We are two weeks away from the start of the open! 

In CrossFit, these workouts are some of the toughest, both mentally and physically, that most of us will do. Every single one is memorable, and every single one will test you in ways that you haven’t been tested before.

The open is a global competition that takes place in CrossFit gyms all around the world. It is the first stage in the process of qualifying for the CrossFit Games. 

In years past, the games’ qualification went through three-stages: the open, regionals, and the games. The second and third stage were some of the most exclusive competitions in the CrossFit community. Regionals only qualified the top .001% of all participants from the open, and the games qualified the top .15% from regionals. Qualifying past the open meant you were one of the fittest people in the world. 

To qualify for the second stage, you had to do every workout at a CrossFit Affiliate and submit your score on the CrossFit Games website. Then the owner of the gym would validate your score. The gym owner is supposed to ensure the score’s validity and make sure they were judged appropriately and all standards are met. Keeping the standard to each workout ensures that the competition fair for everyone, not just the second stage qualifiers. Many people use the open to gauge if their fitness is improving from year to year. 

Because of the exclusivity of the second and third stages in the past many gym owners and managers allowed for very lax judging standards, using the justification of, “No one is going to regionals or the games, so why worry about it.” Anyone who knows me, and my competitiveness, knows how I feel about that line right there.

The principle of the matter should be a good enough reason, especially as a business owner. To allow someone to submit an official score with poorly held standards is below the quality that CrossFit sets for us all. It is also a poor reflection of you and your business. 

But this year, the saying, “No one is going to the games,” doesn’t work. Yes, at the end of it all, the top .000001% of all athletes signed up for the open will compete for the fittest on earth at the CrossFit Games, but the second stage will now include the top 10%. This is a huge change and makes qualifying for the second stage of the process more of a reality for the everyday CrossFitter. No longer do you have to dedicate 3-4 hours of training to qualify for the second stage; you show up five days a week, eat right, sleep right and work hard, and you have a chance. 

That is if all our fellow CrossFit gym owners, managers, and coaches do their job and hold all of their athletes (AND SADLY, THEMSELVES) to the standards given by CrossFit HQ! By allowing yourself or your members to input official scores that were not to standard, not judged, or just not right, it will now affect a vast population of our community rather than the .001%. 

Do these three things, and your gym will be okay. Members of other gyms, make sure your owners, managers, and coaches are following this guideline!

  1. A JUDGE – It’s crazy how many people do the open workouts without judges and submit official scores. I have even seen gym owners do the open workout alone and post a video of it. It’s sad; this is an essential thing. Judges are not just counters; they are judges. They are there to uphold the standard of each movement and the validity of the workout. Owners make sure anyone who is judging is briefed on what they are looking for and test them. They are an essential piece to valid scores!
  2. EACH ATHLETE HAS A SUPERB UNDERSTANDING OF THE MOVEMENT STANDARDS. – Each athlete, like the judges, should have a great understanding of the movement standards, and there should be no surprises when they are no repped for something. Send out the CrossFit videos and score sheets with the standards, and before you allow athletes to complete the workout, brief them and their judges one final time. 
  3. HAVE FUN – The open is a chance for everyone to put to the test their training. This year there are three divisions outside of the adaptive division so that everyone can participate. Your goal is to get an overall placing and beat it next year!

Ultimately, do what is right. This year more people have a chance at participating in the second stage. DON’T CHEAT! If your gym owners and coaches are doing something shady for themselves or their close friends that are members with something as simple as ensuring that the standards are held, imagine what they are willing to do to you as the customer. 


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