The video submission process for the Sanctional’s qualifiers just got a significant bump in legitimacy, as 11 sanctioned events announced a partnership via instagram last week with WODProof to use their WODProof Go timestamped fair competition timer.
Born out of conversations with CrossFit Games analyst, Master’s athlete, and 10+ year affiliate owner Bill Grundler, the timer represents the first major improvement on the user side of the video submission process in attempts to curb cheating and score manipulation.
How it works:
- If an athlete records their workout in WODProof during the designated window, a blue logo and non-editable text will appear on the video as a timestamp along with details of the workouts name and number listed i.e. “CanWest WOD 1”
- If the workout is performed by an athlete before or after the window the timestamp and declaration will not appear.
- Not all Sanctionals are currently requiring the timestamp to be present for video submissions to be validated in their online challenges, but use of the timestamp is an added layer of security for athletes.
Who’s using it: The CanWest Championship, Wodapalooza*, SouthFit Challenge, Fittest in Cape Town, Lowlands Throwdown, Strength in Depth, German Throwdown, Filthy 150, Atlas Games, Norwegian Championship, and Dubai CrossFit Championship.
*Wodapalooza doesn’t require athletes to use the WODproof app to submit their videos.
The problem: Among other issues, under the current system of qualifiers and video review there is a significant amount of wiggle room for athletes to manipulate scores and “work the system.”
- In the current Open system, athletes have a significant gap between when the workout is announced, when they perform the workout, and when they’re required to submit a video for review.
- During that window athletes have time to train, and practice with the explicit knowledge of the test at hand and can essentially backfill their video submission for a given workout after they’ve already submitted a score that changes up the leaderboard.
- An athlete can post a score for a workout they didn’t perform, train/practice for the test in the meantime, then redo the workout one they’re asked to submit a video with a distinct advantage over their peers.
This creates a significant disparity between filtering for athletes that can perform well in-live competition, which many events are trying to do, and filtering for athletes whose performance is a result of repeated practice and refinement of a workout.
WODProof’s Solution: With a restricted window of video submission specified by the competition ensure that all athletes have equal opportunity with regards to performing a workout for the qualifier. The WODProof Go platform enforces that standard and the timestamp adds another level of technical security to help level the playing field for all athletes involved. The result being that all athletes participating in these 11 events will know that any score showing up as valid on the leaderboard where performed to the same standard and in the same timeframe as theirs.
From a Sanctionals’ perspective: “Fair sport and professional conduct has always been and remains an important aspect of the CanWest CrossFit Championship, with our focus being the volunteer and athlete experience,” says Morgan Ruby, Director of the CanWest CrossFit Championship.
- “Our partnership with WODProof is an extension of those principles by helping raise the standard of online competition to match those of our main event, and the standards set by our fellow Sanctionals in live competition.”
A Long Overdue Improvement
The online competition system was long overdue for a facelift with regards to the digital enforcement of standards. Since the advent of the Open and the online qualifier system in 2011, much has been left up to the “honor system,” of athletes complying with the rules during the previously stated windows between workout announcement and video submission.
The breadth of CrossFit Games competition and the landscape of the greater CrossFit Community has changed dramatically. It would make sense that improvements in the system would follow, but very little, if any, legitimate technical resources have been made on the user end to help clean up many of the loopholes presented by online competitions.
Having a platform that narrows the spectrum between performance in the gym and performance on the competition floor is a huge boost in normalizing competition across the board.
Observable, measurable, repeatable, no matter the arena.