Your Coffee is ready.

Sweeping 20.1 Penalties Knock 7 Athletes Out of Qualification

Oct 24, 2019 by

Late Wednesday night, CrossFit HQ announced a slew of penalties being assessed to top athletes in week one. Additionally, we’ve confirmed with several athletes who have been notified of penalties in 20.2 yet to be announced. The result is part of an increased initiative by CrossFit Games staff and their video review team to provide video review for the workouts of all athletes in contention for a spot at the CrossFit Games through the Open. 

  • Who’s getting reviewed: Each week, the top 40 men and women worldwide are being asked to submit videos of their performance to the CrossFit Games staff.

Twenty-six total athletes received penalties, nearly a third of the athletes who submitted video.

  • Sam Briggs, Cedric Lapointe, Aaron Rabin, and Lazar Dukic were penalized for a lack of extension during the ground-to-overhead.
  • Frederik Aegidius, Dane Smith, Luka Vunjak, and Sam Briggs were penalized for one-foot takeoffs in the burpee. 
  • Dani Speegle, Sasha Nievas, Kristine Best, Alanna Fisk, Meg Reardon, Andrea Nisler, Ashley Shaeffer, Alexis Johnson, Katelin Van Zyl, Hannah Hardy, Brooke Haas, Simon Mäntylä, Uldis Upenieks, Willy Georges, Jake Berman, Dillon Cravens, Matt Morton, Logan Collins, and Sigurður Þrastarson were penalized for what’s being assessed as a false start. 

One big thing: This penalty effectively ends the chances for several athletes to qualify through the Open.

  • Here’s who’s effectively out: Samantha Briggs, Cédric Lapointe, Frederik Aegidius, Aaron Rabin, Dane Smith, Luka Vunjak, and Lazar Dukic.

What’s a false start you ask? Per the movement standards stated on the workout description, the workout starts with “the athlete standing tall.” If at the call of 3, 2, 1, go the athlete is bent over or not standing tall, then it is considered a false start. 

  • What wasn’t announced: Details regarding the time amounts assessed to each athlete, however, the Morning Chalk Up has learned through correspondence with one of the athletes that 5-second penalties were being assessed for the false start. 
MaleOveral Place Before PenalityUpdated PlacementDifferenceFemaleOveral Place Before PenalityUpdated PlacementDifference
Federik Aegidius3486-483Sam Briggs8125-117
Cedric Lapointe11331-320Dani Speegle27270
Aaron Rabin57574-517Sasha Nievas9493+1
Lazar Dukic511055-1004Kristine Best4039+1
Luka Vunjak147781-634Alanna Fisk98-1
Dane Smith43594-551Meg Reardon2524+1
Simon Mantyla4138+3Andrea Nisler3634+2
Uldis Upenieks8578+7Ashley Shaeffer2524+1
Willy Georges2724+3Alexis Johnson106105+1
Jake Berman86+2Katelin Van Zyl3334-1
Dillon Cravens272261+11Hannah Hardy565567-2
Matt Morton6658+8Brooke Haas6367-4
Logan Collins1714+3
Sigurdur Prastarson116106+10

For the athletes tagged for a false start the overall repercussions were relatively mild, with the vast majority of them losing little to no ground on the leaderboard as a result. For the remaining athletes, the impact of the penalty can not be overstated and has effectively derailed their chances at a CrossFit Games spot through the Open. 

  • Sam Briggs: Penalized for two infractions in the workout, dropped from 7th worldwide to 126th worldwide and out of the top overall spot for the United Kingdom. Briggs took to social media to take responsibility for the penalty and ensure fans she’ll be taking her talents to Sanctionals to earn a spot. 
  • Cedric Lapointe: Who previously had the 2nd best time in 20.1 overall, dropped from a qualifying spot down to 332nd worldwide. Lapointe voiced his concerns and disapproval with the ruling via Instagram, going so far as to post the collection of all of his reps in question for the world to see and judge for themselves. 
  • Frederik Aegidius: Perhaps the most extreme of examples, Frederik was having his best Open performance of his career, sitting in 3rd place overall following what is currently the winning score for 20.2, has dropped all the way down to 489th worldwide and out of the top spot in Denmark. 

Additionally, Tyler Christophel was given a major penalty – that’s yet to be announced but has taken effect on the leaderboard – for someone else moving his dumbbells during the workout while he was not using them. With regards to this rule, there is conflicting language in the workout description compared to the shorthand bullet points contained on the workout’s PDF scorecard.

  • Per the website workout description: “Athletes may not receive assistance when picking up or setting down the dumbbells,” which seems to prevent an athlete gaining assistance with the dumbbells for the actual thruster reps, or setting the dumbbells on an object such as a box between rounds to shorten the range of motion for the first rep. 
  • Per the PDF scorecard: “Athletes may not receive any assistance moving the dumbbells,” which outlines a slightly different picture and points more towards no assistance moving the dumbbell whatsoever.
  • It should be noted: That no mention is made about receiving assistance in moving the double under handles, which if the spirit of the rule was to prevent any outside assistance under any circumstances, it would make sense to include that as well. 
  • The penalty dropped him from a top 20 qualifying spot in the Open worldwide to 296th, effectively ending his chances of qualifying for the Games through the Open. 

With a more thorough video review process, it was expected that more penalties were going to be doled out as a result, but this first batch of them is by far the largest collection of penalties assessed for a single Open workout. Full review is still pending for workout 20.2 so it remains to be seen if this is a trend that will continue the rest of the way, or if athletes will respond by tightening things up accordingly.


CrossFit Open

Sam Briggs | Cedric Lapointe | Lazar Dukic | Frederik Aegidius | Dane Smith | Dani Speegle | Sasha Nievas | Kristine Best | Meg Reardon | Andrea Nisler | Alexis Johnson | Katelin Van Zyl | Brooke Haas | Simon Mäntylä | Uldis Upenieks | Willy Georges | Jake Berman | Matt Morton | Logan Collins

Get The Newsletter

For a daily Digest of all things CrossFit. Community, Athletes, Tips, Recipes, Deals and more.

Support Our Journalism

More than ever before, we need your help to keep all this going. If you’ve enjoyed our work, become a Premium Member and help ensure that we can continue to be an independent voice for this community and sport we love.

Support Us

Your Coffee is ready.