifo(s) or 2-poles, Midfield Press contributors, and Midfield Press subscribers.
5.01 Each of these 3 groups will make up 1/3rd of the vote.
5.02 The votes will be scaled such that they total to 33.3% for each of the 3 groups
5.1 Group One: 33% Supporters Groups Who Submitted a Tifo
Each SG who submitted a Tifo will receive an email from Midfield Press following the conclusion of the USL Final with the 8 eligible Tifos and 8 eligible 2-poles to vote for.
5.11 Each SG will then have 2 weeks to email Midfield Press back the decision of their supporters group. (It will be up to each SG to decide how they want to use that one vote for each category).
5.12 Each SG cannot vote for their own Tifo or 2-poles.
5.13 If a SG has multiple supporters groups who worked together on a Tifo, they will only receive one vote for that submission.
5.2 Group Two: 33%-Midfield Press Subscribers
Midfield Press will conduct a vote via the website that will allow a single vote to any subscriber of the site for each category. Any vote manipulation will result in disqualification.
5.3 Group Three: 33%-Midfield Press Contributors
Midfield Press will conduct a vote between all contributors to the website from the current season. Each will receive one vote.
5.31 If an MFP writer is affiliated with one of the SG’s that submitted a Tifo, this person may not vote for their own Tifo or 2-poles.
5.4 Tie-breakers – In the event of a tie, the Midfield Press Editorial Staff will make the final determination
6.0 Right to Revision
In case of any conflict with the rules, changes in league, team or division structures, Midfield Press reserves the right to update the rules as necessary.
7.0 Cost of Entry and Prize Money
There is no cost of entry, and no prize money. All expenses for the Midfield Press Heavyweight and Lightweight Tifo Title Belts are absorbed by Midfield Press ownership, including design, construction, deployment and marketing. At this time, there is no sponsorship available for this title.