CrossFit Introduces Worldwide Ranking System
The Semifinal stage of the CrossFit season has been under refinement since Regionals were axed in 2019. Now, a new framework to bring the most competitive field to the Games is being put in motion. Beginning with the 2023 season, CrossFit is introducing a new worldwide athlete ranking system to help find the fittest 40 men and 40 women on earth.
How it works: The new athlete ranking system was inspired by professional tennis and golf, using past performance to help determine a more objective ranking.
- Each region has been assigned a minimum number of qualifying spots for the CrossFit Games at their Semifinal.
- Athlete rankings will be based on performance in the Open, Quarterfinals, Semifinals, and Games from the previous two years.
- Rankings will determine the strength of each competitive region using a strength of field calculation.
- The more competitive regions will be given additional qualifying spots for the CrossFit Games, while the less competitive regions will retain their minimum number of qualifying spots.
Regional breakdown: In the most recent Hopper email, the CrossFit Games team announced the minimum number of qualifying spots for each 2023 Semifinal:
- North America East: Top 5 Men and Women
- North America West: Top 5 Men and Women
- Europe: Top 5 Men and Women
- Oceania: Top 3 Men and Women
- South America: Top 2 Men and Women
- Asia: Top 2 Men and Women
- Africa: Top Man and Woman
Reminders: The Semifinals receiving the additional qualifying Games spots will not be announced until after the 2023 individual online Quarterfinals (March 16-19).
- There are 17 additional Games spots that will be allocated based on the strength of field calculation.
- The number of qualifying spots at each Semifinal may differ between the men’s and women’s divisions, due to the strength of field calculation and ranking system.
What we don’t know: With the announcement of this new ranking system and strength of field calculation, several variables besides past performance may need to be considered.
- Division Changes: Annie Thorisdottir and Sam Cournoyer are expected to return from the team division back to individual. How will athletes moving from the teen or team divisions into individual be affected by this new system?
- Travel Restrictions: Roman Khrennikov finished second at the CrossFit Games, but most likely would have had a poor ranking with this system due to circumstances outside his control over the last several years. How will situations like this be handled?
- Drug bans: Ricky Garard returned after a four-year drug ban and took third place at the 2022 CrossFit Games. If this system was in place, he would have had no basis for rankings, affecting the considered strength of his region. If other athletes are returning from a drug ban, how will it affect their ranking?
- Injuries: If athletes missed a season due to injury, how will their rankings be affected?
The bottom line: Specific details used to establish ranking and strength of field will be released before the start of the Open on February 16th. Dave Eubanks, the Senior Manager of the Competition Team at CrossFit recently said on the Talking Elite Fitness Podcast the team at HQ “really want(s) to get it right before the season starts”, and will be releasing further details closer to the start of the Open on February 16th.