Breaking: CrossFit Announces Atlas Games and German Throwdown to Be Virtual, Catchall Virtual Semifinal Added to Season

March 31, 2021 by
Credit: CrossFit LLC
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On Wednesday, the CrossFit Games announced that due to COVID-related travel restrictions and potential regulations surrounding live sporting events and other large gatherings, the Atlas Games and the German Throwdown would transition to virtual events hosted by CrossFit.

CrossFit also announced the addition of a Catchall Virtual Semifinal, which will take place in Week Four (June 18-20). This is event will allow athletes who are unable to travel to their assigned Semifinal due to COVID restrictions a chance to compete prior to the Last-Chance Qualifier.

Remind me: The Atlas Games and the German Throwdown are two of the ten (now 11) Semifinals scheduled to take place in the 2021 season.

  • The Atlas Games was originally scheduled to take place in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, on June 18-20. In the 2020 season, the Atlas Games suffered a heart-breaking cancellation as the event was shut down by the provincial government just prior to its start. Athletes and equipment were all ready to go.
  • The German Throwdown was originally scheduled to take place in Berlin, Germany on June 18-20. In the 2020 season, the German Throwdown was the third event to be postponed (and ultimately canceled) due to the COVID pandemic, following the Italian Showdown and the Asia CrossFit Championship. 

Worth noting: The inclusion of a new Catchall Virtual Semifinal corrects a deficiency in the original 2021 CrossFit Games season rulebook. Initially, if an athlete was unable to compete in their assigned Semifinal, they would automatically move to the Last-Chance Qualifier. In doing so though, they would only have one chance to advance to the Games while other athletes not facing such restrictions would have two chances between their assigned Semifinal and the Last-Chance Qualifier. 

  • At this point, it is unclear if the Catchall Virtual Semifinal will create additional invitations to the Games and if so, how many.

From the announcement: “CrossFit is actively monitoring evolving conditions around the COVID-19 pandemic in local markets hosting Semifinal events, including local health and event guidelines, and working closely with Semifinal organizers to address local circumstances.”

  • “After evaluating relevant travel restrictions and likely limitations on live sporting events, CrossFit and local event organizers have mutually decided to transition the German Throwdown and the Atlas Games to virtual events hosted by the CrossFit Games. Currently, all other Semifinals are moving forward as in-person events as originally planned.”
  • “In addition to scheduled Semifinal events, CrossFit has also added a Catchall Virtual Semifinal, which will take place in Week 4 (June 18-20). The Catchall Virtual Semifinal will allow any athletes who were unable to travel to their respective Semifinal due to local COVID restrictions a chance to compete. Athletes in the Catchall event will compete only against each other for a chance to advance.”

The bottom line: While the addition of the Catchall Virtual Semifinal presumably helps to even the playing field for athletes who previously would’ve had only one shot through the Last-Chance Qualifier, however, some questions remain. And, that some events are already moving online is reminiscent of the tumultuous 2020 season. A series of events that no one wants to repeat.

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