The CrossFit Open Welcomes Back the Affiliate Cup

February 9, 2021


Plan to compete in the Affiliate Cup? Here's all you need to know.

The 2021 CrossFit Games season is bringing back the Affiliate Cup! 

The Affiliate Cup serves as the official CrossFit team competition. Athletes who train together at the same CrossFit affiliate can come together and compete, representing their communities from the Open to the highest level of competition at the CrossFit Games.

For the last two seasons, the formation of so-called “super teams” has been allowed, and athletes were encouraged to form teams with other athletes regardless of where they trained. This format made for an interesting competition, as we saw some of the most elite athletes in our sport combine to make some incredibly stacked teams. 

But affiliates are the foundation of CrossFit, said General Manager of Sport Dave Castro, and the CrossFit Games team thought it was high time to move the Affiliate Cup back to the forefront, once again bringing the affiliate community back into the fold during the most important stages of the season. 

Teams: How to Play

In 2019 and 2020, teams hoping to qualify for the CrossFit Games had one avenue to pursue: Sanctionals. The top teams from the various Sanctional competitions around the world were invited to the Games.

In 2021, the path for team qualification to the Games looks a lot like the path for individual qualification: Open > Quarterfinals > Semifinals > Games. 

The Open

The 2021 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 CrossFit Account 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.

In order to compete for 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 Quarterfinals

Based on a team’s Open finish rank, the top 25 percent of the total number of teams per continent (with a minimum of at least 50 teams from each continent) will be eligible to participate in the new online Quarterfinals.

Team Quarterfinals will begin on Thursday, April 22. Once the Open competition has concluded, CrossFit will send out invitations to teams. Any eligible teams wishing to participate must accept their invitation and register for the Quarterfinals before the close of 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 Semifinals

The Quarterfinals video review process for teams will be completed by May 3, 2021, at 5 p.m. Pacific Time. At the end of this review period, the final leaderboard standings for teams will be set, and the invitation process for Semifinal events will begin. 

Semifinal invitations will be emailed to the top teams in 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

The Games

At the conclusion of the Semifinals, the top teams from each Semifinal event will advance to the Games.

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.
  • The Licensee of Record (LOR) for an affiliate may not compete on any team other than a team from their own affiliate. The LOR for an affiliate may not be changed in order to allow the original LOR to compete for a different team. If it is changed between Feb. 15 and the close of the first Open workout, neither the original LOR nor the new LOR may compete on a different team for the season.
  • Athletes who do not train at a CrossFit affiliate are not eligible to register a team for the Affiliate Cup competition.
  • Teams will consist of two men and two women who train primarily at the same affiliate, starting no later than Feb. 15. Athletes may only compete for one team during each CrossFit Games season.

Be sure to check out the official CrossFit Games Rulebook for more information.

It’s an exciting year to be part of the CrossFit Games season. In addition to the return of the Affiliate Cup, this year’s competition is the most accessible to date, offering basic equipment and equipment-free options, Rx’d, scaled, and foundations versions of each workout, and for the first time including an adaptive athletes division that will give athletes with a variety of impairments a chance to compete against athletes with similar disabilities. 

Wherever you are in your CrossFit journey, the 2021 CrossFit Open is for you.

Log in and sign up for the Open now

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