Signaling the beginning of the 2013 CrossFit Games season, registration for the CrossFit Games Open begins on January 30, giving athletes around the world the opportunity to compete for the title of the “Fittest on Earth.”
In 2011, over 26,000 CrossFit athletes from around the world competed in the Open. In 2012, this number nearly tripled, with nearly 70,000 participants committing to the five workouts that comprised the Open season.
For the first time, the CrossFit Open should see over 100,000 participants competing for the opportunity either see where they measure up against others overall, make it to regionals, or for the most elite athletes, the 2013 CrossFit Games.
The 2013 CrossFit Open season will be held from March 6 to April 7.
Each workout will be released on Wednesday at 17:00 PST (GMT-8). Athletes
will have 96 hours, until Sunday at 17:00 PST, to validly complete the
workout and submit their results.
With the growing popularity of CrossFit as a sport, CrossFit announced a number of rule changes for the upcoming 2013 season.
Stricter guidelines were announced to ensure that participating athletes actually represent a single gym that would be named the “Fittest on Earth.”
In order to participate on any Team, Athletes must meet the “more than half” rule, meaning the majority of each member’s training needs to happen at the Team’s gym or affiliate by any metric.
This rule was created to stop affiliates from forming local “All-Star teams,” where gyms could combine their top athletes to ensure that a team makes it to regionals.
Team members must train together continuously for the entire Games season (starting Jan. 1, 2013). In other words, if a Team advances to Regionals or the Games, they must maintain their eligibility by continuing to train at the same location throughout the season.
While this rule certainly discourages the “gaming” of the team system, it isn’t unfeasible to imagine that a team could still be created by athletes training at a single gym for the duration of the Games season.
If there is any ambiguity about whether a member of the Team meets
these requirements, they should be prepared to produce daily training
logs and photo documentation proving that they train more than half of
the time at the Team location (e.g. An Athlete who formerly trained at
another gym, or who lives suspiciously far from the team gym).
CrossFit adds, “If the athlete cannot prove they meet all requirements if requested by CrossFit Inc., the Team and individual may be subject to disqualification.”
The new team rules initially appear open for gaming, but the addition of the ambiguity rule that could disqualify any potential “super teams” should discourage athletes from trying to unfairly represent an affiliate.
For athletes who are unable to get their scores verified weekly at a local affiliate, video submissions have been accepted as part of the Open competition. Athletes can submit their numerical score with an accompanying video as proof of their performance.
CrossFit will implement a new “five-rep” rule for video submissions, meaning that if an official video submission score is off by more than five reps, the entire performance will not be valid.
This means that athletes who choose to use video submissions will be required to count their repetitions carefully to ensure that their initially reported scores are accurate.
To ensure that scores are not unfairly invalided, CrossFit recommends,
A good rule of thumb is to perform and review a few reps for the camera, at speed, before you begin recording your official video.
To be awarded the $2,013 weekly cash prize for the top male and female athlete performance of the week, athletes will be required to submit a video along with their score. While top scores verified at an affiliate will still count towards qualifying for regionals, the cash prize can only be awarded to athletes who submit video proof of their workout.
Advancing to Regionals
For those athletes hoping to compete at Regionals, the top 48 men, top 48 women, and top 30 teams in each region will be automatically invited to compete in the CrossFit Regionals, which will take place over four weekends between May 17 to June 9.
At the close of the Open season, athletes will have a week to declare if they will compete as an individual or for their Team. Like previous seasons, athletes cannot compete in both categories.
The workouts for the Regional competitions will be announced on or before May 8.
Sign up for the Games
For all athletes interested in challenging themselves by competing in the CrossFit Open, registration begins on January 30 and for the price of $20 for U.S. participants.
With repeat champions Rich Froning and Annie Thorisdottir both looking for a threepeat in the Men’s and Women’s divisions, new spots being opened up by recent announcements and geographic moves of top athletes, the 2013 CrossFit Games should be filled with intriguing storylines on the way to crowning this year’s Fittest on Earth.