New Elimination Style Format Coming to 2019 CrossFit Games

Over the weekend, Armen Hammer released a video that revealed more details and further clarification for some the 2019 Reebok CrossFit Games changes. In the report from the video on ArmenHammerTV’s YouTube channel, Hammer had a phone call with Greg Glassman, CEO and Founder of CrossFit, who helped provide further details about what’s been already announced to the public about all of the Games changes.

2019 Reebok CrossFit Games Changes

Age Groups and the CrossFit Games

Out of all the athletes that hope to compete in the 2019 CrossFit Games season, it appears the teens and masters are the least impacted by all of the changes. These age groups will still compete in the in the normal CrossFit Open, then qualify for an age group online qualifying round to earn a ticket to the Games.

In the report, Hammer mentions that the numbers may be slightly different and the total number of athletes that can qualify through the online qualifiers may be less than previous years. There have been no official details announced in reference to the “numbers being different” in terms of age ranges, total volume of athletes permitted, and so forth.


Potentially the biggest change for the 2019 CrossFit Games athletes comes from the teams side of the competition. As opposed to previous years where teams could stamp a ticket to the Games by qualifying in the Open, then finishing at the top of the leaderboard at Regionals, the 2019 CrossFit Games will only allow teams to qualify by winning one of the 16 sanctioned events.

In terms of total volume of team bound athletes, that’s a major change in participation. Additionally, the formatting for team’s rosters have changed. In previous years, athletes would have to all workout at the same CrossFit Affiliate and would have an additional rule about their residency timeline, but this year completely scraps those prior limitations.

Teams for the 2019 CrossFit Games can be composed with whomever they choose, and there are no guidelines in terms of who can be recruited. From the report, Hammer states that the male, male, female, female teams have complete free-reign over their roster, and can only qualify by winning one of the sanctioned events.

Sanctioned Events

As mentioned above and in the first report, there will be 16 total sanctioned events spread throughout the 2019 CrossFit Games season. These events will act as qualifiers for the Games and will allow the top placing male, female, and team at each event to earn their ticket to the CrossFit Games.

Over the last week, two events have already been announced (Dubai Fitness Championships & The Granite Games) as sanctioned events for the 2019 CrossFit Games season, and Hammer mentions in the report that as many as 13 of the 16 locations have been essentially locked in, aka there are potentially 11 events as of right now that have yet to be revealed.

Games Format & Qualifying 

In the report, Hammer touches on a few ways the 2019 CrossFit Games format will be different and that mostly has to do with the filtering process of the higher volume of athletes. Since CrossFit will now be taking the top national qualifiers from countries with affiliates, then there will be a higher volume of qualifying athletes than ever before (ex: 162 countries with affiliates = 324 Games athletes).

In addition to the national champions, the report states that the top 20 athletes from the normal CrossFit Open who aren’t national champions will also earn an invite, and that’s would speculatively be on top of the 32 individual winners from the 16 sanctioned events.

From the report, Hammer states that CrossFit [Glassman] alluded to elimination style events for the first half of the CrossFit Games, which will essentially decrease the total volume of athletes by a substantial amount. How much so has yet to be disclosed, but Hammer does mention that it will most likely be a smaller number of competitors in the finals days of the Games than what’s been seen in past years.

Lastly, Hammers explains that athletes who win a sanctioned event will receive a slight advantage over other competitors [CrossFit Open qualifiers & national champions], and this advantage could be a bye through the elimination rounds, or potentially doing them last. Although, no further details have been confirmed on this Games change.

Feature image from @crossfitgames Instagram page.