When I first heard about the National Pro Grid League (NPGL), I though it was a great idea! I love the CrossFit Games and all that goes along with it, but there are hundreds of people who train like it’s a full-time job and never have the chance to make it on the big stage in Carson.. Now those people can have a chance to get compensated for all their work by getting drafted in a brand new professional sports league. This is not a CrossFit sports league, it’s a league of its own!
Yesterday I attend the first home match of the L.A. Reign and had an awesome time. The races for all matches of the inaugural NPGL season have already been announced in advance. Yesterday, the L.A. Reign competed against the Phoenix Rise in the McKinley Match consisting of 11 different races. NPGL promises to be spectator friendly, but I was skeptical considering it’s brand new sport and people are not familiar with the rules. Not to worry! A program listing the elements (ie skills or movements) and rules of each race, and a team roster was provided at the door and definitely came in handy throughout the match. Demos of each element in the race were also shown prior to every race.
NPGL allows for player substitutions, so specializing in specific skills is encouraged. It was interesting to see how teams implemented this strategy, and it was easy to see which athletes were strong in gymnastics vs. weightlifting, etc.
Two crazy moments stood out yesterday:
- In Race 8, Noah Olsen strung together several of the “backwards roll to support” moves in order to get Reign the victory. What a crazy element!
- The Reign went in to the last race only two points ahead of Phoenix, and just barely lost Race 11. However, the Reign challenged a call on the deficit handstand push ups and won the challenge. The teams had to redo the last 4 elements of Race 11. Unfortunately, the Reign still ended up losing Race 11 a second time by the same close margin, and lost the overall match by one point.
NPGL definitely delivered on its promise to be spectator friendly and entertaining. The whole match lasted two hours and was easy to follow. Being in an intimate basketball arena allowed for some fun crowd involvement activities like a Flex Cam (a refreshing change from the typical Kiss Cam…), free shirts, and an awesome gymnastics/break dancing routine performed on the pull up rig during half time. There was even an athlete meet and greet at the end!
If you have a chance to check out a NPGL match in your area, do it! It’s a great opportunity to be a part of a brand new sport and get inspired by all the amazing feats our human bodies can accomplish. All matches are also streamed live online on the NPGL website.