USA Functional Fitness to Host First Collegiate Competition

August 29, 2023 by
Photo Credit: USA Functional Fitness
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USA Functional Fitness is set to host its first “Collegiate National Functional Fitness Championship” competition in February 2024, a move the non-profit hopes to put them on the map as the national governing body of functional fitness. 

The competition will offer individual and pair divisions for any athlete 25 and under who is enrolled in a degree program at a US college or university, according to Gretchen Kittelberger, president of the International Functional Fitness Federation. Athletes competing in the pairs division must attend the same school. 

Remind me: The USA Functional Fitness Federation is a member of the International Functional Fitness Federation, which strives to “promote and grow functional fitness as a competitive sport in the US,” according to its website. 

This competition is a big starting point for USAFF, which is hoping to be recognized by the International University Sport Federation, a global sport engagement organization, and earn a spot at a future World University Games.

  • USAFF plans to provide several universities/colleges, who have functional fitness or CrossFit club programs and have assisted with the initial idea of this event, guaranteed entry to the pairs competition including: Penn State University, University of Pittsburgh, Naval Academy, West Point, University of Cincinnati, University of Miami, University of Ohio.
  • The remaining spots for the pairs competition is on a first come, first served basis and is open to the general public who fit the requirements.
  • “We’re also doing an individual division, but that is going to be an online qualifier and then we’ll take a small group of individuals to the live final,” said Kittelberger.
  • “But we wanted to really kind of focus on the pairs because we thought that was a little more fun for the collegiate age and the schools felt they had people that were more interested in the team side of it.” 

At the completion of the competition, one school will be crowned the National Functional Fitness Champion. Individuals will compete in six different categories, including endurance, strength, body weight, skill, mixed and power. Within each of those categories athletes can expect to see CrossFit-like tests, said Kittelberger. 

  • “If you didn’t know any better, and you were just looking at it, and you watched it, you’d be like, ‘Oh, it looks like a CrossFit competition’, right. But what we do in terms of format is we have a little bit of structure,” she said. 

There will be an Rx division and scaled division, where athletes earn points for their school and gain points for a podium position. Rx athletes will earn more points than scaled divisions will for the same placing, according to USAFF.

The bottom line: Whether an athlete is signing up as an individual, or as a team, this move by USAFF is a good start for the sport of functional fitness and for CrossFit to be recognized on a national level. Athletes can sign up now.

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