BREAKING: The 2023 CrossFit Games Rulebook Has Arrived, Here’s What You Need To Know
CrossFit has dropped its 2023 NOBULL CrossFit Games Competition Rulebook, and we have a quick breakdown on some of the changes and things to know heading into the next season.
Notably, this is the earliest CrossFit HQ has dropped its rulebook in recent history:
- 2023 Season: Released November 15, 2022
- 2022 Season: December 28, 2021
- 2021 Season: January 7, 2021
- 2020 Season: August 28, 2019*
- 2019 Season: January 7, 2019
*the Open took place in October in 2020
As expected: The CrossFit Open will follow the same structure as previous years, with each week’s score(s) submission window opening on Thursday at 12:00 PM PT, and closing Monday at 5 PM PT. The 2023 CrossFit Open will begin on February 16th, and while the rulebook does not specify an end date for the Open, the CrossFit Games website cites that it will conclude March 6th; prompting again, a three-week competition of at least one test per week.
- Based on all released information, we can assume the 2023 Open will occur as follows:
- 23.1 releasing February 16
- 23.2 releasing February 23
- 23.3 releasing March 2
- Registration for the Open is set to begin on Thursday, November 17th. The cost of registration remains $20 per person.
- There are 36 total divisions for individual competitors, and there is one division for teams.
The region an athlete registers under and competes in during the season is determined by “citizenship at the close of the first Open score submission window.”
- Citizens of North America and Canada will be divided into East and West regions based on residency. For affiliated athletes, this is determined by the location of the affiliate they attend. For unaffiliated athletes, this is determined by home address.
- Athletes may only compete at the Semifinal competition designated for their region.
- Advancement for Age Groups and Adaptive athletes is still based on worldwide rankings, not by region.
One big thing: If athletes wish to compete at the Semifinal level in a region outside of their country of citizenship, they may request an exemption. With a deadline of Feb. 1, these will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
- If approved, the athlete’s competitive region and country flag on the leaderboard will be changed to the region they have requested to compete in for the 2023 season.
- Does this mean an athlete like Roman Khrennikov, who is currently staying in the US on an athlete’s visa, could wear the United States stars and stripes in this year’s award ceremony? We’re not sure, but this is certainly a change from previous years.
The “100-mile” residency rule is out. However, each Open test must be performed in the same physical location as the team’s affiliate.
- From Quarterfinals on, team rosters will be locked in for no less than four and no more than six athletes for the remainder of the season.
Last year, unaffiliated athletes were able to submit scores for the Open as long as they were judged and signed off by anyone who had passed the 2022 CrossFit Judges course. This year, that has changed.
- Scores are only valid if performed at a “validly licensed CrossFit affiliate gym in good standing” and approved by the affiliate manager.
- Alternatively, regardless of affiliation, athletes do have the option of uploading a video of their test to the CrossFit Games website for official validation.
Adaptive Athlete Season Changes
New this year, CrossFit will not provide specific, scaled versions of the adaptive division workouts.
- Athletes competing in the Rx division may request movement modifications that will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.
- Athletes submitting a scaled score on the leaderboard do not need to submit a modification request, and may adapt or scale as needed to “replicate the stimulus of the workout in accordance with their ability and fitness level.”
The Open will serve as the sole qualifying stage to the CrossFit Games for the three divisions competing in Madison— Multi Extremity (previously Neuromuscular), Lower Extremity, and Upper Extremity. The top five athletes in each division will advance.
- The Vision, Intellectual, Seated With Hip Function, Seated Without Hip Function, and Short Stature Divisions will crown their fittest in The Open.
- Once again, the podium finishers from each of these five divisions will be invited to a podium ceremony at the 2023 CrossFit Games in Madison, WI.
Semifinals and Beyond
As the sport ages, we are starting to see more and more athletes qualifying in multiple divisions. This year, CrossFit has clearly outlined the possible scenarios and the options available to those athletes.
- “Athletes who qualify in an age-group division, as an individual, and on a team can compete in the Online Age Group Semifinal, then they must choose whether to compete on a team or as an individual at the in-person Semifinal. They cannot compete both on a team and as an individual competitor.” (2023 CrossFit Games Rulebook, p. 20)
- As stated above, teams are locked into competition rosters from Quarterfinals on. In the event that an athlete listed on a team’s roster was to qualify and compete in the Individual Semifinal instead, that person would still be eligible to compete with the team at the CrossFit Games, should the team advance.
- Athletes are only able to compete in one division at the CrossFit Games.
CrossFit’s Oversight of Semifinals
Event operations are shifting back to CrossFit after being run by independent event organizers for the last four seasons. CrossFit will fully operate three Semifinal competitions (North America East, North America West, and Europe).
- The remaining four Semifinal competitions will be operated by other entities that have been officially sanctioned and licensed by CrossFit as part of the CrossFit Games season.
- Semifinals programming, score management, and invitations for these events will all be determined by CrossFit, LLC.
- A list of the countries and territories within each of the competitive regions is available here.
The new Semifinal Strength-of-Field calculation will use the worldwide rankings of athletes competing in each semifinal to determine which regions will split the final 17 spots to the CrossFit Games.
The total number of individual qualifying positions for each Semifinal will be announced before onsite registration at each Semifinal. Currently, this will only apply to the Individual division.
Backfill invites will be offered to no more than three athletes beyond a Games-qualifying position at Semifinals.
Each Semifinal will have a set number of Games-qualifying spots for Teams, strength-of-field does not yet apply to the team division.
- North America East: 10 teams
- North America West: 10 teams
- Europe: 10 teams
- Oceania: 3 teams
- Asia: 2 teams
- South America: 2 teams
- Africa: 1 team
Dates and Deadlines
- February 16 – March 6, 2023: CrossFit Open
- August 1 – 6, 2023: CrossFit Games in Madison, WI
- Prize money for all divisions will be released once the drug testing process has been finalized.
- February 1: Deadline to submit a regional exemption for the duration of the season
- Decisions will be communicated by February 16
- March 16: Individual Quarterfinals (Registration begins March 13)
- March 27: Individual Quarterfinals Leaderboard finalized
- March 28: Invitations sent for Individual Semifinals
- April 10: Deadline for Individuals to accept Semifinal invitation
- May 11: Semifinal workouts released
- Semifinals will take place over three consecutive weekends:
- May 18 – 21
- May 25 – 28
- June 1 – 4
- March 29: Team Quarterfinals (Registration begins March 20)
- Competition rosters are locked at this point for the remainder of the season.
- April 10: Team leaderboard will be set
- April 12: All Team Semifinal invitations will be emailed
- April 14: Deadline for Teams to accept Semifinal invitation
- Teams will compete at the same Semifinal events as Individuals.
- March 20: Age-Group Quarterfinals Invitations sent
- March 31 – April 2: Age Group Quarterfinals
- April 14: Age-Group Quarterfinals Leaderboard finalized
- April 17: Age-Group Semifinal Invitations will start to be sent
- Athletes must accept their invitation prior to the close of the first submission window.
- April 28 – 30: Age-Group Semifinals
- April 14: Finalization of Open leaderboard
- May 12: Invitations sent for Games
We still don’t know the location and exact date of each Semifinal competition, but these details are expected to come before the new year.
The rulebook is available here in full on CrossFit’s website.
The Drug Testing Policy has also been updated for the 2023 season and is available here.