Meeting Between Masters Fitness Collective, Castro and Roza Sparks Hope for Masters Division Games Future

December 13, 2020 by
Courtesy of Kay Wiese
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Over the years, the masters competition season has largely taken a backseat to the individual and team competitions at the CrossFit Games, much to the dismay of many masters athletes. However, when CrossFit canceled the masters division in the 2020 CrossFit Games, one organization, The Master’s Fitness Collective, stepped up to fill the gap, hosting what became the replacement end-of-season competition for masters athletes.

One big thing: Since then, the Master’s Fitness Collective has become a voice for the masters community, lobbying to CrossFit for the recognition and the season that they deserve. Last Tuesday, the Master’s Fitness Collective teased on Instagram the potential for some big changes to the masters season. 

  • “Thank you to Eric Roza and Dave Castro for taking the time to talk and brainstorm with MFC,” the post read. 
  • “Masters athletes can rest assured knowing that CrossFit and CrossFit Games leadership is not only listening to you but also starting to make changes for your season.”

Remind me: The masters division has long had a history of being overlooked in the CrossFit Games season. In 2019, CrossFit cut the total number of Games qualifiers in each division to just ten athletes and cut the livestream broadcast of the age groups as well.

  • Despite age group athletes making up close to 50% of Open participants in 2020, it still seems that CrossFit has never really given masters athletes their due. 
  • In the opening press conference of the 2019 CrossFit Games, Greg Glassman, then CEO, was asked why he wouldn’t consider focusing on the masters division as part of the new CrossFit Health campaign.
  • Glassman: “I got people that can’t get up off the couch and when they get off the couch they go to the refrigerator and they grab the wrong thing. And so, all those studs and studettes in their 60’s and 70’s, and they look just amazing, it’s amazing what they do, I’m amazed by that but I don’t think they’re an inspiration to anybody.”
  • Glassman’s comments coupled with the reduced coverage of the masters athletes sparked frustration in the masters community, which would be perpetuated when CrossFit cut the masters division entirely from the games in 2020.    

The details so far: While nothing is officially confirmed, the conversation between Petras, Roza, and Castro served as a starting point for what will hopefully become the new and improved masters season.

  • “My big takeaway from the call was that they’re really listening to the masters community and they want to make it a great experience. They understand that that wasn’t always the case in the past,” Petras said.
  • “Eric and Dave are really committed to making sure the masters community is well represented,” he added.
  • Petras also added that there have been talks of expanding the number of athletes moving forward in the age group qualifier, as well as the final number that qualify for the games.

Nothing is final yet: Due to the ever-changing nature of the 2021 season during a global pandemic, Petras made it clear that everything discussed is still a work in progress.

  • “They want to stay in touch with us [Master’s Fitness Collective] and keep it as a fluid conversation,” he said.
  • “Everyone has to be realistic that with the global pandemic they’re doing the best they can. This might not be a season with a ton of change but we can see them in the foreseeable future,” Petras added.

The bottom line: For many years, masters have been the side show to the individual division at the CrossFit Games. While the global pandemic may have put major changes on hold for the 2021 season, masters have reason to hope that they will no longer be an afterthought for the CrossFit Games community.

  • In his final thoughts, Petras said, “I think it’s cool that they’re taking the time to talk to the community instead of putting something out there that the community is not in total agreement with.”

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