Next Up on the Chopping Block? The Team Division
It’s been a week since the CrossFit Games announced the end of the age group season, and recent mentions by Director of the Games Dave Castro that more announcements were in the pipeline have left the community speculating on the fate of the team competition.
The common sentiment amongst athletes and community leaders is that it is only a matter of time before the team competition gets the flaming arrow and follows the age group divisions into Valhalla for 2020.
- The potential saving grace would be that only 9 teams have earned an invite so far and that the total number of athletes (36) competing would be reasonable, and present less of an issue than the age groups.
If teams do get the ax, it leaves a select group of individuals in an interesting predicament. These athletes qualified for the Games as individuals through the Open and earned invitations on teams through Sanctionals. They declined their individual invites under the assumption that there would actually be a team competition to participate in.
- Andrea Nisler, Brooke Haas, Taylor Williamson, Brandon Luckett, Rich Froning, and Roy Gamboa, could all make the case that they should be re-offered their individual invites from the Open again.
- 153 Men and 143 Women are currently on tap for the Games as individuals, so adding three more athletes to each division for whatever filtering process HQ has in store before Aromas shouldn’t be a heavy lift.
Spoiler alert: We reached out to each athlete, and as expected Rich Froning would still decline his invitation, but the remaining athletes seemed interested to varying degrees in competing as individuals if given the opportunity.
- Haas (ROMWOD Meat Squad): “I would (compete) yes — and will petition to get my spot back if they aren’t going to offer it. I along with the other ladies declined only with the thought of still competing at the Games this year. Getting that individual invite is much harder to acquire, and we deserve it back.”
- Luckett (Chike MisFits): “I had earned the individual invite but declined it for the chance to compete with my team, but an unforeseen conflict may prevent that from happening. So I don’t feel like my chance to compete as an individual should be completely revoked. In the end, I understand if I don’t get back the invite, but I would love to get it back nonetheless”
- Nisler (P10): “There is talk about doing a team comp at Mayhem, so I’d probably choose to do that instead. Indy stuff just isn’t for me. However, if the Games were to take place after the Mayhem team event, I may entertain the thought just to see the Ranch and avoid FOMO.”
- Williamson (P10): “I would definitely consider it under one condition. We are looking at having a competition at CrossFit Mayhem sometime around the Games and that would be my priority. If they happened to be on the same weekend or say, the team event was the weekend after, I would decline my individual invite.”
You heard that right, a team competition at CrossFit Mayhem is in the early stages of being planned as an opportunity for the 9 teams that earned an invite through Sanctionals to be able to compete and showcase their talents in the event that the team competition at the Games gets canceled. Details and logistics are still being determined, but there is the potential for a few wild card spots to be available to additional teams to help round out the field as well.
We’ll have to wait and see what the fate of the team competition athletes will be, but the Mayhem competition would be an excellent way to fill the void. Either way, athletes that rightfully earned an invite through the Open deserve to have the option to choose.