Elite Athletes Call for Improvements to HQ’s Video Review Amid Devin Ford Controversy

Apr 24, 2019 by

A story that appears to only be gaining speed instead of slowing down has more CrossFit Games veterans and notable stakeholders weighing in.

Quick recap: Tuesday, CrossFit HQ released the penalties and final confirmation of the top 20 athletes worldwide. One of the penalties and athletes who qualified for the CrossFit Games — Devin Ford — only completed 40 of the 50 required handstand push-ups in 19.3. You can brush up more by reading this story. 

  • CrossFit HQ has been levying some heavy penalties this year during the Open, a move which has been met with near universal applause in the elite athlete community. Ford was technically assessed a major penalty of 1 minute, 10 seconds added to his time — essentially 7 seconds for every missed rep — but several in the elite community don’t think that goes far enough.

What they’re saying: “As far as I’m concerned, his score, his workout ended on the 40th handstand push-up…his score in 19.3 should be 130…his workout did not meet the standards of what is acceptable to earn yourself a qualifying spot to the CrossFit Games,” Tommy Marquez said on Talking Elite Fitness.

  • Carolyne Prevost: “His entire 19.3 video is tough to watch. He lunges and cuts distance on every single 25ft (never makes it fully passed the line). Then starts the next length stepping way over the line and cutting more distance. Box step ups bad too. HSPU missing reps. And he cuts the [handstand walk] short also with his hands over the line. 1 min extra should be an invalid score.”
  • Alex Parker: “I’m glad [the CrossFit Games] is finding and penalizing score discrepancies and athletes’ failure to adhere to movement standards…but I can’t help but wonder how many more they are missing. With Regionals gone, and the Open being a direct way to qualify to the Games, the review process is one of the only tools [CrossFit Games] has to ensure everyone is playing by the rules…Why aren’t the repercussions for breaking the rules higher? Why is the [CrossFit Games] allowing this? Why aren’t THEY protecting the integrity? This is so frustrating to me…as someone who competes in this sport. Why should I adhere to the standards when my chances of qualifying are diminished if I do?…This system is flawed. Very simply, his score should be invalidated…As per the CrossFit Games Rulebook section 1.19. We should be trying to start a conversation on how to improve the video review and score validation process. Affiliate owners should not be able to validate their own scores. Judges should JUDGE and not just stand there. We should figure out a way to review videos on a rolling weekly basis, rather than only at the end of the Open. If the Open is going to send people to the Games this HAS to improve.”
  • Meredith Root: “Devin Ford’s 19.3 video should be invalid. The CrossFit Games asserts that the video was assessed using their video review standards or criteria, but if this video is good enough to secure someone a spot to the CrossFit Games, then the standards are highly flawed. The fact of the matter is, this video is so far beyond acceptable, it puts the whole CrossFit Games qualification process into disrepute. This issue is bigger than Devin Ford and his 19.3 video. Without Regionals acting as a barrier, the CrossFit Games has no other choice but to ensure the review process of the Open workouts ensures fairness and protect the integrity of the sport. ”

Important to note: They’re saying this has more to do with CrossFit’s review process than with Devin Ford’s performance. 

  • CrossFit Games Rulebook Section 1.19: A video is considered invalid if, “Over the course of the video, the athlete fails to complete the workout as required, a significant and unacceptable number of reps performed are ‘no reps,’ or the video does not contain the criteria listed in the video submission standards. The athlete’s score will be rejected, and the video will be removed from the CrossFit Games website. The athlete will have to submit a new video prior to the score submission deadline to receive a score for this workout.”

Decide for yourself: Here’s his 19.3 video.


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CrossFit Open

Carolyne Prevost



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