Kalis Games Gears Up for Online Competition

November 18, 2020 by
Credit: Kalis Games

On December 5 and 6, the Kalis Games will join the ranks of competitions going virtual, broadcasting their Finals live on Facebook and YouTube.

Remind me: Since 2018, the Kalis Games has been hosted annually in Manila, the capital of the Philippines. They call themselves more than a competition — a movement — “committed to bringing back and being true to the essence of the Asian core values of excellence, hard work, respect for one another, and valuing relationships.” 

  • The Kalis Games qualifiers are open to any member of the CrossFit community.
  • The event held qualifiers for their 10 divisions — RX Male, RX Male Masters 35-39, RX Male Masters 40+, RX Female, RX Female Masters 35+, Intermediate Male, Intermediate Male Masters 35+, Intermediate Female, Intermediate Female Masters 35+ — from late August to September. 

How it works: The two-day final event will be broadcast from all areas of the world. There are 94 athletes competing in the U.S., Latin America, Asia, Australia, the Middle East, and South Africa. 

  • A total of 35 affiliates in those areas are lending their facilities and event crews to competitors. 
  • To accommodate different time zones, the event has created a schedule for both the athletes and the broadcast. Competition days will look something like this: U.S.-based athletes will start, performing their workouts in the afternoon and evening on December 4. Following will be 9 heats from the Asia Pacific region (on December 5 their time), and the first day will end with the Middle East and South Africa. 
  • Scores will be broadcast at the end of the day, with winners declared after day two. 

Kalis Games has created a virtual version of their Vendor Village, which will launch in line with the competition on December 5. They’re also working to engage their community outside of the broadcast platform, through a workout series created in collaboration with Aerobic Capacity. The series will span several months and feature Chris Henshaw, founder of Aerobic Capacity, coaching through the Kalis Games Instagram. 

The workouts: Kalis Games workouts are programmed by Neal Maddox, a CrossFit Games Masters Champion and Games veteran. The five workouts (three on day one, two on day two) will be released ten days before the competition, to give athletes a chance to review and strategize. 

  • Founder of the games, Sunny Conde says that athletes and viewers can expect to see variations on benchmark workouts, a workout scored six ways involving an Erg, max lifts, and a jump rope workout. 

This format is a change from past Kalis Games finals, which have historically featured seven events over three days. Pivoting to a virtual event, according to Conde, meant they had to “redo everything.”

The bottom line: Similar to many competition organizers, Conde and the Kalis Games team considered cancelling the 2020 event. But, inspired by how hard athletes were training in lockdown, they organized a virtual version. It’s taken a lot of time, research, and has pushed the team out of their comfort zone, given that they’re a small organization with limited resources. 

  • “It’s taken a lot of time on my part, connecting with old friends who are box owners or fellow Regionals/Games judges and also meeting new friends (box owners and coaches as well), making calls, and sharing our vision of wanting to give athletes who are not “celebrities” the chance to showcase their hard work,” said Conde in an email.
  • “It’s both exciting and scary at the same time,” she continued, “But seeing our athletes push forward in spite of lockdowns inspires us to work hard on this as well.”

How to watch: The events will be streamed through Facebook and YouTube. Watch for more details on the Kalis Games Instagram page.

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