CrossFit Announces Season Boundaries For 2021

January 6, 2021 by
Image Credit: CrossFit LLC
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We are less than a week into the 2021 calendar year and Dave Castro is up to his old tricks again. CrossFit’s General Manager of Sport took to Instagram Tuesday evening to tease some upcoming details about the season, as well as reveal how the world would be divided up structurally for the 2021 Games season. 

Continental divide: Castro revealed that the boundaries used to determine six of the world’s seven continents (excluding Antarctica) would be used to divvy up the world into six regions accordingly for the season, making good on comments made during his appearance on the Talking Elite FItness podcast where he hinted that the world would be split up based on “areas in the world…already defined by society,” before letting the word continents slip out later in the episode.

One big thing: The sport is no stranger to change considering the announcement representing the 7th different boundary structure used during the season to organize athletes on their path to the CrossFit Games, and the six continents represent the smallest organizational structure in terms of total groups so far.

  • In 2009, qualification was sorted by more than a dozen regional competitions that included a motley of formats and names including the Hell’s Half Acre, the Northeast, the Dirty South, and the Icelandic Regional Qualifier. 
  • In 2010, Sectional Qualifiers were added, and filtered into 13 Regionals with familiar names like the Europe, Southwest, and North Central Regional Qualifier.
  • In 2011, there was expansion, and in addition to the Open, four more Regionals were added as Canada was split into East/West, and the Northern California, Southern California, and the Mid-Atlantic Regionals were added.
  • In 2015 Regionals were condensed into what were casually referred to as “Super Regionals” and the 17 regions used previously now filtered into the Atlantic, California, Central, East, Meridian, Pacific, South, and West Regional competitions.
  • In 2018, things shifted again, this time with new Regional boundaries and competitions as the total number of events grew to nine with the creation of the Europe and Latin America Regionals and the former California Regional merged into the West Regional.
  • In 2019, it was a free-for-all as all previous global structuring was abandoned and in its place came the inclusion of a direct path to the Games through the Open for national champions of 121 different countries. 

Which brings us to the present day and the six continents that will be the buoys that steer the ship, and based on previous comments from Castro and recent announcements about the season structure, the 10 semifinal event partners will be grouped using these boundaries and recent participatory numbers from the Open. 

  • Using the registration numbers from 2018 when the Open was at its peak the percentage breakdown based on the new continental structure is as follows: North America 62.8%, Europe 19.2%, Oceana 6.8%, South America 6.2%, Africa 2.6%*, Asia 2.5%*
  • Looking at the planned Sanctionals from 2020, the representation of each continent based on events last season would have been: North America 35.7%, Europe 32.1%, Oceana 7.1%, South America 7.1%, Africa 7.1%, Asia 10.9%

*In 2018 the middle east region was grouped with Africa, but is grouped into Asia for the 2021 season.

More to come: The partitioning of partner events will likely be announced with the rulebook or shortly thereafter, and based on Castro’s clue we should expect more developments in the coming days. 

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