CrossFit Games

Team Semifinal Seeding Released: MACC Teams Get Two Weeks To Prepare

May 11, 2021 by
Credit: CrossFit LLC
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On Monday night, CrossFit announced that official Semifinal invitations were being sent to qualified teams and released the final team seeding for all Semifinal events. 

The ten CrossFit Semifinals will take place from May 28th until June 20th; the first two — Mid-Atlantic CrossFit Challenge in North America and Torian Pro in Australia — will kick off in just over two weeks.

One big thing: For this year’s Semifinals, teams were seeded based largely on location with Quarterfinal placements also playing a role.

  • According to CrossFit “Most continents have only one event so the teams on those continents are seeded based on their position on the Quarterfinal leaderboard for that continent.”
  • Because Europe has two Semifinal events, CrossFit placed the odd finishers of the top ten — first, third, fifth, seventh, and ninth — at the Lowlands Throwdown, while the even finishers — second, fourth, sixth, eight, and tenth — at the German Throwdown.

The North American Nightmare: Because of the size of North America and the number of Semifinals taking place across the continent over the next few months, the process for seeding the North American teams was much more complicated. 

According to CrossFit, the following guidelines were used to determine team placement:

  1. The top 10 teams in North America were given their first choice of Semifinal event.
  2. Teams living in the same state as an event were placed at that event (unless their first choice was elsewhere).
  3. All teams qualifying out of Canada and Mexico were placed in the online Atlas Games to accommodate travel restrictions related to COVID-19.
  4. The remaining teams were placed in events based on a combination of factors — including their stated preferences, Quarterfinal leaderboard positions, and past Games performances — to ensure an equitable distribution of the competitive field.

According to CrossFit, this method of seeding North American Semifinals ensured that an “overwhelming majority” of teams were given their first or second choice.

3…2..1..Go!: While CrossFit is known for throwing the unexpected at its athletes over the years, including 3 am plane trips to the Ranch in the middle of the Games and repeating events backwards once athletes hit the finish line, the 2021 Semifinals placement has taken “the unknown” to another level and created a logistical nightmare for many teams.

  • With the first North American Semifinal kicking off in just over two weeks, teams seeded at the Mid-Atlantic CrossFit Championship will need to find flights, book hotel rooms and adjust their programming in order to be competition ready on May 28th.
  • While CrossFit claims that most North American teams were given their first or second choice of Semifinal, teams didn’t have a solidified competition plan until last night when invitations were finally sent out.
  • Not only that, but according to the CrossFit Games 2021 rulebook, “If a significant number of invited teams choose not to compete, CrossFit, LLC may, at its sole discretion, invite additional teams based on the order of their finish during the Quarterfinals.”
  • This means that even more teams could receive backfill invitations over the next week, giving them an even shorter window to prepare for competition.
  • According to the CrossFit Games rulebook, teams have until 5pm PST on May 11th to accept their semifinal invitation.
  • However, according to emails sent last night, teams have until May 13th at 5pm PST to register, meaning that backfilling of teams could start Friday, which is exactly two weeks out from the first Semifinal event in North America.

What they’re saying: 

  • “It is very difficult to plan the logistics around training, traveling, and lodging for our teams with the specific dates and venue still unknown,” said Brett Collier of Koda CrossFit, who is sending five teams to Semifinals in North America this year.
  • “I understand that headquarters has a difficult job due to travel restrictions surrounding the pandemic and I am, overall, extremely happy with the changes that have been made to the 2021 season. This would be the one area that needs improvement/clarification on going forward,” he concluded.

The big picture: With just two weeks to go until Semifinals start, the 2021 CrossFit Games season is in full swing right now. As CrossFit shifts to the new season format there are bound to be hiccups and the logistical issues that teams now face are among the most significant.

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