The Intramural Open is a fantastic way to build your community during the CrossFit Open. The focus is on inclusion and celebration instead of competition (though there’s a good bit of that, too).
Every year, Chris Cooper, owner of CrossFit Catalyst and Ignite Gym, builds and improves upon the intramural idea thanks to feedback from hundreds of gyms. See Cooper's newest step-by-step guide here.
If the Intramural Open sounds like a good fit for you and your community, read on to learn how you can use the CrossFit Open Leaderboard to award points, track teams and celebrate the weekly victories in your box!
How It Works
This year, the Open Leaderboard uses hashtags to help athletes compare their scores against their teammates' — and those dirty rotten scoundrels in the 6 a.m. class. Here’s how to do it:
Imagine CrossFit Santa Cruz has 100 athletes register for the Open, and the owner, Laurie Galassi, divides those athletes into four intramural teams: Alligators, Bobcats, Chinchillas and Dragons.
Galassi could use the power of the custom leaderboard to help her score those teams on each week’s workout.
Build Custom Leaderboards
Galassi logs into Games.CrossFit.com and creates four custom leaderboards: Alligators, Bobcats, Chinchillas and Dragons.
She has two options for how to add the athletes from the Alligators to custom leaderboard “Team CFSC Alligators”:
- Option 1: She can enter the athletes manually by typing their names into the “Add Athletes” section.
Note: The athlete must be registered at the time Galassi is adding names, so remember that this option requires work to add a group of athletes now and work to add any stragglers later.
- Option 2. She can instruct the athletes to use a hashtag that is unique to their team and unlikely to be used by any other athletes in this global competition (e.g., #teamcfscalligators, #teamcfscbobcats, #teamcfscchinchillas, #teamcfscdragons).
Note: The benefit of using hashtags is that it’s up to athletes to get themselves registered and linked to the hashtag. If particular athletes are not on the leaderboard and want to be, then it’s entirely within their power to add themselves, which should reduce the amount of headache for Galassi.
Galassi can share these custom leaderboards with her gym by using the public "Share" button. CrossFit Catalyst, for example, has private Facebook groups for each team and posts the team’s official hashtag in those groups.
Return Each Week to Find Top Scorers
Each week, Galassi could return to the custom leaderboards and find the top scorers on the week’s workout. For example, she could:
- Go to “Team CFSC Alligators” custom leaderboard and sort by Open Workout 19.1.
- Find the top male athlete and record his score.
- Find the second-best male athlete and record his score.
- Find the top female athlete and record her score.
- Find the second-best female athlete and record her score.
- Add all the scores together to create the team’s score on 19.1.
Lucas Zepeda - 400 reps
Rob Miller - 399 reps
Leah Polaski - 450 reps
Cara Hipskind - 401 reps
Team A total: 1,650 reps on 19.1
A scoring template is downloadable here.
Next, Galassi would go to Team B’s custom leaderboard and use it to find the top two men and top two women. She then would add their team total to her spreadsheet.
Brett Dahlberg - 425 reps
Matt Bischel - 375 reps
Megan Mitchell - 305 reps
Silvia Mcleod - 300 reps
Team B total: 1,405 reps on 19.1
She could then repeat the process for Teams C and D.
Team C total: 1,700
Team D total: 1,105
Now in her spreadsheet she would have the following ranking on 19.1.
1. Team C (Score: 1,700)
2. Team A (Score: 1,650)
3. Team B (Score: 1,405)
4. Team D (Score: 1,105)
Add Any Non-Scoring Scores
If the affiliate was adding “spirit reps,” such as bonus reps for cheering, coming in costume, or bringing food for the BBQ, then Galassi could add those into the equation in her own spreadsheet using her own system.
Catalyst awards 5 points per week to the team showing the most spirit. Cooper notes that these points tend to balance out over the course of the Open.
As another example, if the score is for reps that week, a team could add 10 reps to its score for each team member who comes to judge on Saturday.
Team A: 13 judges x 10 reps = 130 bonus reps + 1,650 = 1,780
Team B: 5 judges x 10 reps = 50 bonus reps + 1,405 = 1,455
Team C: 7 judges x 10 reps = 70 bonus reps + 1,700 = 1,770
Team D: 15 judges x 10 reps = 150 bonus reps + 1,105 = 1,255
1. Team A (1,780) - Moved up due to spirit reps
2. Team C (1,770)
3. Team B (1,455)
4. Team D (1,255)
Repeat the Process for 19.2, 19.3, 19.4 and 19.5
Repeat steps 2 and 3 for each workout.
If the workout is for time instead of reps, perhaps the teams get 10 seconds off their team score for wearing costumes or judging.
Note that the Open uses a points-per-place system. To get the overall rank, assign a number of points equal to the team’s rank on the workout and add the points together across all workouts. For example, if the Alligators rank 1st on 19.1, 4th on 19.2, 2nd on 19.3, and 1st on 19.4 and 19.5, then they get 1 + 4 + 2 + 1 + 1 = 9 total points.
The best part of the Intramural Open model is that you can add or subtract points as you see fit.
If you don’t want to give spirit points, you don’t have to. If you want to add a sixth event, no problem. For instance, last year Catalyst put teams into locked offices and they followed clues to escape.
The Open is more than a measuring stick: It’s an opportunity to make your community members feel famous. It’s a retention tool, a microscope and a podium. The Intramural Open places the focus on camaraderie and participation, and the Open leaderboard makes it simple for coaches and affiliate owners.