A Deep Dive Into Individual Quarterfinal Results

April 23, 2021

Chad Schroeder

A look at the numbers behind the inaugural Quarterfinal.

It has been a week since the Individual Quarterfinal leaderboard was finalized. Let’s examine the numbers to see how the inaugural Quarterfinal tests played out. 

For many Quarterfinal participants, the Games season is now over, but some of the sport’s top athletes have started the Team Quarterfinal, which takes place Thursday through Sunday. Others are now in final preparations for the Semifinals, which start at the end of May. Additionally, a number of age group athletes are getting ready to take on the Age Group Online Qualifier in the first week of May. And finally, a number of elite athletes are currently on the outside of the bubble waiting to see if they get a Semifinals invite as athletes above them on the leaderboard either go team at Semifinals or simply pass on competing in the next stage of competition.

Quarterfinal Qualifiers Recap 

The chart below, which you may remember from my previous article, offers a breakout of Open participants on each continent along with the numbers of qualifiers possible for each continent for the remainder of the Games season. Additionally, the chart has been updated to show the number of athletes who actually participated in the Individual Quarterfinal. Note the overall participation rate for the Quarterfinal was just over half of those who qualified from the Open. It will be interesting to see if the Quarterfinal participation rates increase next season without the effects of COVID-19 restrictions. 


Chart 1


A total of 5,713 women and 7,655 men competed in at least one test in the Individual Quarterfinal. For a historical comparison, this is somewhat similar to Sectionals participation rates during the 2010 CrossFit Games season. The Sectionals in 2010 were a precursor to the Open, which started the following year. Like in the Open, anyone could sign up for Sectionals. There were 33 Sectionals leading up to 13 Regionals in 2010. Roughly two to four Sectionals served as qualifiers for each Regional. 

When you look at the numbers from the 2010 and 2021 Games seasons, they are somewhat comparable. 


Chart 2



Note that in 2015, Regionals athletes were roughly halved with the consolidation of competitive regions into larger Regionals. The number of possible Semifinal participants is relatively similar to the old Regionals numbers from 2015 to 2018. Also in 2015, the Games individual fields were consolidated to 40 men and 40 women, and these numbers remained consistent through 2018. The 2021 Games individual numbers are returning to their old roots.


Bjorgvin Karl Gudmundsson
Björgvin Karl Guðmundsson during Test 2


Quarterfinal Qualifiers and Participation by Country

The table below gives the country breakouts for the athletes who qualified (25,021) and then participated (13,368) in the Quarterfinal. A total of 128 different countries qualified athletes to the Quarterfinal, and athletes from 118 countries went on to participate. For reference, athletes from 159 countries participated in the Open this season.




Moving on up From the Open

The Quarterfinal provided athletes with the opportunity to drastically improve upon their position from the Open. For most elite athletes, it was simple to qualify for the Quarterfinal. Additionally, an athlete’s Open placement had no bearing on their Quarterfinal scores, since all qualifiers’ scores were reset to zero. For the last two years, an athlete’s Open performance was significant as a potential direct qualifier to the Games. This season’s Open didn’t provide as much incentive for elite athletes to do really well, and it showed for some.  

The top 120 athletes in North America after the Quarterfinal will be invited to advance to the Semifinals. For Europe, the top 60 advance. The top 30 in South America, Oceania, Asia, and Africa advance. 

The tables below show the number of athletes who were in the Open and Quarterfinal top 120/60/30, which was roughly one-third to one-half of participants for each continent. Also listed are the number of athletes who were initially in the top 120/60/30 but did not qualify for the Semifinals. Note, these are the same number of athletes who were not in the Open top 120/60/30 but then did qualify for the Semifinals. Also shown for reference is the number of athletes who were in the Open top 120/60/30 who did not start (DNS) in the Quarterfinal. Some of these athletes are perhaps planning to go team or concentrating on the Age Group Online Qualifier.  

With the Quarterfinal scores resetting to zero from the Open, it is interesting to check out which athletes had the lowest Open continental places but still qualified for Semifinals. Adam Klink from CrossFit Krypton takes the award for the athlete with the lowest Open continental placement (901st) to still qualify for the Semifinals.

One big caveat to the  numbers below is that they will change once individual Semifinals qualifiers drop out to go team or decide they do not want to compete in the Semifinals. Then backfills will happen, which will change the totals below for the athletes who eventually compete in the Semifinals.


Chart 4

Chad Schroeder has been doing CrossFit since 2009. Schroeder started working for CrossFit Media regularly at the 2012 CrossFit Games. He compiles and tracks all the CrossFit Games season results, athlete bios, and career records. He provides direct stats and research assistance to the media crews during live events and production shows. Originally from Kansas City, Missouri, he is a civil engineer during the day and was in the United States Air Force for 10 years. He has his Professional Engineer’s license along with master’s and bachelor’s degrees in engineering. Before finding CrossFit, he came from a triathlon and marathon background. Outside his work and CrossFit, he enjoys hiking and snowshoeing in the Colorado mountains  He also likes following MMA (UFC) and is a huge Star Wars fan and Lego collector.