The Affiliate Cup is the official team competition of the CrossFit Games. Over the years, the shape of this competition has evolved, showcasing different layers of the complexity and precision involved in competing on a team. In 2022, the team competition will once again, with renewed focus, find the fittest affiliate and the Fittest Team on Earth.
Here's a brief look at the history of the competition and an overview of what you need to do to compete for this year's Affiliate Cup.
A Timeline of the Team Competition
2007-2008 — The fittest affiliate was the one that sent the fittest individual athletes to the CrossFit Games. The affiliate with the best aggregate score based on the performances of its top two individual men and women earned the Affiliate Cup.
2009 — The CrossFit Games began to create a separate set of events for affiliate teams, which continued to consist of four to six athletes from the same gym.
2010 — The team format shifted to six-member teams consisting of three women and three men.
2018 — The team format shifted back to four members, two men and two women.
2019 — “Super teams” became permissible, meaning teams were allowed to select members from different affiliates.
2021 — CrossFit shifted the emphasis for the team competition back to the Affiliate Cup format, requiring all members on a team to come from the same affiliate.
2022 — To further emphasize the importance of affiliates at the pinnacle of the sport season, all team names will list their affiliate’s name first.
A Look Back at the 2021 NOBULL CrossFit Games
Although the heavily decorated team CrossFit Mayhem Freedom seized its fifth Affiliate Cup at the 2021 NOBULL CrossFit Games, it wasn’t the only record-breaking moment from the season. Despite travel restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic, international teams showed up determined to represent their countries and their affiliates in Madison. The leaderboard showed an array of international flags in the top spots.
Heading into the last day of competition, only two American teams sat in the top 10. The remainder of the teams hailed from Europe and Oceania.
Before 2021, only two international teams had stood on the podium at the Games — Canadian team CrossFit Taranis, which took third in 2011, and CrossFit Yas from the United Arab Emirates, 2016’s third-place team. But, flanking the Americans on both sides of the podium last August were two teams from Europe: Norway’s CrossFit Oslo in second place and France’s CrossFit Genas in third. CrossFit Surbiton from the United Kingdom and CrossFit Pro1 from Canada rounded out the top five.
2021 was the year of the international teams. Will we see more international teams rise to the top this year?
Photo by flsportsguy photography
2022 CrossFit Games Stages
The 2022 Affiliate Cup starts with the CrossFit Open. Any athlete wishing to register a team or compete as part of a team must first register as an individual athlete.
The athlete who registers the team will be designated as the team manager for the competition season. Team managers will create a team, pay the registration fee, and select athletes to join the team through their Competition Dashboard. Athletes can also request to join their affiliate’s team from their own Competition Dashboard. Athletes who do not train at a CrossFit affiliate are not eligible to register a team for the Affiliate Cup competition.
To compete on a team during the Open, Quarterfinals, Semifinals, or the Games, athletes must be registered and listed on the team roster prior to the close of the first Open workout.
The top 25% of teams on each continent will be eligible to advance to the online Quarterfinals, where they will complete a series of events over the course of one weekend, from April 7-10, 2022. Once the Open competition has concluded, CrossFit will send out Quarterfinals invitations to teams. Any eligible teams wishing to participate must accept their invitation and register for the Quarterfinals before the close of the Quarterfinals competition.
Eligible teams will be posted on the CrossFit Games Leaderboard once the competition begins. Teams will not be able to submit a score until they complete the registration process.
The Quarterfinals video review process for teams will be completed by April 15, 2022. At the end of this review period, the final leaderboard standings for teams will be set, and the invitation process for Semifinals will begin.
Semifinal invitations will be emailed to the top teams from each continental region. By continent, teams will receive an invitation to a Semifinal event in the following manner:
• North America: Top 80 teams; 20 teams will compete at each Semifinal event
• Europe: Top 40 teams; 20 teams will compete at each Semifinal event
• Oceania: Top 20 teams
• Asia: Top 20 teams
• South America: Top 20 teams
• Africa: Top 20 teams
Learn more about who will be hosting the Semifinal events here.
The 2022 NOBULL CrossFit Games
At the conclusion of the Semifinals, the top teams from each Semifinal event will advance to the Games, where the Affiliate Cup will be awarded to the top-ranked team.
Teams will qualify in the following manner:
• North America: Top 5 teams advance to the Games from each Semifinal competition
• Europe: Top 5 teams advance to the Games from each Semifinal competition
• Oceania: Top 3 teams advance to the Games
• Asia: Top 2 teams advance to the Games
• South America: Top 2 teams advance to the Games
• Africa: Top team will advance to the Games
Eligibility for the Affiliate Cup
- Athletes competing for a team must be active members of that team’s CrossFit affiliate for the duration of the CrossFit Games season. Team members are required to continue being active members of the team’s CrossFit affiliate until the team is eliminated from competition or until the start of the Games.
- In addition to being active members of the team’s CrossFit affiliate, team athletes all must live within 100 miles of the CrossFit affiliate they are representing. They may also need to prove they regularly train in that affiliate.
- More than one team may come from a CrossFit affiliate as long as all members of each team consistently train at that affiliate in accordance with all team rules. Team members may not switch between teams.
- CrossFit athletes who work out at multiple locations must choose the location they train at most for their team affiliation, even if a separate location shares a name, owner, membership plan, or programming.
- The Licensee of Record (LOR) for an affiliate may not compete on any team other than a team from their own affiliate. If an LOR of an affiliate wants to compete on a team from a different CrossFit affiliate, they must change the LOR of their affiliate by Jan. 13, 2022.
Learn more about eligibility and requirements for the Affiliate Cup in the 2022 CrossFit Games Rulebook.
Photo by Charlotte Foerschler
Even if you aren’t trying to make it to Madison this year, competing on a team can an extra layer of fun to your Open experience. It pushes you to your limits, and it is rewarding to see your friends succeed alongside you. A great way to experience the qualities of team competition without the pressure is to hold an intramural team competition at your gym. Learn more by reading “How To Run an Intramural Open.”
Whether you’re ready to beat Mayhem Freedom at the CrossFit Games this year or just want to learn more about teamwork, it all starts on Feb. 24. Register for the 2022 Open today at games.crossfit.com.
Good luck, teams!
Don't miss out on the affiliate presale for 2022 NOBULL CrossFit Games tickets. Read more at "2022 NOBULL CrossFit Games: Affiliate Presale."
Register for the Open