The 2022 CrossFit Games Season: Adaptive Divisions

January 12, 2022


How to play and what’s new in 2022.

Register for the Open

Last year, CrossFit welcomed a new host of divisions: the adaptive divisions. Nearly 1,000 athletes from around the world competed in the 16 new divisions during the 2021 CrossFit Open, completing versions of each workout modified according to division but no less a test of fitness.

With their accomplishments in the Open and at the CrossFit Games last year, adaptive athletes proved their fitness and enriched our sport. CrossFit is proud to bring the divisions back to the competition in 2022, honed and improved after their inaugural season. 

2021 CrossFit Games

How to Play

When you register for the Open, you’ll be asked to choose the appropriate division, and you’ll be grouped on the official CrossFit Games Leaderboard alongside athletes who have similar disabilities.

The CrossFit Open includes 16 adaptive athlete divisions:

  • Men and Women Adaptive: Upper Extremity
  • Men and Women Adaptive: Lower Extremity
  • Men and Women Adaptive: Neuromuscular
  • Men and Women Adaptive: Vision
  • Men and Women Adaptive: Seated Athletes With Hip Function
  • Men and Women Adaptive: Seated Athletes Without Hip Function
  • Men and Women Adaptive: Short Stature
  • Men and Women Adaptive: Intellectual

To be eligible for classification in the adaptive divisions, an athlete must meet three general requirements:

1. Prove the presence of a diagnosed and documented permanent impairment (i.e., health condition or diagnosis) from the list of 10 eligible impairments; and

2. Have significant functional limitation(s) that prevent them from inclusion in competition against athletes in the non-adaptive divisions; and

3. Meet the minimum-impairment criteria for one of the adaptive divisions. 

Adaptive athlete

New This Season

Stages of Competition

After the Open, the top 20 athletes from each adaptive division will be invited to compete at an additional online competition that will serve as the Semifinal for three divisions and the final competition for five other divisions.

The Vision, Intellectual, Seated With Hip Function, Seated Without Hip Function, and Short Stature Divisions will compete in this stage to be crowned fittest. The Neuromuscular, Lower Extremity, and Upper Extremity divisions will send their top five athletes to compete in the finals in Madison. 

Metrics for Eligibility

Minimum-impairment criteria define the presence of an eligible impairment and the degree of severity of an athlete’s impairment that must be present to be eligible for competition. In 2022, the minimum-impairment criteria for most divisions have been adjusted to include specific, objective measurements indicating degrees of limb deficiency, range of movement, muscle power, and more.

Adaptive Athlete

Removal of Sport Classes

Previously, each adaptive division was further divided into multiple sport classes to assist with classification registration and data collection. These classes have been removed to simplify the registration process.

Change to Single-Limb Neuromuscular Classification 

Athletes with an eligible neuromuscular impairment that primarily affects a single limb (upper or lower extremity) will now compete in the Neuromuscular Division. 

Added Guidance for Athletes With Multiple Extremity Impairments

Athletes with a combination of upper- and lower-limb impairments who meet the minimum-impairment criteria are eligible for competition in the Upper Extremity Division.

Adaptive athlete

It All Starts Here

CrossFit is committed to ensuring all CrossFit athletes have equal access and opportunity to participate in CrossFit events in a manner that is fair to all competitors while preserving the integrity of the sport. 

For more information about eligibility and age requirements, equipment allowances, how to request movement modifications, and more, review the Adaptive Athlete Policy. Adaptive athletes are subject to all rules and regulations outlined in the CrossFit Games Rulebook, including those outlined in the CrossFit Games Drug Testing Policy

It all starts Feb. 24 with the 2022 NOBULL CrossFit Games Open. Registration begins Jan. 13.

Register for the Open