Popular Grid Makes Its Way To Orlando
This past weekend, I traveled to Orlando to witness my first Grid sporting event. The Orlando Outlaws, a new minor league team of the DC Brawlers (National Pro Grid League), held tryouts for their team on Saturday and Sunday at Crossfit Tire Factory. Each day consisted of different credentials for qualification: day one being more individual-based, and day two being geared more towards the actual format of a Grid match. It was an exciting event that had me totally entranced the entire time. I wasn’t very familiar with what Grid was, but it’s something I can see gaining significant popularity within the next couple of years, so get ready.
What Exactly is Grid
Grid, established in 2014, is a relatively new sport that consists of co-ed teams competing in relay-style matches. Each team in the NPGL has 10 men and 10 women on the team, and only 14 of the competitors work together to complete a total of 11 races in one match. The match is held in an arena about the size of a basketball court, and the field itself (the grid) is split up into various components much like any other sport. Each race is different: the rules, it’s elements, and it’s competitors.
For example, race 7 is a ladder. Alternating men and women attempt to lift as many of the set barbells as they can in a set amount of time. Race 3, 4, 5, and 6 are the exact same race, but the first two consist only of women and the second two consist only of men. It keeps fans on their toes throughout the entire match because nothing ever stops. There are no breaks once a race has begun, and everything is dependent on speed and efficiency. A good sense of strategy is necessary for success in this sport, as well as excellent teamwork.
Working together is a vital part of Grid. “Substitutions” are used in each race to help teammates complete the given tasks as fast as possible and as efficient as possible. If a teammate is tired and stops being able to perform a certain exercise, such as muscle ups, another teammate can immediately jump in and aid in the efforts to complete the task.
A Newbie’s Take On Grid
Based on my observation, a Grid match shared many of the same elements of Crossfit. Olympic lifts, race for time, varying repetitions for each exercise, and back-to-back movements were thrown into each race. I’d describe each race as a spaced-out WOD (workout of the day), but with the element of relay. Instead of having to complete each exercise by yourself, you work together amongst your team to complete each race. Thus, nothing is individual- everyone has strengths in different lifts and bodyweight exercises that can aid in completing a race, and this makes each team member a valuable asset. Competitors simply cannot depend on themselves alone and that was probably my favorite part.
Orlando Outlaws Tryouts
I was blown away by the skill that these athletes had in terms of muscular strength, agility, and the ability to complete these races. Day One showcased the athlete’s individual abilities in a structured event much like a Crossfit competition. Day two implemented the rules of Grid.
Two sample teams were set, and went head to head in Grid races to evaluate their abilities to work as a team. Being that this was only a tryout, none of the athletes were pros in the sport, but they definitely made me feel like I needed to get in the gym more often. PR’s (personal records) were being set all over the place, and it was so inspiring to watch participants that were fighting for the same spot on the team be brought together by the nature of the Grid. All in all, I’m so happy that I had the opportunity to watch such an exciting sport, as well as witness the birth of new teams.
Grid may be new, but it’s got fire. Orlando better be ready for the Outlaws to shock the city with what they can do.
For more information about Grid, check out the website!