Semifinal Payouts to Be Uniform, Organizers Say

April 22, 2021 by
Photo courtesy of CrossFit LLC.
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Multiple Semifinal organizers confirmed that prize purses for their upcoming events would be set by CrossFit and uniform across the board. Additionally, Semifinals said they also wouldn’t be responsible for supplying the money for the prize purses. 

One big thing: The change from the previous two CrossFit Games seasons where individual events had discretion over their prize purses does two things automatically: 

  1. Removes the burden on cash-strapped Semifinals to come up with bigger and bigger purses.
  2. Standardizes prize payouts across the board. Since athletes can neither compete in more than one Semifinal event nor select their own events, inconsistent payouts would unfairly favor athletes competing at one event over another.

It’s also worth noting that standardizing payouts has the potential to curtail top-end payouts. During the two years of Sanctionals, organizers pushed payouts levels to $50,000 for first place, not including individual event wins. Higher earning incentives played a significant factor in deciding where to compete, and allowed both Patrick Vellner and Sara Sigmundsdottir to earn the second highest last season even without significant Games payouts.

  • There are still three former Sanctionals that will exist outside of the regular season: Dubai, Rogue Invitational and Wodapalooza. 
  • All three have offered up similar prize purses that are the largest outside of the CrossFit Games. 

Some big money examples: Though not all of these events went forward as planned, here are some of the highest prize purses offered from the shortened 2019-2020 Games season:

  • Dubai CrossFit Championship — $50,000 + event win bonuses
  • Rogue Invitational — $50,000 + event win bonuses
  • Wodapalooza — $50,000 + event win bonuses
  • West Coast Classic — $40,000
  • Granite Games — $25,000
  • Filthy150 — $12,000 
  • French Throwdown — $11,000
  • Madrid CrossFit Championship — $10,000

Regionals prize purses: In the old system, CrossFit awarded cash prizes to the top five individuals and teams at each region, though overall winners of the Open were not awarded any prize money. In 2018, the regional prize purse was as follows:

  • First place: $5000
  • Second place: $4000
  • Third place: $3000
  • Fourth place: $2000
  • Fifth place: $1000

Why these payouts could be getting a significant boost. Though the prizes were small, barely covering the expenses athletes incurred to train, travel, and compete at Regionals, they were a significant step up from the CrossFit Open, which didn’t award any prizes for overall winners, only individual workout winners. 

  • The 2021 CrossFit Open reversed course, paying out for the first time $15,000, $10,000, $7500, $6000, $5000 to first through fifth overall, plus $2021 to each worldwide event winner. 
  • It’s hard to imagine that top placements at a Semifinal event would pay out any less than the Open considering the significance of the event. 
  • As far as the 2021 CrossFit Games payouts are concerned, CrossFit confirmed that NOBULL will be supplying the largest prize purse ever in CrossFit Games history.

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