In an announcement alluded to by CrossFit Games Director Dave Castro last week, CrossFit has announced significant changes to this year’s Games field. Notably among the changes, the Individual field will be dramatically reduced — with a modified invite process — and the Team competition is officially canceled.
CrossFit has repeatedly voiced their intention to hold some version of the Games this year. Like most sports governing bodies, CrossFit HQ was faced with the difficult choice of cancelling, postponing, or significantly modifying their hallmark even due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. The competition was originally slated to kick off — with thousands of spectators — in Madison, Wisconsin.
In recent weeks, the venue of choice shifted back to the famed CrossFit ranch in Aromas, California, which hosted the first three iterations of the Games from 2007 to 2009. CrossFit HQ has gone on record to state that if this year’s competition occurs, it will be without live spectators. More information on streaming and media is not yet publicly available.
An announcement about the official cancelation of Masters and Teens competitions occurred on April 30th.
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On April 16, we announced that we are reviewing all options to host the CrossFit Games in Aromas while monitoring events globally. That effort is ongoing. Due to current limitations on social gatherings, and professional sport in particular, the field of athletes in attendance will be reduced. The Open Since the inception of the CrossFit Open, the top 20 athletes on the Open leaderboard have always included the future CrossFit Games champion among their ranks, and the Open winner has gone on to become the Games winner eight times. The top 20 men and 20 women worldwide will receive invites to Aromas. If an athlete declines their invite, the invite passes to the next athlete. Sanctionals The ten Sanctionals that were able to host in-person competitions this season will be invited to send their champions to this year’s CrossFit Games. Sanctionals invites are affected by placement in the Open. If a Sanctionals champion has already qualified through the Open, the invite passes to the next athlete. This process will hold true for this reduced field. For this reason, some invites that were extended before the government lockdowns may pass back to the original invitee. Beginning today, all previously invited individuals will be contacted with an update on the status of their invite. There will not be a team competition at the 2020 Reebok CrossFit Games. National Champions Last year, CrossFit Headquarters expanded the field of athletes in attendance at the Games to include the fittest athlete in every eligible country. In light of current constraints, it will not be possible to host the previously invited 239 national champions in Aromas. The national champion race will reset in 2021 with invites extended to champions who earn top placement in the upcoming CrossFit Open. 2021 Season The changes above have been made in consideration of the current challenges globally. The CrossFit Games will reset for the 2021 season with the intent of returning to crowning national champions and including teams, age group athletes, and a deep field of individuals competing for the title of Fittest on Earth in Madison, Wisconsin. #CrossFitGames @crossfitranch
The New CrossFit Games Field
It’s important to note that while CrossFit has released new qualification standards for this year’s reduced field, even those are subject to change. From their May 9th announcement:
We will continue to monitor events globally and provide updates as needed. Restrictions on large gatherings are subject to change. The field of athletes invited may be adjusted based on those guidelines.
Highlights of the modified field announcement include:
- A reduced field of just 60 athletes (30 men and 30 women), down from over 300 potential qualifiers.
- The top 20 men and top 20 women out of the most recent CrossFit Open will receive invites.
- The ten Sanctionals competitions that occurred before the pandemic cancelations will be able to send qualifiers to the CrossFit Games. It’s worth noting that Open invites take precedence, and “If a Sanctionals champion has already qualified through the Open, the invite passes to the next athlete.” This could potentially cause significant shakeups in the field, and, according to HQ, “some invites that were extended before the government lockdowns may pass back to the original invitee.”
- National Champion invites will no longer be honored for qualification; 239 national champions had previously received invites to this year’s Games based on their performance in the Open.
- There will be no Team competition at the 2020 CrossFit Games. Athletes who qualified as Individuals through one of the above mechanisms and declined their invite to compete on a Team may have an opportunity to re-accept that invite; we’ll keep you updated as more information becomes available on this.
- Qualification will reset in 2021, and CrossFit expressed their hope to return to competition for all age groups and teams in Madison, Wisconsin
Featured image: @crossfitgames on Instagram