Gridiron is an American football coaching game we created in our spare time. We found other people wanted to play, and have expanded the game to accommodate as many as we can. However this is just a hobby for us, so please bear that in mind if you're interested in joining us. In Gridiron players take the role of head coach of a fictional football team, made up of fictional football players and fictional coaching staff. Game data such as football players, teams, game reports and statistics are the products of the players' imagination, the publishers' imagination and/or computer simulation. Gridiron head coaches seek to build a better team, develop a better game plan, and win games. Winning games, wins Championships. And 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 to your rivals. Although Gridiron is lucky to have more than one league, we're all in the same hobby and the same community. Gridiron.
Why is it sometimes called Gridiron 3?
The current version is the third version of the game. The two earlier versions were run through the mail back in the Eighties and Nineties.
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 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.
Can I play on a tablet?
Yes. Many of us do.
Is there more than one game running?
There is a Pro Leagues version of the game, with six leagues, and a College version. There is a level of interaction between the leagues, and the annual live event is cross-league.
How long has Gridiron been running?
A long time. Gridiron started as a computer-moderated play-by-mail game in the Nineteen Eighties. After a hiatus in the late Nineties, we kept hearing from people who wanted us to resurrect the game. So we worked out how to run it online and launched the first season of Gridiron 3 (the new Season I) on 1st June 2005. The first online league largely involved coaches who had played in the original play-by-mail game. This was the Gridirion Football League (GFL). Through word-of-mouth recommendations we received requests from more people to join, so on 2nd February 2008 we launched our second league, the GFL Atlantic. The majority of coaches in this league were new to Gridiron, but some were veterans of the earlier games who had missed the re-start. The GFL Big Sky was our third full league, launched 31st January 2009. Since then a small number of other leagues have been formed, and the Pro Leagues have been joined by a College game, which is the fictional GCAA. However, we deliberately keep the game small enough that it remains fun. It's very much a hobby.
Are players from the College game drafted into the Pro Leagues?
Yes. Which we think is rather cool.
Can I play my favourite real-life team?
No. Our rules require that everyone avoid using the names of real-life sports teams and colleges. All teams and players are expected to be fictional. After all, with a limited number of places not everyone can play the most popular team. The fairest solution is for no-one to do so. The game is expected to have only imaginary teams filled with imaginary players.
How do game weeks run?
During the season, games are usually run at weekends. In the regular season, each team plays one game each week. In the week ahead of a game, coaches train players and prepare game plans which can be simple or complex. 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. Outside the regular season, there are play-offs games for qualifying teams, a pre-season game and deadlines for the draft and trading. Two seasons usually run back-to-back through autumn into spring, with a summer break ahead of a Live Fall Draft Event.
Does the game ever change?
Yes. The game is constantly evolving. We aim to keep it fresh.
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 has been 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. Over the years, some coaches have left only to return and take great delight in finding all their old achievements still a matter of pride. We maintain a wealth of game stats.
What happens when?
Games run on game night during the regular season. Coaches log in during the week to make adjustments and conduct training. At the deadline games are run and 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. 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.=
How long and how often are seasons?
A Gridiron season starts with a draft and player ageing, followed by staff recruitment. Each team then plays a pre-season game, which leads into 10 weeks of regular season games. At the end of the regular season, there are play-offs leading up to the Bowl games, and during this time all coaches can continue to coach players. In the off-season, many coaches engage in trading players and picks. Gridiron has run at a consistent two seasons per calendar year, with a summer break (but the site remains available and coaches keep trading, of course). The back-to-back Fall and Spring seasons kick off with a Live Event, usually at the start of September.
Do I need to know American football to play?
Plenty have started the game with litle or no knowledge of American football. 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.
Are there game fees?
Yes. The first season is free, which gives new coaches a chance to find out if they like the game. After their first season, we ask every coach for a subscription. We have found that subscriptions significantly reduce mid-season drop-out rates, which spoil the game for other players. Subscriptions also mean we don't have to carry advertising to fund commercial hosting, etc.
Can I run more than one team?
Gridiron 3 includes a Pro Leagues game and a College game. Generally, Players run one Pro Leagues team and possibly one College team. We find that allowing players to run more teams dilutes enjoyment of the game for all concerned.
Join without commitment
You can Get In Touch without commitment. We ask for some details, get in touch, and once your email address is confirmed, we'll set you up to log in to the website to see dedicated waiting list pages and more. This will help you make up your mind whether or not you want to stay on the waiting list. And if you play, the first season is free. So you have plenty of time to make up your mind. Some folks don't like waiting, but we keep Gridiron to a manageable size, because it's a hobby. And this isn't a game for the short-term.
How do I contact you?
The best way to get in touch is through our Get In Touch page. This ensures we have your details properly logged. We can then swap mails and resolve any questions. Also, we have a Facebook page if you'd like to follow us. But please bear in mind that this is a hobby for us, and our response times may sometimes be a bit slow!