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How the New Games Scoring Could Affect the Outcome

Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up. Today’s edition is fueled by Kettlebell Kitchen.

What do Tia-Clair Toomey, Noah Ohlsen, Kari Pearce, and the Invictus teams all have in common? They’re all eating Kettlebell Kitchen during the 2019 Reebok CrossFit Games!

Designed to take your performance to the next level, KBK’s meals are perfect for those looking to crush their goals, no matter the season. Take advantage of their special offer (ending on 7/31), and save 20% on your first three orders!

Use code “GAMES2019”.


“I think, what could CrossFit release next week that would take me out of the running? Well, let’s go do that workout. When I’m finished, I’ll take five minutes and I’ll do it again faster.” — Mat Fraser

Ben Smith Gets the Nod, Receives Wildcard


Ben Smith was contacted by CrossFit and offered a wildcard spot and Smith has accepted, the Morning Chalk Up has confirmed.

In the days after Ben Smith posted to Instagram, “I’d go throw down hard next week if the wildcard opportunity came up,” the CrossFit community rallied around Smith in droves. Noah Ohlsen, Jason Carroll, Laura Horvath, Tim Paulson, Kristi Eramo, Cole Sager, Beyond the Whiteboard, Adam Klink, Julie Foucher, Chris Hinshaw and Stacie Tovar all showed public support for Smith to receive a wildcard invite.

“I don’t deserve it, but I’m gonna go throw down 100%. I can’t wait, I’m so fired up!! But I owe this all to the fans and support I had from the community who pushed to get me there this year. You all are amazing, I thank each and every one of you. Let’s get some!!” — Ben Smith to the Morning Chalk Up

Even Rich Froning weighed in, posting to Instagram, “Since we’re doing this wild card thing now, I think if anyone deserves it it’s @bsmit13. So let’s start it #getbensmithtothegames.”

By receiving a wildcard invite, Smith will extend his streak of individual CrossFit Games appearances to 11 straight, the longest of any athlete in history.

“Ben Looks real good,” longtime friend and training partner Adam Klink told the Morning Chalk Up. “If he competed in a Sanctionals right now, he would qualify.”

Smith has been recovering from minor knee surgery since the end of January. Smith’s road to recovery was relatively quick but was unable to train seriously until just before the Rogue Invitational where he placed 14th. Recently, he’s put up some strong lifting numbers, hitting a 330 pound clean double and a 290 pound snatch.

How the New Games Scoring Could Affect the Outcome


Announced to general skepticism, the 2019 CrossFit Games will feature athlete cuts until only the top 10 individual athletes remain with the new point structure adjusting along the way.

The whittling down of the athletes most certainly introduces a new and exciting element and it’s not the cuts, but rather the point distributions that are raising questions. Why the skepticism? Well in some ways this scoring system makes sense, as points should be equally distributed throughout the field of eligible athletes. However, the new scoring distributions introduce both a major strategy component to the Games as well as increased potential for programming bias.

The programming bias occurs because later workouts are much more valuable than the initial workouts (this is explained more in a second). While one could argue this has always somewhat been the case, it is true this year in a pronounced way. Unless similar skills are tested continuously from start to finish, certain athletes will find an advantage based on when workouts that test their CrossFit strengths occur. The potential redemption from this bias is Dave Castro himself as he has proven a programming genius in the past. We know he considers all of this and more when programming the Games, so while this has the potential to be a pitfall for the Games, Dave could also masterfully handle it all.

For the second major impact, the gamesmanship and strategy implications introduced are fascinating to consider. Essentially, if you are an athlete with little concern about making it through the first few cuts save your energy for the later rounds. A win or top performance becomes increasingly valuable with each athlete cut and two simple ways to view this and the point spreads are:

  • In the round of 10 athletes (last round) a 3rd place finish is worth the same as a 5th place in the round of 20, which is worth the same as an 11th in the opening three rounds.
  • The point spread between 1st and 5th is only 8 points in the first three rounds, 12 points in the fourth round, 16 points in the fifth, 20 points in the sixth, and a critical 40 points in the final round.

Continue reading…


Things To…


WATCH: All In Too, a Patrick Vellner Documentary
In the second episode of All In Too; A Patrick Vellner Documentary, we follow Pat Vellner as he does the 2019 CrossFit Open solely for Trash Talk Thursday. Vellner competes against his friends during the Open, and then against his biggest competitors at the Rogue Invitational.


HEAR: Michael Fitzgerald of Optimum Performance Training
Michael Fitzgerald of Optimum Performance Training joins the Legion Podcast with tips on how to improve repeatability in athletes by training the aerobic system, why the aerobic system matters for development of CrossFit athletes and how to structure intensity and volume of aerobic sessions to allow athletes to improve in multiple areas at once.


TRY: New Premium Hemp CBD Gummies
Prospera Naturals Premium CBD products are growing. The new gummies are the perfect combination of flavor and CBD, with 20mg per serving and all-natural ingredients. They’re vegan, gluten-free and have no THC. Also new is our Extra Strength, with 30mg CBD, fast acting tincture. Try them with 20% off with code “CHALK20” for two days only.


EAT: Spinach Mushroom and Feta Crustless Quiche
This spinach muschroom and feta crustless quiche is a savory breakfast dish that just might be your new favorite. It’s very filling, full of vegetables, but isn’t as carb dominant as other quiches might be. Plus, there are endless possibilities for customizing the filling and it reheats well in the microwave for a quick dinner.


Today’s edition of the Morning Chalk Up is fueled by

Chalk Up Community

  • SPORTS CHAIR INITIATIVE — Adaptive athlete Michael Mills is raising funds to purchase sports chairs for people who CrossFit that can’t afford to purchase one or need help in purchasing chairs. The sportschairs will cost $1000.00.
  • LABOR OF LOVE — CrossFit Unlimited Potential in Newington, CT is hosting Labor of Love on September 29 to help raise awareness of human trafficking. There will also be speakers, raffles and food.
  • OUTWOD NORTH BRUNSWICK — CrossFit North Brunswick in North Brunswick, NJ is hosting an OUTWOD event on August 10. All proceeds will go to the OUTWOD foundation.
  • ROW RAISER FOR CYSTIC FIBROSIS — CrossFit Integrity in Charleston, SC is hosting a rowing fundraiser for cystic fibrosis on Sunday, August 4. All proceeds benefit cystic fibrosis foundation, with the majority going to local research.
  • NINE WEEKS OF RP APP — Our Managing Editor has completed week three of her nine weeks of cutting weight with the RP Diet App.

CHALK UP IN 2 MINUTES (a highlight reel around social media of CrossFit pros and average joes)

Happy birthday coach Chase KnightCassidy Lance-McWherter does an overhead complex at 175 poundsTennil Beuerlein had her baby shower this weekend • Winston the Corgi has his own JUNK brand headband Brooke Pernice, who is visually impaired, got her first double under Andy Rosenbaum hang squat cleans 340 pounds for a PR.

Games Watch: 3 days until the CrossFit Games.

— We’re already on the ground for the 2019 CrossFit Games. Make sure you subscribe to our YouTube channel for our live coverage from Madison.
— Meg Reardon is hoping for a top ten finish: “My mindset has shifted now and I’m no longer a rookie. Now, that I’m considered a veteran I want to go out there and really prove to myself that I belong out there so I’m hoping for a Top 10 finish this year.”
— Talking Elite Fitness is en route to the CrossFit Games and is using the drive time to share how they feel about things like the new scoring system.
— We answered some of your most asked questions during an Ask Us Anything last week. 

Around the Alliant Energy Center:

— Barrett Danz from CrossFit Big Dane in Madison shares what he’s looking forward to as the Games come to town.
— The Midnight Runners are taking their Boot Camp Run to the streets of Madison with a 5K and three stops for some fitness starting at CrossFit Recursive on July 31 at 6:30 PM. 
Julie Foucher offers her top ten things to do while while in Madison.

Kara Saunders Stars in a Music Video — Kara Saunders, who took this season off to have her daughter, Scotti, was recently in a music video for the band, Sheppard, dancing in her underwear. 

— “About a month ago I did this thing. For me the message was to stop judging yourself and/or others and accept and love being who you are, where you are.

— “I was #5weekspostpartum, tired, adjusting and struggling with some serious fluid retention and bloat from antibiotics in my labor. Then Amy Sheppard says, “Hey, do you want to dance in some nude underwear for the Sheppard film clip?”

— “There were 2 reasons I said yes. 1. The message 2. It was totally out of my comfort zone and made me nervous as hell.”

Heather Bergeron on Distractions — “Distractions have a bad wrap. But, I think they can be useful if they’re done well.

— “I did a workout this morning that was bookended with about a 4 minute Assault bike. On the front end, I switched between watching the numbers on my screen and being distracted by what was going on around me. On the back end, I started out doing the same thing…but, about halfway through, I decided to close my eyes while periodically checking my screen to see where my numbers were.

— “What I noticed was interesting: when I closed my eyes, I ended up finding a better connection with how to use the different parts of my body. I was now distracted by which muscles to activate and which ones to relax, calming down my breathing, and figuring out how to generate more power without sacrificing a pace I felt under control with.”


“Potential Water, Off-Site Event Likely Planned for Sunday,” by Jessica Danger, Morning Chalk Up

During a Street Use Staff Commission meeting on Wednesday, a street use application filed by the CrossFit Games was approved. The application requests street closures of Olin Turville Court from E. Lakeside to the barriers for an event scheduled on Sunday, August 4 from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM.

The approved application was posted to the City of Madison’s Legislative Information Center, a public website to allow citizens and interested parties access to official meeting minutes and documents pertaining to the business of the city.

In addition to the road closure, CrossFit submitted a map of the closure which shows the road closure and outlines an event area. It’s unclear from the permit if athletes will enter the water but the clearly defined “event area” does border Lake Monona.

Given the limited road closure and the defined “viewing area” it seems unlikely athletes will be running from the Alliant Energy Center.

The permit also outlines procedures for CrossFit’s Medical Team, specifically for addressing injuries on the field of play and assessing athletes “during active competition.”

According to the application, “The CrossFit Games Events Medical Section provides medical oversight, first response and definitive care as appropriate for athletes, staff and Event Team of the CrossFit Games Events.”

Today, CrossFit revealed in the CrossFit Games app that the Opening Ceremony will commence at 9:00 AM in the North Park and finish at 10:00 AM. The CrossFit Games daily schedule says that Thursday’s starts at 9:00 AM which means athletes won’t start Event 1 until after the ceremony unless an update is made.


7/29 – 8/4: The 2019 CrossFit Games (Madison, WI)
8/2: Pirate Supporters Friday Night Light Kick Off (Lefors, TX)
8/02: OUTWOD Amsterdam at CrossFit ZeeBurg (Amsterdam, Netherlands)
8/3: OUTWOD Kansas City at CrossFit FIF (Kansas City, MO)
8/3: War of the WODs Summer Series (Greensboro, NC)
8/3: Riverport Rumble (Louisville, KY)
8/3: 31 Heroes (Norfolk,VA)
8/3: G’Town Throwdown – Chapter 3 (Georgetown, MA)
8/3: Brawl in the Burbs (Bridgeport, PA)
8/10: CFE’s Sugar & Spice Co-Ed Partner Competition (Burlington, MA)
8/10: Best of the Midwest Team Series at CrossFit 9 Degrees (Brownsburg, IN)
8/10: OUTWOD North Brunswick at Iron CrossFit (North Brunswick, NJ)
8/10: OUTWOD Phoenixville at CrossFit Lock 60 (Phoenixville, PA)
8/10: Sparrow Classic 2 Scaled Partner Competition (Pearland, TX)
8/10: Summer Battleground 2019 (Farmingdale, NY)
8/10: Goddess Games (Charlotte, NC)
8/10: All Day Row (Alexandria, VA)
8/10 – 8/11: No Surrender Survival Games (Wooster, OH)
8/11: The Rise of The Resilient (Hopkinton, MA)
8/16: OUTWOD Charlotte (Charlotte, NC)
8/16 – 8/17: WodFest 2019 (Joplin, MO)
8/17: Fittest in the Fork (Ft. Sill, OK)
8/17: Barbells For Bullies at CrossFit QDA (Buffalo, NY)
8/17: CrossFit Sua Sponte’s Summer Slam (Raleigh, NC)
8/17: The Fossil Games (Denver, CO)
8/17: Warhorse Games KC (Kansas City, KS)
8/17: CrossFit Shatter Summer Slam (Albany, NY)
8/17: The Syndicate Series Presents The Battlegrounds (Columbia, MD)
8/17: Poore Beer and CrossFit Benefit (Hendersonville, NC)
8/17: Unbroken Series Adaptive Games (Marion, NC)
8/17: 6th annual Babes and Bros (Grand Rapids, MI)
8/17: The Battlegrounds at 12 Labours CrossFit (Columbia, MD)
8/18: Red Raider Backyard Brawl III (Coatesville, PA)
8/24: Battle For the Badge (Vestal, NY)
8/24: OUTWOD Miami at Move.Lift.Live (Miami, FL)
8/24: OUTWOD Las Vegas at CrossFit Social City (Las Vegas, NV)
8/24: Deadlifts for Kids (Lilburn, GA)
8/24: The Southern Games 2019 (Louisville, KY)
8/24: 2019 Koda First Timer’s Open (Oklahoma City, OK)
8/24: Rumble on the Bay (Green Bay, WI)
8/24: Ragin’ Games (Lafayette, LA)
8/24: The 10th Annual Iron Belle (Austin, TX)
8/24 – 8/25: Oregon CrossFit’s Best of the West Summer Event 2019 (Bend, OR)

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