Saturday afternoon, CrossFit HQ revealed much-anticipated details on the upcoming 2020 CrossFit Games, laying out how many athletes will be invited and specific criteria for those invitations.
- As expected and hinted at by Castro, the 2020 Games field will be reduced.
- The top 20 men and women from the Open will receive invitations.
- The ten Sanctional champions will receive invites as well.
- National champions will not receive invitations.
- There will be no team competition.
- The Games will reset at the start of the 2021 season (with national champions, age groups and teams).
- The field of invited athletes may still be adjusted based on restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Breaking down the announcement:
- Based on the Open, national champions, sanctional winners and team invitations, the 2020 Games field was comprised of 332 athletes after the cancellation of the Age Group division. The field in Aromas will now include just 60 total athletes (30 men/30 women) barring any further cuts or reductions in the number of participants. This is an 82% reduction.
- That field will include the top 20 men and women from the Worldwide Open. National champion invites will no longer be honored.
- New invitations were sent out to the top 20 athletes in both the men and women’s divisions this afternoon as the announcement was made. They have until May 12 to accept or decline. If declined, the invite will then be extended to the next athlete outside the top 20. Per the Games rulebook, the Open invitations would take precedence over a Sanctional invitation.
- If a Sanctional Champion is in the top-20, their Sanctional invite would then be passed down to the next athlete who did not finish in the top-20. For example, Tia-Clair Toomey won Wodapalooza but because she finished fourth in the Open, her Sanctional invitation then would be passed down. Sara Sigmundsdottir (2nd) and Kari Pearce (3rd) each finished in the top-20 in the Open as well, so the Sanctional invite will go to fourth-place finisher Amanda Barnhart now and not 10th place finisher Emily Rolfe who originally received the invite before the newest changes. Barnhart placed 24th in the Open.
- As expected, the team division was canceled, marking the first time since the Games started in 2007 that the team competition will not be held.
- Due to the team division being canceled, team athletes who originally declined their invitation to compete as an individual after finishing in the top-20 will have a chance to accept their invite. Tommy Marquez discussed that scenario with the athletes who would fall into that category and yes, Rich Froning will still decline his invitation.
- With this announcement, HQ has essentially canceled the rest of the Sanctional season for those events who have postponed or have yet to announce their own cancelation.
The bottom line: The situation remains fluid especially in the age of the COVID-19 pandemic and HQ is expected to make more announcements in the coming weeks. More backfill athlete invitations will possibly be sent out in light of travel restrictions in place now and for the foreseeable future. Also, with California’s strict social distancing regulations, it is still possible that the Games will feature even fewer athletes or be canceled entirely. It is likely that many top CrossFitters will not be able to compete at this year’s Games and will have to look ahead to the 2021 Games.
** – Statistical support for this story provided by Chad Schroeder
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