Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up. We are tracking several alternative competitions being planned for age group athletes and teams this summer. Patrick Clark has a full rundown on what is in the works and Tommy Marquez provides a history lesson on the masters and teens division. Today:
The governor of California announced that professional sports could hold events as soon as early June, Editor-in-Chief Justin LoFranco breaks down what this means for the CrossFit Games in Aromas.
Alternative age group competitions raise a key question.
Know your history: masters and teens edition.
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Hope For the Games? California Says Pro Sports Could Resume June 1
California Governor Gavin Newsom brought some welcome news to CrossFit Games officials Monday when he set June 1 as a potential early start date for pro sports to return to the Golden State.
Governor Gavin Newsom: “Pro sports in that first week or so of June without spectators and modifications and very prescriptive conditions also can begin to move forward…if we hold these trend lines in the next number of weeks.”
Why it matters: This is the first clear sign by the state of allowing sporting events to take place in a timeframe that would fit the Games’ scheduled dates of July 29 – August 2. Up until this point, the Games’ status has remained largely unknown.
The big picture: There are still a lot of unknown factors here, namely how many participants on site officials will ultimately allow and what type of safety protocals will be mandated. However, the trend is moving in a positive direction and the Games is still more than two months away, which is plenty of time for the winds to shift further.
The bottom line: If professional sports teams are holding practice and even live games, then there will be little argument left against the CrossFit Games moving forward with their pared down plan.
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Age Group Athletes Find Alternative Competitions, Raising Questions about the CrossFit Games Supremacy
When CrossFit HQ announced the cancelations of the age group divisions and later the team competition for the 2020 CrossFit Games, it left 196 athletes without a conclusion to their season. The question of “what’s next” for those athletes was answered quickly as a number of organizations and even athletes themselves took matters into their own hands to end their seasons as intended — on
the competition floor.
One big thing: There is a giant question emerging as alternative competitions start to take shape and court major sponsors — will the CrossFit Games hold on to its position as the preeminent fitness competition in the world? From the standpoint of age group athletes and teams, that is an unanswered question. In the last 14 months, age group athletes have seen their divisions cut in half, live coverage discontinued entirely, and now their season championship canceled outright.
What are the alternatives?: When HQ announced that they would not crown a champion in the canceled divisions, athletes without a proper conclusion to their seasons expressed a breadth of emotions, most called for some sort of finality to all the hard work they put in, even during the COVID-19 pandemic. Heeding their requests, a number of events have stepped up to take on that demand.
In its fourth year of existence, the competition was originally set to take place at the Del Mar Fairgrounds in California on September 10-13. Due to the pandemic, they moved the location to Phoenix, Arizona and changed the date to December 10-13.
The competition offers 14 age group divisions, seven each for men and women. Those age groups are 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64 and 65+.
The top ten qualifiers from the 2020 CrossFit Age Group Online Qualifiers will receive automatic invites. For others, the competition will hold their online qualifier August 12-September 1.
Two workouts will be released each week during the qualifier.
If you take a look back at the early stages of any sport, there are a handful of formative years one could point to that have shaped and steered the sport towards its current status. On all levels, 2020 will certainly stand out in the history of the CrossFit Games, but for the age group divisions, the significance lies in their nonexistence.
How we got here: The cancellation of the remainder of the season for them has left many wondering about the future, as well as their significance and the purpose they serve in CrossFit Inc.’s eyes. Barring any future hindrance from the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s safe to assume things will return to “normal,” for the 2021 season but what will the lasting impact be of a season lost to history for a growing demographic?
To quote Maya Angelou, “If you don’t know where you’ve come from, you don’t know where you’re going,” and it is probably a fair assessment to say that many don’t know the history of the age group divisions and their role in the sport up until now. So we’ve laid out in detail the history of the age groups divisions, as they’ve grown and morphed over time.
The early years: Before teenagers became a formal part of the CrossFit Games season, there was only the masters division, and what is now a multi-stage, six division competition began humbly as the Games made their first move outside their home in Aromas.
In 2010, moving the Games to what was then known as the Home Depot Center in Carson, California, also brought on the inception of the masters competition. There was one age division for both men and women and athletes took on three tests: Nancy, 1-rep max deadlift, and Fran as a finale. Fran was done on the tennis
stadium floor before the individual finals.
In 2011, inclusivity and growth was the focus of the sport, so with the advent of the CrossFit Games Open, the masters division was split into four age categories starting with the 45-50 division and ending with the 60+ age group. In lieu of a Regional competition, the Open was used as a direct qualifier and the test at the Games grew to five events over three days.
In this video, Kristi Eramo O’Connell teaches you how to cycle barbell hang cleans super fast by bouncing the bar off your thighs. Disclaimer, this is not a movement you will find in Olympic weightlifting, strictly a CrossFit adaptation for workouts with high volume hang cleans.
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After joining her team on the podium at the 2019 Crossfit Games, Jessica Griffith decided that she wanted to make a push for individual qualification in 2020. The Open did not pan out for qualification so Jessica, like many other athletes, turned to Crossfit Sanctional competitions to earn her invitation. We now know that the pandemic would change all of this, but check part one of this five-part miniseries from Misfit Athletics.
Congratulations to Sergio H., who was the first to correctly answer which two Games had two Individual Canadian men in the final Top 3. The correct answer was the 2007 and 2017 CrossFit Games. The Canadian men were: at the CFG07, James Fitzgerald was 1st and Brett Marshall was 2nd; at the CFG17, Brent Fikowski was 2nd and Patrick Vellner was 3rd. Note, this was Serio’s second time to be the first to correctly answered a trivia question.
Today’s question: How many Sanctionals have been held twice?
Small Business Benefit Program:CrossFit Coronado in Coronado, CA created a “Stronger Together” to help support small businesses. Similar to some other programs, customers could choose a small business at the time of purchase and all profits were donated to them. They also created a
scholarship fund for 2020 graduating seniors named for Lt. Col. Michael Marriott, a coach and community member who passed away in 2018 due to pancreatic cancer.
Keala Foundation Kids Class Guest Coaches: Every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday at 4pm EST, 1pm PST (10am HST), the Keala Foundation hosts a kids class for kids ages 4-18 with special guest coaches. Chris Hinshaw coached on May 18, Dave Newman coaches today, and Dan Bailey will coach on May 21. You can join the kids class by sending an email.