“Where there is no vision, there is no hope.”- George Washington Carver
Return of the Super Teams in 2023?
Something initially lost in the shuffle of the announced changes from CrossFit regarding the 2023 season was the qualification process for teams. Based on what was initially released, it appears the strict eligibility requirements for the team division that were put in place prior to the 2021 season have been dramatically altered allowing the return of the “Super Teams”.
There’s not much in terms of details but the latest edition of CrossFit’snewsletter “The Hopper”, states:
“Anyone can join an affiliate’s team as long as each athlete performs all the Open tests at the affiliate’s physical location.”
The details: Based on just that statement and without any further information until the official 2023 rulebook is released in November, it appears that anyone can be placed on a team as long as they follow the following criteria:
Only CrossFit affiliates in good standing may register a team.
To verify an athlete’s eligibility, teams must be able to provide video evidence of each team member performing all the Open tests at their team’s affiliate.
Teams that qualify for the Quarterfinals will be required to designate six athletes (three men/three women) for their competitive roster for the remainder of the season.
Why it matters: The term “Super Teams” was made popular during the 2018 season with the formation of the Don’t Stop team which included past individual athletes Travis Williams, Jordan Cook, Sheila Barden and Rachel Garibay. Then 2019 saw an explosion of Super Teams formed and competing at the Games. The 2020 season doubled-down and featured even more “Super Teams” before the team competition was canceled at the Games due to the global pandemic.
There was some backlash from the community regarding that the team championship, the Affiliate Cup, was no longer about the affiliates and the community.
CrossFit answered with the implementation of stricter rules and criteria for the 2021 season to essentially eliminate the Super Teams.
General Manager of Sport for CrossFit Justin Bergh alluded to simplifying the eligibility requirements for the team division during the latest episode of Games Central after a 2022 season that saw a number of teams disqualified due to misinterpretation of the rules for team eligibility.
Some of those requirements consisted of living within 100 miles of the affiliate, keeping training logs and records to show the athletes were dedicating a certain amount of time training at the affiliate, ie: being an “active member”.
With what has been released, athletes competing on a team need to simply participate at the affiliate they are associated with for the Open and corresponding qualifying stages of the Games season. There are no distance requirements or “active member” requirements.
Dex Hopkins has made two appearances at the Games on a team, appearing at the 2015 and 2017 Games with his affiliate team CrossFit Maximus before qualifying for the Games in 2020 with the ROMWOD MeatSquad “Super Team”. When asked about the changes he stated, “I think the return to the wild Wild West takes a lot of the weird advantages off the table. Not everyone can give people a salary job or etc. to come be on their team. So this ‘levels’ the playing field, so to speak.
“I like the Open in that affiliate clause,” said Hopkins. “Again, love the moves to drive people to the affiliate again. But, I definitely see it as a positive. No holds barred, “You vs. me and the revolution.”
Christian Harris, who was a teammate of Hopkins on that ROMWOD MeatSquad “Super Team” and also a two-times Games qualifier on a team, had a different opinion on the rule changes.
“A bit frustrating in the sense that I’ve been doing my due diligence to scout talent, etc. to have ‘affiliate teams’ in accordance with previous years rules,” said Harris. “It would be nice to see some level of consistency from year to year.”
“Just when you think you have things figured out, they keep you guessing,” said Harris. “I’ll wait until November when the official rule book comes out.”
The bottom line: With the supposed retirement of Rich Froning from team competition after this past year’s Games, the team division is without their true superstar and bankable team in CrossFit Mayhem Freedom. This past year’s CrossFit Reykjavik team also brought attention to the division due to the star power surrounding it. The division needs new contenders and stars to keep interest, the “Super Teams” bring that element to the division.
You Won't Want to Miss the TYR Booth at Rogue
The Rogue Invitational is right around the corner.
As if you need another reason to be excited, here’s one: you can purchase merchandise currently sold out online at the TYR booth! Visit their booth for:
The CXT-1 Trainers, featuring patent-pending built in stability platform in five different colors
The L1 Lifters, the first-ever anatomical lifting shoe, built in collaboration with Squat University, available in three colors
And be on the lookout for the star studded TYR athlete lineup including Pat Vellner, Noah Olsen, Ellie Turner, Annie Thorisdottir and more!
In case you missed it: Lauren Kalil, the host of The Bottom Line, spoke to Dex Hopkins and Justin LoFranco about the idea of athletes counting their own reps during competitions?
Straight up savage: Kristi O’Connell set a new marathon PR at the Columbus Marathon with a time of 3:04, best her previous mark by six minutes. 🥇
International love: Sportskeeda, a well known sports website startup that has exploded worldwide, has a piece on the top CrossFit workouts for fat loss.
Local love: Great piece about Kerri Gortmaker, who owns a CrossFit gym and is conquering breast cancer one barbell at a time.
Rogue Invitational: Men’s Division Predictions
We’ve already stated how the 2022 Rogue Invitational men’s field is the deepest and most talented the event has ever had. With all but one of the top-15 athletes from the 2022 NOBULL CrossFit Games confirmed to compete, expect a close race throughout with all 20 athletes capable of making a podium run. The Rogue Invitational will be held October 28-30 at Dell Diamond in Round Rock, TX and who will take top spot for the men?
Do Training Camps Paying Athletes Professionalize the Sport?
It might be one of the best ways to professionalize CrossFit, but no one is talking about it — training camps paying athletes to be part of their team. Morning Chalk Up’s Lauren Kalil sits down with Dex Hopkins and Chase Ingraham to discuss which camps are paying their athletes, why it’s not openly discussed, and the challenges a “new sport” like CrossFit faces when trying to make this more commonplace.
OPINION: Could CrossFit Athletes Take Legal Action to Get Paid for Competitions?
The European Championships functional fitness competition took place in the 10,000-seat Motorpoint Arena in Nottingham, England this past August. The event advertised itself as an“exciting three-day competition that attracts athletes from all of the world…and has grown to become one of the largest and most prestigious competitions on the Fitness Racing calendar.”
To encourage the best athletes to attend, they were offered prize money totaling £40,000 – payable to those who finished in the top three in their respective categories.
Two weeks after the competition ended, however, the event organizers disclosed that “due to a large amount of debt, the winners should not expect to be paid anytime soon, if at all.” This announcement came on the heels of another functional fitness competition, the CanWest Games, which was held in British Columbia in mid-July, failing to payout the offered prize money of $105,000 to its competition’s winners.
So where, and under which legal theory, can three-time CrossFit Games athlete Uldis Upenieks and 23-year-old up-and-comer Aimee Cringle, the male and female winners in the Rx category at the European Championships, together with Chandler Smith and Anika Greer, the Elite category winners at the CanWest Games, turn to find legal recourse and collect the compensation offered to them by the event promoters?
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Excessive rounding of your lower back in the bottom of a squat, or the more educated terminology of “butt winking”, is a common fault in squats, especially when we have a bar on our backs. See how Squat University corrects and cues that fault.
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Picking your exercises and accessory work can be a challenge if you don’t have someone programming for you (I mean, we can’t just do GHDs all day everyday…right?). When you want to hit your core, knowing why you need to pick certain types of exercises will help you have some variety and purpose in your movement.
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