Josh Bridges posted 330 reps on Open Workout 16.4, the world's highest score. He performed the workout at CrossFit Invictus Point Loma where he was judged by CJ Martin. Martin deemed that there were no missed reps, and later validated his score. Prior to the deadline, Bridges submitted his video in the event it was a winning performance. A member of our judging team reviewed it, and noted that there were some questionable reps on the deadlift, but advised that based on the angle of the video and the fact that the on-the-floor judge had an appropriate angle for all reps, that the video was acceptable.
We believe that our team made a mistake by reviewing video and giving advice before the deadline. The advice was not consistent with previous rulings. We've decided to apply a Major Penalty to Josh Bridges’ 16.4 score. It will be reduced by 15 percent to 280 reps. The next top score belongs to Rich Froning, pending video verification.
We have additionally decided that in the future no video will be reviewed or judged prior to the deadline unless it is publicly submitted as an official video submission.
For background, we ask for videos following the close of each Open announcement and after the end of the Open. The videos are used as an additional validation step before issuing prize money or awarding regional spots. The intent is to confirm that the athlete is indeed capable of their posted score, not to scrutinize every repetition. This extra level of review is not designed to be used in isolation or to unnecessarily overrule the affiliate and in-person judge. Most judgment calls are best made in person, rather than from a computer screen.
However, we have a precedent of enacting penalties when more than a couple reps are questionable, even when the affiliate and judge stand behind an athlete’s performance. Other Regional and Games-caliber athletes have had their winning scores disqualified (Josh Golden and Danielle Sidell in 13.2).
After 2013, we changed our video review process to include options for a Minor Penalty (reducing one to four no reps) to address counting errors, and a Major Penalty (15 percent reduction in reps) to handle incidents where the score was judged and validated locally, but the video showed that the on-site judge should have been more strict.
Each year we work to implement better internal processes to improve the competition and athlete experience. In this case, it means making a tough decision and putting additional precautions in place to prevent similar incidents in the future.