American Football Head Coach Game


Six Leagues | College Football | Sandpit for new Coaches


College Gridiron

The College Gridiron game offers an alternative to the Pro Leagues game, and College players are drafted into the Pro Leagues game.



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  • This is Gridiron

    An American football coaching simulation where players take the role of head coach and owner of a GFL franchise. They draft rookies, trade stars and build teams to win the Bowl. This is a game where records last - a game with a strong sense of history, with career statistics which ensure that achievements live on. And a game where they matter, with a strong social element supported by online message boards and live events. Although Gridiron boasts more than one league, it is all one game. Gridiron.
  • How is it played?

    A coach logs in to get access to team information and order forms which are not available to the public. Through standard web pages, coaches draft players, train players, and design plays. Gridiron is a strategy game more than a tactical game. Games are played at weekends, one game per team each week. During the week, head coaches prepare game plans which can be simple or complex, and after each game the coach can see how his game plan turned out, and digest the comprehensive game statistics. Some coaches spend 10 minutes a week on their game plan, others spend much more. And there is no shortage of information with which to plan: coaches receive private game analysis from their coaching staff.
  • What happens when?

    Games are played weekly during the regular season. Coaches log in at least once at any time during the week to make adjustments for the next game and conduct training, then at the deadline games are run and the results published. All games results are published at the same time. There are 10 regular season games for each team, followed by play-offs and ultimately Bowl games to establish champions. In the off-season coaches trade and draft players, and each season is launched with a round of pre-season games. Gridiron features exactly two full seasons each calendar year, a frequency that ensures achievements can be enjoyed, but a turnaround fast enough for long-term planning to reach fruition in a reasonable timeframe.

  • Do I need to know American football to play?

    Plenty of successful Gridiron coaches started the game with no knowledge of American football other than that it was a game of football played in the USA by men wearing helmets and padding. Gridiron has encouraged some folk to start following a sport they might otherwise have never enjoyed. But it sure helps to know a bit about the game before you start. And if you know the game well, you’ll find plenty that’s familiar in Gridiron.
  • Do I need special software to play?

    No. All you need is an internet connection and a web browser which meets our minimum requirements. You can play it anywhere you have a browser which can connect to our website. You can play with Windows, Mac, Linux, and even some mobile phones. You do not need to buy special software or install any other software.
  • How long has Gridiron been running?

    Gridiron started as a computer-moderated play-by-mail game in the Nineteen Eighties. After a hiatus in the late Nineties, it was resurrected as an online game and launched its first online season (the new Season I) on 1st June 2005 after 18 months of development. The first league largely involved coaches who had played in the original play-by-mail game. On 2nd February 2008 we launched our second full league, the GFL Atlantic, in which the majority of coaches were new to Gridiron. We are proud that Gridiron continues to grow with new leagues added periodically.
  • What is distinctive about Gridiron?

    Gridiron is fortunate in its players and is lucky to be played by people who for the most part care about their teams and develop them with a long view. The game is developed by two enthusiasts, is only available on this website, and aims to be highly responsive to coaches’ input. It is constantly under development and coaches have a major influence on the evolution of the game. Gridiron has a strong sense of game history, so achievements are recorded and last. We maintain a wealth of stats.
  • How many leagues? Is there a college game?

    Two rulesets are running: Pro Leagues and College. There are multiple Pro Leagues, but we regard them as a single game and the annual live event is cross-league. The College game is a single, large game.
  • Are there game fees?

    Yes, but we waive it in the first season for coaches taking over a vacant team. Otherwise, a season’s subscription is levied from each coach, usually towards the end of the season. That subscription paid exclusively through PayPal. There is no charge to register interest.
  • How do I join?

    Coaches who register interest will be added to our waiting list and gain access to vacancies in current leagues when others leave or, if the waiting list grows large enough, to form a new league. We review the waiting list every six months to see if the list can support a new league: because all leagues run concurrently, we only start new leagues at the start of new game seasons. When you register interest we ask for the minimum of details, but do ask you to give us a valid e-mail address so we'll be able to let you know about places in the game (we do not share your e-mail address with anyone outside Gridiron). There is no charge to join the waiting list, and you’ll be able to log in to the website and see dedicated waiting list pages, read the rules and check out the FAQs. We’ll keep in touch with you by e-mail, and let you know when there’s a place in the game. Some folks don’t like waiting, but Gridiron isn’t a game for the short-term. We think it’s worth waiting for, and hope you will too.