2021 CrossFit Games to Include Top 5 Men and Women in 3 Adaptive Divisions

According to CrossFit HQ, the Adaptive classes with the highest participation will compete in the Games.

On May 5, 2021, CrossFit announced that the top five men and women from the Open in three Adaptive Divisions will be invited to the 2021 NOBULL CrossFit Games. Those three divisions include Upper Extremity, Lower Extremity, and Neuromuscular. This year will mark the first time that adaptive athletes have competed at the CrossFit Games.

“Strong and enthusiastic participation in this year’s Open made one thing clear: the adaptive community has a thirst for CrossFit competition, ” CrossFit HQ wrote in their announcement


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According to CrossFit, the three divisions were selected based on overall participation. Compared to the other five divisions (for both men and women), the three divisions selected had roughly 100 participants. CrossFit also made it clear that more Adaptive Divisions may be included in future Games, and “more participation means a higher chance of representation at all levels of CrossFit competition.”

The athletes are vetted to verify that specific criteria — that lend to fairness in the competition — are being met. The selected athletes will receive their invitations through email as the Games get closer. CrossFit did not specify a date.

About the Adaptive Divisions

Late in 2020, CrossFit announced major changes to the 2021 competitive season. Chief among them was the creation of a new division for adaptive athletes. When the announcement was made, it wasn’t clear if the new Adaptive Division would be included in the Games. However, CrossFit is determined to include some of the new Adaptive classes in the Games this year.

So far, adaptive athletes have only participated in the Open, which included four workouts — 21.1, 21.2, and 21.3 & 21.4. Part of the reason the Adaptive Division wasn’t a lock for the 2021 Games was logistics. Director of Training at Adaptive Training Academy (ATA) Logan Aldridge told BarBend in December 2020 that “the uncertainty of how many people will register and participate makes it difficult to plan out what the Games will look like.” There was the belief that a certain threshold of participants in a certain class could lead to its addition to the Games program because there would be a sufficient roster. CrossFit HQ’s announcement proved that belief to be true.


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The Adaptive division in the 2021 Open consisted of eight classes. Here are the number of participants in each of those classes that participated in at least one of the Open workouts per the Open leaderboard — 922 athletes in total:

Upper Extremity

  • Men — 79
  • Women — 66

Lower Extremity

  • Men — 162
  • Women — 79


  • Men — 41
  • Women — 20

Short Stature

  • Men — 15
  • Women — 14


  • Men — 87
  • Women — 84

Seated Athletes (with hip function)

  • Men — 48
  • Women — 47

Seated Athletes (without hip function)

  • Men — 70
  • Women — 28


  • Men — 58
  • Women — 24

The 2021 NOBULL CrossFit Games are currently set to take place from July 27 through August 1 in Madison, WI. Of course, it’s possible that the location and dates may change due to COVID-19 restrictions. 

Featured image: @aldridgelogan on Instagram