2016 marks the 5th year I am participating in the CrossFit open. Every year that I am in the sport, my training, goals and situation is different. Although this year I have kicked off the Open season with a different plan. I was determined to not let the Open stress me out and instead enjoy the whole 5 weeks. I also planned to release the videos of all and any Open workout attempts as soon as I had them available.
After listening to Brent Fikowski on the The Mind Muscle Project, Ep 61. I started thinking about the Open and how and the athletes themselves can make changes to the legitimacy of the online competition format. (For those of you who don’t know Brent, he is currently in first place in the Canada West region, he always uploads all of his open performances). The CrossFit Open is an incredible event and would take an enormous amount of resources to deliver to the world each year. The best thing about it is that is all inclusive. With divisions for scaled and masters, everyone, regardless of ability, can participate. Whilst this is the first qualifying step in finding the Fittest on Earth, it also serves a purpose in creating an amazing 5 week event for CF affiliates around the world. Unfortunately the system does have some serious drawbacks for the athletes. Every year, legitimate athletes are missing out on a chance to compete at Regionals because of cheating or poor integrity in one way or another. In some cases just 1 extra rep could mean 50 place difference on the leaderboard.How does qualifying work?
Athletes who think they have a chance of qualifying in a top 30 position in their Region are required to film their Open performances over the 5 week period. Before receiving an invitation to compete, 1 out of the 5 videos are requested by CrossFit HQ for review before invitations are issued. This means that 4 out of 5 of the athlete’s workouts that are never reviewed. Additionally this means that once you receive your video request, there is nothing stopping you from re-attempting your workout at that point. Weknow that all the top athletes in the region are in possession of all of their videos. So why not release them along with score submission? If you stand by your performance, score and standards you should be able to do this with confidence.I believe that this is what the future will and should look like. Do we need to wait for HQ to enforce tighter rules before we improve the integrity of our sport? Absolutely not. If you want to see change, take responsibility and make it happen.