Updated CrossFit Games Rulebook Clarifies Semifinals, Last-Chance Qualifier

February 2, 2021 by
Photo Credit: CrossFit LLC
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Two of the biggest omissions from the initial release of the 2021 CrossFit Games rulebook was the lack of information on both the Semifinal Championships and Last Chance Qualifier, the final two elements to determine who will compete at this season’s Games. On Tuesday afternoon HQ released an updated version that attempted to answer those questions regarding the 2021 Games qualifying format. Here are the new additions:

The Semifinal Championships: Section 4 of the rulebook addresses the Semifinal Championships qualifying process.

  • 80 total individual athletes will be competing at the 2021 Games, forty each from the men’s and women’s divisions.
  • 76 of those athletes will qualify for the Games through the Semifinals (38 men and 38 women). The Games qualifiers coming from each Semifinal are as follows: (4.13)
    • North America: Top 5 men and top 5 women advance to the Games from each Semifinal competition.
    • Europe: Top 5 men and top 5 women advance to the Games from each Semifinal competition.
    • Oceania: Top 3 men and top 3 women, advance to the Games.
    • Asia: Top 2 men, top 2 women advance to the Games.
    • South America: Top 2 men and top 2 women advance to the Games.
    • Africa: The top man and top woman advance to the Games.
  • The Semifinals invitation process for individual athletes starts after the video review of the Quarterfinals is completed by April 19, 2021 with the number of athletes receiving invitations by continent in the following manner: (4.02)
    • North America: Top 120 men and women; 30 men and women will compete at each Semifinal event.
    • Europe: Top 60 men and women; 30 men and women will compete at each Semifinal event.
    • Oceania: Top 30 men and women.
    • Asia: Top 30 men and women.
    • South America: Top 30 men and women.
    • Africa: Top 30 men and women.
  • Regarding the seeding process and what athletes will be competing at the four North American and two European Semifinals, CrossFit will have that determined before invitations are sent after the Quarterfinals. (4.03)
  • Athletes must accept their invitation to a Semifinal championship by May 4, 2021, at 5 PM PT, or forfeit their individual spot. By this deadline, athletes must also declare whether they will compete as an individual or, if applicable, as a member of a team at the Semifinal competition; they must choose one or the other. (4.04)
  • However individual Semifinal athletes who do not qualify for the Games at their respective competition are eligible to compete for a team at the Games if that team has qualified and that individual has continued to meet all the team requirements throughout the season. (4.04)
  • What the rulebook says about teams in regards to the Semifinals is in-line with what they have for individual athletes with the exception of some dates and athlete numbers.
  • The number of teams that will advance from the Semifinals to compete at the Games are as follows: (4.13)
    • North America: Top 5 teams advance to the Games from each Semifinal competition.
    • Europe: Top 5 teams advance to the Games from each Semifinal competition.
    • Oceania: Top 3 teams advance to the Games.
    • Asia: Top 2 teams advance to the Games.
    • South America: Top 2 teams advance to the Games.
    • Africa: The top team advance to the Games.
  • In terms of which teams will be invited to compete at the Semifinals, that will be finalized after the Quarterfinal video review process on May 3, 2021, at 5 PM PT. (4.05)
    • North America: Top 80 teams; 20 teams will compete at each Semifinal event.
    • Europe: Top 40 teams; 20 teams will compete at each Semifinal event.
    • Oceania: Top 20 teams.
    • Asia: Top 20 teams.
    • South America: Top 20 teams.
    • Africa: Top 20 teams.
  • Teams must accept their invitation to a Semifinal event by May 11, 2021, at 5 PM PT or forfeit their spot. Rosters must also be declared during registration and teams can be different from their Quarterfinals team as long as those athletes are on the roster and have entered at least one valid score during the Open. (4.07)
  • The rulebook addresses COVID-19 with a policy that states that “If, for any reason, a live, in-person Semifinals event is cancelled, the competition will move to an online format hosted by CrossFit, LLC” with the online Semifinal event will taking place on the same weekend as the original date of the in-person competition. (4.16)
  • Rule 4.16 also states that “In the event that a Semifinal competition is canceled, CrossFit, LLC (or any party) has no obligation to award any prize money”.

The Last Chance Qualifier: Section 5 of the rulebook discusses the Last-Chance Qualifier where individual athletes who missed qualifying for the Games from the Semifinals will get another chance to make the trip to Madison, Wisconsin.

  • The four remaining Games invites will be online, two each for the men and women’s division. (5.08)
  • The Last Chance Qualifier is reserved for Individual athletes that finished within three spots of a Games qualifying position: (5.01)
    • North America: Athletes who finished 6th-8th place at each Semifinal competition.
    • Europe: Athletes who finished 6th-8th place at each Semifinal competition.
    • Oceania: Athletes who finished 4th-6th place.
    • Asia: Athletes who finished 3rd-5th place.
    • South America: Athletes who finished 3rd-5th place.
    • Africa: Athletes who finished 2nd-4th place.
  • The Last Chance Qualifier will be an online competition that takes place the week of June 28,2021-July 4, 2021. (5.01)

Amended Dates in Team Rules: In the wake of CrossFit Mayhem Freedom’s introduction to their new team, the rulebook changed three rules from the earlier copy of the rulebook released on January 7, 2021. Among them are:

  • Changed the start date of when athletes must begin primarily training with their team at the same affiliate no later than February 15, 2021. (1.12)
  • The rule is explained in further detail in rule 1.14 with the new date of February 15, 2021 being the new cut-off date for reaching team eligibility requirements.
  • Rule 1.17 in regards to changing the affiliate Licensee of Record (LOR) was also changed to February 15, 2021.

The bottom line: The updated rulebook paints a better picture of what to expect from the Semifinal stage and beyond, however there are still some notable omissions. Specifically the rulebook doesn’t disclose the exact competition dates, location and what sanctioned entity will host each Semifinal. Additionally there is a section for cash prizes (4.14) for the Semifinals in the rulebook but does not state the dollar amount of those prizes or to what places the payouts will go to. This shows that it’s important to remember that the Games rulebook is a working document and that due to both the state of CrossFit and the world still dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic that changes are inevitable.

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