CrossFit Games

My Take: We Need More Transparency in Rulebook Releases, Here’s How

April 6, 2022 by
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On March 31, 2022, the CrossFit Games staff posted an update to the official 2022 season rulebook, adding in much-awaited details for semifinal payouts. While we received a heads up about the update because we asked to be informed when the information was released, no public notification or announcement was made that the rulebook was updated, and herein lies the problem.

One big thing: Last week’s update wasn’t the first this season, nor was it the first that wasn’t announced. This is potentially the 4th version of the 2022 rulebook in what’s becoming an increasingly commonplace practice of rolling mid-season rulebook updates and even more concerning is that few are aware if and when the rulebook is updated, and what’s changed.

  • In 2021, there were an estimated eight to twelve editions according to Brent Fikowski, a leader for the Professional Fitness Athlete’s Association (PFAA).
  • This season, the first version was released December 28, 2021 and published with a V10 printed in the lower left corner. The edition that was just updated, is V13, which could be the fourth edition.
  • Morning Chalk Up has reviewed V10, V12 and V13 and verified that there are changes. We were unable to track down V11 in order to verify that this is the fourth edition this season.

What athlete’s are saying: “Communication has definitely improved. Last year, the rulebook was updated eight to 12 times in a couple of months, and as an athlete it became confusing like how many times do I need to go through the rulebook and skim through it to see what’s updated?” Fikowski said.

  • “Is there some other change happening in the rulebook that maybe I’m not aware of being quarters or semis. How often do I as an athlete need to read the rulebook is a question that comes up?”

The big picture: CrossFit is doing a much better job of publishing the rulebook as early as possible, and certain rolling updates are to be expected in terms of prize money for the Games and semifinals, but without a formal announcement and itemized list of updates, it’s extremely hard for athletes, coaches and interested parties (including ourselves) to verify which elements have changed as the rulebook spans nearly 40 pages.

My take: Here’s are four suggestions for increasing transparency in rulebook releases:

  1. Have clear nomenclature on each rulebook to designate which version it is. For example, don’t write V10 or V12, write Version 12, and don’t start the first version of the season with V10. Instead start with V1 so updates are clearly in order.
  2. Add an updated date next to the version (Ex. Version 13, updated March 31, 2022).
  3. Each time the rulebook is updated, post an announcement on detailing what was changed.
  4. Link back to previous versions of the rulebook so anyone can reference back and see the changes over time.

None of these are groundbreaking steps, but they’re also not backbreaking either, that is to say they’re not a heavy lift and would continue to build and develop trust for this growing sport moving forward.

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