The workouts are ever changing, but there's consistency across the field. Athletes within the same division compete in the same workouts in the Open, Regionals, and the Games.
This section explains how the CrossFit Games season works at each of its three stages.
STAGE 1: The Open
Feb. 25 - March 28, 2016
Everyone in the world is invited to compete in five workouts over five weeks, posting their scores online in real time.
The week's workout is posted online on Thursdays at 5 p.m. PT, and athletes have the following four days to complete the workout and post their score (before Monday at 5 p.m. PT). The week's workout comes in two variations, as prescribed and scaled, for each division. The younger teenage division (14-15) and older masters divisions (55-59, 60+) get modified versions of the week's workout that are designed to be appropriate for them.
Every Open workout needs to be validated to count. Competitors will have two options to validate their performances. They can workout at a local affiliate where they will be judged in person, or they can submit a video of their performance to the entire community. There is no limit to the number of attempts an athlete can make, provided the score is submitted within the four-day window.
Competitors are ranked both worldwide and by region. The fittest individual athletes and teams from each region earn invitations to one of eight regionals. The top five men, women, and teams at each regional is invited to the Games.
The top 200 masters athletes worldwide in five age divisions are invited to compete in the Masters Online Qualifier (April 21 - 25). From there, the top 20 worldwide in each age division are invited to compete at the CrossFit Games.
The Open is a truly open competition. Anyone can participate.
STAGE 2: Regionals
May 13 - 29, 2016
Regionals are not inclusive. While the Open is designed for the 99%, the regionals are designed for the top fraction of the top 1%.
Accordingly, the events get tougher. The weights get heavier, and the movements get more technical. Tests that couldn't be designed into the online, inclusive Open get programmed into the regionals.
The regional competitions are held over three days. The workouts are the same across all eight of the regionals, ensuring that all athletes who make it to the Games have faced and overcome the same tests. Historically, athletes and teams compete in two events per day.
Regionals are a lively spectator experience. Each year, fans come in droves and cross borders to support their favorite athletes, family, and friends, and thousands watch the hours of livestream coverage on Games.CrossFit.com. Athletes must perform in front of the crowds, and an in-person judge.
STAGE 3: The Games
July 19 - 24, 2016
After two qualifying steps, the season culminates in the CrossFit Games, held at the StubHub Center in Carson, California. At the Games, hundreds of thousands of participants will have been whittled down to the world's fittest 40 men, 40 women, 40 teams, 40 teenagers, and 200 masters. The stakes could not be higher; athletes are fighting for a piece of the 2.2 million dollar prize purse and the title Fittest on Earth.
At the Games, all bets are off. The slate will be wiped clean from the Open and regionals, and the athletes will confront multiple unforeseen challenges. These events will test them across broad time and modal domains, potentially involving everything from classics such as running and squats, to more exotic movements such as climbing and odd-object lifting. The athletes will complete short sprint-type events, medium-duration challenges, and longer tests of endurance. In the end, the fittest will have distinguished themselves from their peers through consistently excellent performance across the weekend’s events.
Beyond the individual competition, teams from around the world will work together in hopes of winning the Affiliate Cup. The high degree of strategy and teamwork involved make this a very popular category of competition.
The masters are divided into five male and female age categories, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, and 60+. Masters competitors’ impressive performances prove fitness truly is a lifelong endeavor and inspire all with their passion for CrossFit.