For those of you who haven’t heard of the NEGL [North East Grid League], you should start paying attention. The NEGL only began in August and already is turning heads, letting everyone know that it is a force and should not be taken lightly.
The stage was set in Norwood Massachusetts at the home of the NPGL’s Boston Iron. There were 6 teams with different goals in mind. Some wanted to expose their athletes to the sport of Grid for the first time and others were racing for a single spot at the first Grid Invitational in California. No matter what the goal, the teams were stacked and each athlete drove through the weekend racing with sheer intensity.
The league then sent the top two teams to California and took home both first and fifth place finishes by the Bridgewater Gladiators and the Danbury Mad Hatters respectively. It was an exciting weekend for both teams. I personally had the opportunity to go to California with the Mad Hatters. It was an amazing experience to be among such talented athletes and to compete on the same Grid the Pros were racing on. Having the Boston Iron’s athletes sitting in our corner was both humbling and exciting.
Those of us that have sat in the CrossFit saddle first, know the intensity of the countdown, that 3-2-1 GO. The adrenaline piles high and the focus is so sharp it could cut glass. Imagine that feeling happening over and over again in the same 2 minute race? Adrenaline junkies are all over the Grid fighting for their team, to complete their task as quickly and efficiently as possible. The transitions are crucial. One slow step, one no-rep could cost you the match. There is no falling to the ground at the end of your job; you need to sprint with the pure intention to win, to be faster and smarter than the team you are up against. That is the beauty of Grid.
The attraction of the new sport is that the athletes that are on the Grid are specialists in their area. There are body weight, and strength specialists and those that are great utility (generalists) players as well. If you are good at moving weight there is a spot for you and if you are super gym-nasty, then there is a spot for you too.
Josh Plosker, head coach of the Boston Iron and Mel McManus, head of operations of the NEGL, have set the stage for the league in its open inaugural weekend leaving the teams hungry for more. January will start the official first season for the league and the teams are raring to go, but not before the first ever Pro-Am takes flight on December 5.
Grid hopefuls will be able to come together to test their grid scores, race with NEGL teams and, drumroll please, race with the Boston Iron. When else are you going to get the opportunity to race with the pros? Kudos to Plosker and McManus, this is sure to be a fantastic opening season for the league.
Written by Kristen Graham