The Games Go Online, Top 5 Fly to California “Weeks” Later for Finals
Friday afternoon, CrossFit HQ revealed sweeping changes to the Games format, breaking it up into two parts: an online in-country competition involving all 30 male and female athletes and a second in-person competition with the top 5 men and women.
Details so far:
- The roster will consist of 30 men and women selected based upon their Open and Sanctionals performances. We don’t have an updated list from this, but it’s likely that all athletes will accept and compete at this point with no travel limitations.
- The first stage of the competition will take place online sometime in September.
- The top 5 men and women will be flown out to northern California to compete “roughly 4-5 weeks later.”
- Prize money for athletes who finish sixth through 30th will be determined based on final placement in stage one. The CrossFit Games only pays out through 20th place, which earns $8,000, so 21st through 30th don’t make any money.
- A judge from “CrossFit’s Seminar Staff” will be assigned to each athlete.
- “All events will be filmed and streamed” but CrossFit did not designate whether that would include both stages of competition.
- Athletes do not have to compete at the same time like at the Rogue Invitational, according to several athletes briefed on a Friday call with CrossFit HQ.
One very big question: Will there be drug tests for athletes who finish six through 30?
Here are a few other questions that came up after discussing the changes with several athletes set to compete:
- Will athletes be allowed to repeat workouts or is it one and done?
- How will the event be scored? Is it Open style where the athlete with the lowest total score wins or top-down scoring where first place is awarded 100 points?
- Will there be standardization of equipment? According to several athletes on the call, CrossFit isn’t sending out equipment like Rogue did.
Silver lining: Roman Khrennikov will be competing at his first CrossFit Games ever. Despite qualifying for the Games the past three years, he’s been unable to compete in person due to visa issues.
- More on why in this interview.
One big thing: The decision Immediately solves a myriad of travel issues for the large cohort of international athletes who otherwise faced challenging if not impossible travel situations. Orchestrating visas for 29 overseas athletes from 16 countries is a logistical nightmare.
- As Dave Castro noted, “The world is dealing with an unprecedented crisis…After extensive discussions with athletes and public health officials, we decided that this format was the best way to preserve the spirit and substance of the Games.”
For what it’s worth, Dave Castro’s title is now CrossFit Director of Sport.