Course Correction: CrossFit HQ Reverses Decision to Allow Italian Online Sanctional

March 13, 2020 by
Photo courtesy: games.crossfit.com
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The CrossFit Italian Showdown today announced that they would no longer hold their event online after CrossFit HQ reversed its initial decision to allow it to be hosted online. Italian Showdown staff was notified that if they chose to conduct the event online, they could no longer grant the winners invitations to the CrossFit Games. The reversal comes 48 hours after the news was first reported. As a result, organizers decided to postpone the event until a later date in order to maintain its status as an invitation-granting Sanctional.

What they’re saying: “An additional online event doesn’t make sense anymore if it’s not going to reward the winners with the [CrossFit] Games invite. So we stick to the original format, but postponed,” said Carlo Strati, director of the CrossFit Italian Showdown.

Why it matters: The move by HQ to require that the Italian Showdown take place live in order to receive Games invites sends a clear signal that Sanctional events must be conducted live and not online. It also protects the CrossFit Open and AGOQ as the only means of qualification for individuals through an online competition.

  • When the decision was originally made to allow the Italian Sanctional to run online, only one other Sanctional had postponed — the Asia CrossFit Championship. With five more events postponing after Italy, it could have opened pandora’s box for the Sanctional season, introducing new complications for policing multiple online competitions at once without a clear path for doing so.
  • While the requirement that an event takes place live is not stipulated in the Sanctional agreement according to one organizer who agreed to discuss the contract on the condition of anonymity, it appears to be the standard for handing out invites going forward.

The bottom line: As much as this is unfortunate for Italy, it’s probably the right thing to do for the sport as a whole.

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