So you’ve heard of the Florida Grid League and you’re intrigued by the energy, the team dynamic, trying something new, but you’re intimidated to try out…what’s the best way to get involved?
One great ways to try out GRID is to work the matches. The benefits include behind the scenes access, insider information on the rules of the sport, and the ability to get to know the individual teams. Hear from one 2018 ref who got signed to the Tampa Bay Brigade for the 2019 Season!
How did you hear about and get involved with the FGL?
I followed the NPGL and FGL in the beginning because of friends of mine that were involved in each. When the FGL returned for a second season, I wanted to be more involved, so I joined the refereeing squad. It’s fun to spectate- there’s no doubt the skill of the players and the speed of the game are impressive, but it’s intensified when you’re in the middle of it with a whistle!
What was your favorite part about working with the FGL?
The North Reffing Squad became our own close-knit team. The first time I stepped out onto the grid, I was nervous, and it took a little while to get comfortable with the environment, but having a strong support system helped so much with this. Commuting to and from matches with the fellow ref Zane Willard, quickly became the highlight of match weekends. (Also paleo puffs. If you know, you know.)
How did being a part of the staff prep you for making a GRID team for the Season?
For one, I know the ins and outs of the sport, and understand the value of good clean reps. Realizing I could perform and execute a lot of the movements and contribute to a team using my strengths gave me the courage to submit a formal video for one of the pre-season challenges. I took the leap and was met with an overwhelmingly positive response from the teams of the North Conference. It’s important to note that developing positive relationships with current coaches and players gave me the confidence to put myself out there.
Did you learn anything else useful while working for the FGL?
Life lessons can be found in the strangest of places, like the four quadrants of the GRID during matches and those lessons apply to my life both on and off the GRID. I learned the value of preparation and how much that leads to confidence, which is crucial as a ref because you’re under scrutiny by competitive players and coaches…but certitude in my decision making gave me a lot of confidence. Also, respect is earned and anything worth doing takes hard work, accountability, consistency and a dedication to fairness.
What is your ultimate goal with the sport of GRID/FGL?
To state the obvious, I want to help the Brigade win back the Championship title for Season 3. Long-term, I’d love to help the league grow and expose more athletes to the sport of GRID, as the community has so much potential for large scale growth. The specialist aspect of GRID brings more everyday athletes like myself into the experience of the elites. Also, there aren’t that many opportunities to continue team based fitness activities into adulthood. The sport is fun to watch and play!
“The specialist aspect of GRID brings more everyday athletes like myself into the experience of the elites. Also, there aren’t that many opportunities to continue team based fitness activities into adulthood.”
Any advice for someone who is interested in playing or working for the FGL?
My advice would be to get involved however you can. Start small, get your feet wet- watch a match, converse with players, play GRID6 and/or volunteer with management to see the inner workings of a match. I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to be a Referee or Player without developing positive relationships with FGL coaches and staff members. Season 1 I was the best spectator and supporter I could be. Season 2 I was able to display my top-notch reffing skills. And season 3 I’ll show off the hard work I’ve put into barbell cycling and heavy lifting. Just take the leap, and like me you’ll probably fall in love with the sport of GRID.
Watch Kendall and the Tampa Bay Brigade play in their first match of the Season on June 8th against the SWFL Sharks. If you’re interested in working the matches for the FGL, get in touch!
The following positions are open in the North and South conferences:
- Referee (paid positions available)
- Equipment Crew (paid and volunteer positions available)
- Race Umpire (get intimate with the rules of GRID and the team rosters)
- Front Desk
- Social Media