CrossFit Games

Athlete Predictions: Probability of Finishing Top 30 After 20.1

October 17, 2019 by
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Now that 20.1 scores are in we’re able to analyze the probability that an athlete finishes in the top 30 worldwide given their week 1 performance. Just like last season, athletes can qualify in two ways: as a national champion and top 20 worldwide which is why we’ve extended the line to the top 30.

If you only pay attention to one stat. In the past five years, only 12 athletes who placed outside the top 300 in week 1 finished 30th or better worldwide. 

About the models:

  • Note 1: Our models are based off the scores as they’re submitted. As part of the video verification process, CrossFit HQ may impose penalties that will adjust athletes’ scores. 
  • Note 2: Our model expected five scored event, with a 40% chance of a sixth “max” event.
  • Note 3: Our simple models only consider an athlete’s finish in event 1 and calculates the probability of a top 30 overall finish using data from the past 5 Opens. This is summarized in the following chart. 
  • Note 4: Our advanced models have a prior belief about each athlete and consider how they have performed in previous Opens. These prior beliefs are blended with current results.The models then run thousands of simulations to determine the probabilities and range of expected outcomes.  

Some Findings:

  • In 2019, the cutoff line for the top 20 extended to 31st for men and 35th for women. Our model cuts the line at 30th, however, so it is likely all the athletes have slightly better odds than we are giving them. 
  • The lowest rank of a male athlete to make the top 30 was Scott Panchik, who went from 631st after week 1 to 13th overall in 2018. 
  • The lowest ranked female athlete was Tia-Clair Toomey, also in 2018, who went from 400th to 12th overall. The fact that 2018 had an extra workout with 18.2a clearly helped these two athletes. 
  • In 2019, three women came from outside the top 300 into the top 30, with Kristi Eramo making the largest jump from 373rd to 26th. Only one man accomplished this and that was Logan Collins who went from 380th to 22nd. 

Who’s on the line:

For an experienced Open and Games athlete, any finish inside the top 200 leaves them in a fairly strong position going forward. Especially if 20.1 just wasn’t their workout. However, some notable names dug themselves into a hole that will take some work to get out of. 

Name Games 2019 Place Open 2019 Place Rank 20.1 Top 30 Probability
Haley Adams 6 32 243 10%
Thuridur Erla Helgadottir 10 36 366 8%
James Newbury 5 136 281 7%
Alex Vigneault 25 25 524 2%

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