HISTORY

 

The association developed from an idea that the founding president, Ian Chapman, had along with eighteen other men and women. these people formed a steering committee in January, 1985.

In march of 1985, advertisements were placed in the media asking interested people to attend a meeting at the Tivoli hotel on march 23rd. approximately 300 people attended this meeting and clubs were formed on the basis of north, south, east, and west locations.

The players and interested people were split up in to their respective areas and they were to officially form the clubs, elect a committee, and notify the steering committee who would organise a special general meeting to formally form the association. 



There were four clubs and a referee’s association, namely Brighton Breakers, Eastside Razorbacks, Port Adelaide Spartans, Southern Districts, and the Official’s Association. 



The players and interested people were split up in to their respective areas and they were to officially form the clubs, elect a committee, and notify the steering committee who would organise a special general meeting to formally form the association.

There were four clubs and a referee’s association, namely Brighton Breakers, Eastside Razorbacks, Port Adelaide Spartans, Southern Districts, and the Official’s Association.

SUNDAY MAIL 5 1 86
Sunday Mail, January 5th 1986



The association conducted a lottery in the first year to obtain funds for the importation of new and reconditioned equipment from the USA, incorporation of the association took place prior to the start of the first season. 

The first season started on 11th January, 1986, through to 17th march 1986. Games were played on Saturdays at Norwood Oval with the second game being played under lights. Grand finalists were the Eastern Suburbs Razorbacks (coached by Sharpe McCullough) and the Brighton Breakers. The Eastern Suburbs Razorbacks defeated the Brighton Breakers 7 points to 6.

Players from the US Airforce base at Woomera played an important part of the first season. they travelled down each weekend to participate.

1986
Gridiron SA in 1986

The South Australian Rugby League Association were invited to play a round of their Panasonic cup as a curtain raiser to the first interstate gridiron game played here. The Victorian team, the Saba Outlaws, were defeated by the Eastern Suburbs Razorbacks 66 to 0.

The second season saw five teams competing with the start of the Adelaide Eagles. Games started on the 30th November, 1986, and the finals were held on the 17th march, 1987. The Eastern Suburbs Razorbacks again defeated the Brighton Breakers in the grand final.

The third season started on the 11th November, 1987 and concluded on the 5th march, 1988. Grand finalists for this season were Port Adelaide Spartans who defeated the Eastern Suburbs Razorbacks.

Early in December 1987, a team consisting mainly of Brighton Breakers, but including a few players from other teams, represented South Australia against Victoria as a curtain raiser to the American college game between Colorado State and Brigham Young University teams. Many south Australian’s went to Melbourne to see these two games. Unfortunately, South Australia was beaten by Victoria.

The start of the fourth season saw two new teams join the association, the South City Chiefs, and the Elizabeth Lions. The Adelaide eagles were unable to field a team so the competition consisted of 6 teams.

As South Australian Baseball required considerable use of the Norwood oval facilities, we had to negotiate for a new venue, and were able to obtain the Barton Oval. The season was held from 11th November, 1988 to 10th March, 1989. Eastern suburbs were in the finals, beating the Brighton Breakers again.

Gridiron Feel Good Promo 2005
Gridiron Feel Good Promo 2005

 

The first full interstate gridiron challenge was held on grand prix weekend in November 1989. South Australia was the host, and it took an extraordinary amount of effort for everyone concerned to make the event happen. It was a success, but not profitable.

The fifth season started on the 11th November, 1989 at the Barton Oval with the grand final on the 10th march, 1990. The Port Adelaide Spartans defeated the Brighton Breakers. It was the first time the Eastern Suburbs Razorbacks had not played in a Gridiron SA grand final.