The CrossFit Open began as a solution to a growing problem within the sport. After having open enrollment formats at the Games in 2007 and 2008, CrossFit began implementing qualifying processes in 2009 and 2010 called “Sectionals.” But this format lacked consistency and predictability, so, in an effort to streamline the competitive season, CrossFit came up with the Open as a uniform online competition accessible to the masses.
Today, CrossFit bills the Open as “the largest participatory sporting event on Earth,” with 294,980 athletes having competed in 2022. In its present state, the Open marks the beginning of the CrossFit Games season and is the first step in the journey to find the Fittest on Earth®. It’s also just an opportunity for the worldwide CrossFit community to bond over a three-week shared experience of hard work, fitness, camaraderie, and fun.
If you do well enough in the Open, you can advance to the next stage of the season: Quarterfinals. If you continue to do well enough there, you can qualify for the Semifinals and eventually the CrossFit Games. Here’s what you need to know about the CrossFit Open.
How to Participate in the CrossFit Open
Whether you’ve been participating in the CrossFit Open since it first began or are trying it out for the first time, the process is the same:
- Go to the Open website.
- Click on ‘Register Today.’
- Follow the steps from there.
The Open costs $20 to sign up, and you’ll be placed into an age division (based on your birthday) and a region (based on where you live*). If you belong to an affiliate, you can compete on behalf of your gym; and if you don’t, you can compete unaffiliated.
Not only can anyone sign up, everyone who wants a chance to win the title of Fittest on Earth has to sign up — and yes, that even includes defending champions from the Games themselves.
*There are some exceptions to this, but they are not relevant for a majority of participants.
What Is the Format of the CrossFit Open?
The format of the Open has changed drastically since 2011. While it used to run for five weeks, the Open is slated to take place over three weeks in 2023, beginning on Thursday, February 16. For three Thursdays in a row, CrossFit will announce the workout (or workouts) for that week.
Participants then have four days from the time of the announcement to complete the workout and submit their scores. (The deadline is 5:00 p.m. PST the following Monday.)
In order for your score to count, you must meet specific requirements within the realm of the workout itself. CrossFit will dictate movement standards and floor layout plans to make sure the test is uniform for everyone around the world.
If you do well enough on the workouts, CrossFit may request video documentation of your performance to demonstrate that you’ve met all the specifications for weights, layout, and more in each workout.
According to the 2023 CrossFit rulebook, every participant must check one of two boxes to validate their performance:
- Perform the test at a valid CrossFit affiliate and receive validation from the affiliate manager.
- Upload a video of the workout to the CrossFit Games website.
Where Do Athletes Perform CrossFit Open Workouts?
A list of equipment needed for all in-season competitions was provided by CrossFit in January 2023, but not everything is necessary for the Open. For instance, the heavy dumbbells and kettlebells will not be included in the Open programming but could show up at subsequent stages of online competition.
Most people who belong to an affiliate do the Open workouts at their gym; however, these workouts are intended to be accessible to as many people as possible. That means garage gyms and gyms that are not specifically for CrossFit should also be acceptable places to do the workouts if an athlete provides proper video of the workout.
2023 CrossFit Event Calendar
As stated above, success in the CrossFit Open could lead to a spot in the Quarterfinals, followed by the Semifinals, and, eventually, the CrossFit Games. Here are the dates you need to know for the 2023 CrossFit season:
- CrossFit Open: February 16-March 6
- Quarterfinals: March 16-April 2
- Semifinals: April 28-June 4
- 2023 CrossFit Games: August 1-6
Featured Image: @crossfitgames on Instagram