CrossFit Games

Understanding CrossFit’s Strength of Field for Semifinals

February 9, 2023 by
Arielle Loewen | CrossFit Games(@ariellearm | @crossfitgames)
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This season CrossFit has introduced a number of new changes as they begin laying the foundation for a more standardized and consistent model in qualifying athletes for the CrossFit Games. 

We’ve seen the introduction of the new worldwide ranking system and a process for rewarding regions for their strength each year by giving them the opportunity to earn additional Games qualifying spots. Today we’re giving you a high level overview of how the new strength-of-field calculation works. 

Overview: There are 40 CrossFit Games qualifying spots for each of the male and female divisions. This year, 23 of those spots will be guaranteed, being distributed across seven Semifinal regions:

  • North America West: 5
  • North America East: 5
  • Europe: 5
  • Oceania: 3
  • South America: 2
  • Asia: 2
  • Africa: 1

Of the 40 spots, 17 will be reserved for the strength-of-field calculation, which will use the top 100 athletes in the worldwide rankings after the 2023 Quarterfinals to determine the final number of Games-qualifying positions at each Semifinal. 

The calculation: The strength-of-field calculation is based on the D’Hondt method, which will use rounds of calculation to award qualifying spots after each round. Since there are 17 unassigned Games positions, it means there will be a total of 17 rounds using the below calculation. 

Score = Region’s # of Athletes in the Top 100 Worldwide / Region’s # of Additional Positions Awarded + 1

How it works: The region with the highest score during a round of calculation will be awarded an additional qualifying position, with each round recalculating based on the new scoring. 

  • For the first round, the region with the most athletes in the top 100 will be rewarded the first of 17 qualifying spots, since the denominator will be one. 
  • Each time a region is awarded a qualifying spot, their score will decrease as the denominator increases. 
  • Although the score will decrease as positions are awarded, regions with a larger number of athletes in the top 100 will have a major advantage. CrossFit provided a full hypothetical example in their most recent article showcasing this.

The bottom line: The introduction of the worldwide ranking system provides an objective way to rate athletes and will play a major part in qualifying over 40 percent of the individual Games field (17 out of 40 qualifying spots). The regions with more athletes in the top 100 worldwide will be much more likely to gain additional qualifying spots for the Games. 

For further explanation, you can reference this episode of the CrossFit Games Podcast, which breaks things down in a 30 minute conversation between Chase Ingraham, Adrian Bozman and Dave Eubanks.

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