It’s late 2009. Grifball is still riding high from a PAX panel. The AGLA just wrapped up its seventh season. The Halo 3 community is enjoying Grifball XXP weekends every month. And although fewer people are playing than the previous year, Grifball still holds a special place in the hearts of many Halo fans.
In this atmosphere, why not have even more Grifball?
It was at this point that the Hub staff began talking amongst themselves and friends about forming a small community based around an idea presented by Goosechecka and Kalbegarion, the GG Recreational League. GG standing for Good Games. The idea of the league was to provide an alternative for those who would prefer to play the game of Grifball in a much less competitive environment, focusing on just having a little fun.
In November 2009, Goose and Kal approached Puptastrophe and asked about starting up a small, recreational Grifball league to supplement Grifball.com’s American Grifball League of America. There would be no required neutral hosts, no court restrictions, or even any real set rosters. In short, it would be an intramural, recreational league. One night a week the teams would get online and play for an hour or two, much like a community bowling league.
The GGL was a welcome addition to the Grifball world. At the time for us being a new team we struggled not only playing our games, but with all the teams that forfeited. Not to mention the fact once the season was over for the AGLA it was going to be a long wait for us to the next season since we didn’t make playoffs and getting to play in the GGL gave us more grifball time and more time spent playing with friends. The GGL kept us playing together and is one of the things I credit to us sticking around together as a team when a lot of other teams have moved on. ~ RallyFox
The first season of the GGL was small. The Hub staff had run events, but they had never run a full Grifball league before. Kal and Goose capped the first season at six teams, mostly captained by Hub staff, much like the first proto-season of the AGLA.
I was interested to say the least. I was asked by Green Team Tex if I would like to participate in a small 6 team league to test it out. I thought, why not? I’m definitely up for more Grifball. ~ Nuclear Taco 42
The first season was a test run to ensure that game reporting and stat tracking could be done with a combination of forum threads and spreadsheets.
The game reporting involved posting in a thread on the forums. We didn’t have any automated system set up. And the stats were all tracked by hand. Kal and I had to open each Bungie.net game result and read and record the stats we wanted to keep. Even with only six teams it was still a bit of a pain, but it worked. ~ Goosechecka
In the first season, the teams were Bleep Bloop, captained by Anubis, Blu-Rays featuring Fred Astaire, captained by BobbyBirdseed, Green Army, captained by Rallyfox, the Hard Liquor Chasers, captained by Seanzie, Woot Woot, captained by Hi Im Pacman, and the Ways and Means Committee, captained by Kalbelgarion.
The small league size was great, we didn’t get lost in it, and you knew who everyone playing was. It made for a lot more fun and knowing that the other teams would be there come game night made it a lot easier to be a new captain. FF’s were not an issue and none of teams we played against were douchebag teams.
Here we were, a bunch of nobody scrubs playing against Pup, Goose and Kal, Dragon, Seanzie…every game was a “wow we’re a bunch of nobodies and are playing with some of grifballs elite players” type of moments, and it was always fun. ~ RallyFox
The first season included a three-week regular season. Wednesday was game night, and each team was expected to show up and play at the same time every week (much like the AGLA Amateur league). Furthermore, teams were permitted to borrow players from other teams (or from outside the league) if they didn’t have a full team at game time. Since it was a recreational league, guest players were allowed — even encouraged.
Each week we announced “award” winners to recognize those who did the best and those who…tried.
The Week Two Award Winners are:
The Gardner (most plants) – II Blue Zebra II (11)
Terminator (most kills) – Hi im Pacman (156)
Mayfly (most deaths) – FiftyTwoNinjas (153)
Mr. Positivity (best K/D) – Hi im Pacman (61)
Benedict Arnold (most betrayals) – Dragon of Exile (38)
Loyalist – (fewest betrayals) – II Blue Zebra II (1)
At the end of the three-week regular season, it was time for playoffs – One night to crown the “champs.” After two quick rounds of play, we had our first GGL champions:
At the end of the night, Woot Woot (hellfire 969, Hi Im Pacman, Izzy is Prozzy, watchformatt, and II Blue Zebra II) emerged undefeated, giving them a 6 -0 record and the #1 seed. Both HLC and WaMC ended the season at 4 – 2, but since HLC defeated WaMC in week 2, HLC takes the #2 seed and WaMC earns the #3 seed. The final playoff seed went to Bleep Bloop with a 3 -3 record. BluRay ended the season at 1 -5 and Green Army Jr had a perfect season at 0 – 6, but don’t worry guys, there’s always next season.
Seasonal awards were given out, including awards that only non-host pullers were eligible for:
Awards for the Season:
The Gardner (most bomb plants) – Kalbelgarion (21)
The Terminator (most kills) – HighlndHellrazr (381)
The Mayfly (most deaths) – BeeweERice (385)
Mr Positive (best k/d)- Hi im Pacman (148)
The Loyalist (fewest betrayals) – Wolf am I (4, 4 games played)
The Benedict Arnold (most betrayals) – Dragon of Exile (59)
The Wall (most bomb stops) – Seanzie (36)
The Naturals (No artificial host flavors)
The Gardner: II Blue Zebra II (20)
The Terminatory: FiftyTwoNinja (218)
Mr. Positive: Toktyn (+70)
The Wall: Taco, xDarkSteel (30)
Awards for the Season:
Most Kills – HLC (1243)
Most Scores – WW (42)
Best K/D – WW (+299)
Worst K/D – GA and BRFA (-241)
Most Deaths – HLC (1233)
Most Betrayals – HLC (130)
Fewest Betrayals – WaMC (40)
The most prestigious award, however, went to Green Army Jr. for their “perfect” 0-6 season:
I thought the weekly awards were a great way to put the spotlight on certain players/teams. Plus, one of them is named after me…I have to like that. Even if it is for losing every game in the season. ~ Nuclear Taco 42
With one proto-season under their belts, the Kal and Goose were ready to open the GGL to all interested teams. The first season ended on December 12, and signups for season two opened on December 16.
Whether this is your first time playing Grifball or you’ve been around since Winter ’08, it doesn’t matter. The GGL is all about having fun and playing against players of all skill ranges and experience.
Enough teams signed up to fill three divisions. In addition to the Wednesday night slot, Friday and Monday divisions was added.
I saw a front page post on the HUB and just wanted to be able to play even more organized Grifball. I can’t even remember the name of the team I played with. ~ Priest XYZ (Behind Enemy Lines)
Monday Division Teams:
Behind Enemy Lines
Wednesday Division Teams
The Ways and Means Committee
<3 Grif Reapers The Frosted Oatmeal Cookies Hard Liquor Chasers Friday Division Teams: Battle Royale Bonesville Welcoming Committee Blame it on the Host Ahooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo Team Randy
Fifteen teams played a four-week regular season full of thrills and kills. You can see the stats from every game here.
Once the regular season was in the books, it was time to determine the second GGL champion:
The regular season of the GGL has come to a close. After four weeks, we are down to the best four teams in the league:
Finishing 7-0, once again ending the regular season with a perfect record, we have Woot Woot taking the #1 seed.
With a record of 4-0, the number two seed in the playoffs goes to Ahoooooo.
Finishing 4-1, the next playoff spot goes to The Bone Welcoming Committee.
Finally, rounding out our four playoff teams, we have The Irish Mafia, ending the season with a record of 6-2.
Congratulations to these four teams. Next week begins the playoffs: Woot Woot and the IRA will face each other for the opportunity to go against the winner of the Ahoooooo/Bone Welcoming Committee game.
After a week of playoffs, Achooooo came out victorious:
Ahooooo (kogallvr, DArK BoDiEz, x iTz BananaZz, and Sabasauros Rex) faced off against Irish Mafia in a best-of-three series. After losing the first game 6 – 3, they rallied back with 5 -4 win in the second game, and claimed their title by winning the final game 7 – 2.
At the end of the season, stats were again crunched for team and individual awards:
The Gardner (most bomb plants) – Blue Zebra (37)
The Terminator (most kills) – Goosechecka (418)
The Mayfly (most deaths) – Goosechecka (412)
Mr. Positive (best k/d)- Phil Silbaugh (+105)
The Loyalist (fewest betrayals per game) – KoolAid Demon (.2/game)
The Benedict Arnold (most betrayals) – Phil Silbaugh (26)
The Wall (most bomb stops) – Blue Zebra (39)
The Time Sink (most play time) -Camper (110:07)
Green Thumbs (most bomb plants) – Woot Woot (52)
SkyNet (most kills) – Woot Woot (1138)
Suicides (most deaths) – Green Army (1504)
The Optimists (best k/d) – Woot Woot (107)
The Unit (fewest betrayls per game) – Ahooo (4.5/game)
The Mutineers (most betrayals) – The Ways and Means Committee (79)
Big D (most bomb stops) – Behind Enemy Lines (127)
Time Well Spent (most play time) – The Ways and Means Committee (413:12)
The top finishers for each category for each team was also provided. And, once again, the coveted Taco Award was given out. But thanks to budget cuts, three teams had to share the prize:
I really loved those awards. We had some fun coming up with the names for them. Now there are just too many teams to compile all those stats, unfortunately. ~ Goosechecka
The weekly awards should be brought back, that’s what I think. ~ Priest XYZ
The first two seasons of the GGL went better than the Hub staff expected. The league that would one day grow to include over 200 teams started small, but it started on the right foot.
The next season of the GGL began in March 2010 and introduced a new level of hilarity: Achieveables. But before we get to that, we must catalog the AGLA’s 2010 Winter League. It was a season that introduced a new Amateur League admin and saw great teams like <3, Teenage Mutant Ninja Scettles, and Apocalypse Ponies. It also saw the fruition of a new relationship between Grifball and a Halo-based industry powerhouse. If you would like to share your thoughts regarding the AGLA's 2010 Winter season, please share them with us here.
If you would to reminisce about the first two seasons of the GGL, please leave a comment below.