The 1st “Gridiron” event came to fruition in August 2014. Heavy promotion on social media, email, word of mouth to the shooters, and press coverage in “Front Sight” magazine made the event a great success! The outcry from the community begged to have an encore, so I got to work on the 2nd “Grid.” The match and its reputation were growing fast. I foresaw growing pains.
The 2nd “GridIron” 2015 was another great success, setting the bar even higher than before. The match was outgrowing the local ranges due to the limits of the range (scheduling, number of stages, and range politics). I was forced to find a new arena that could accommodate more shooters/stages. So, I placed the match on hold.
How far we've come:
Enter 2018 at the Linden Gun Range. I have been eyeing this range since it opened its doors to the USPSA in 2017, shot a number of matches there, and it definitely has the space and facilities to host a big match.
A discussion with the owner of the Linden Gun Range, Christine Zador,
resurrected the “GridIron” talks. How the Linden Gun Range adapts to its own growth is what prompted me to realize that the “GridIron“finally has found a home to stay.
A note from the creator of the Gridiron, Theo Arjona, and the Linden Competitive Shooting Club.
In 2019, the GridIron was run as a Level II Major USPSA match for the first time. The match was expanded from 7 stages to 8 stages.
In 2020, the Grid was left behind amid the pandemic. However, 2021 was another successful competition. The Gridiron in 2021 was run as a Level I USPSA match but retained the Level II Major match feel. Stages were expanded from 8 to 9 stages. This was the first year the Gridiron experienced a drop in participation. Changes were needed to modernize the match to meet the current USPSA shooter's demand for new divisions.
Before the 2022 GridIron Arena, the Linden Competitive Shooting Club made the decision to expand the capabilities and reach of the match to different divisions, offering a more versatile competition; however, staying true to the original Gridiron competition format, the decision invited more shooters to join the fun and exciting end of year match. This year also marked the highest attendance in Gridiron history.
From Match Director Rickey Ingrassias:
"Leading into 2023, the Gridiron is poised to set a new match record for attendance, with 9 challenging stages over a 2-day main match schedule. With stages designed by experienced stage designers and highly experienced shooters, competitors can expect their skills to be tested."