Online competition has become an integral part of the sport of CrossFit. Multiple times during the season, athletes may be required to submit a video recording of their tests for review and validation by the CrossFit Games review team. If you cannot provide a video, you will be given a zero score for that test.
The Video Review Process
Every video that has a penalty assessed has been viewed by multiple judges. The first of these is the on-site judge who should hold the athlete to a high standard throughout the test. Next, the athlete should review their own video prior to submission to ensure they are content with the quality of movement based on their comprehension of the standards.
Once a video is submitted, CrossFit may choose to review it based on score and placement. This review typically begins with a verification of loading, measurements, rep counts, test guidelines, and an assessment of movement standards. If the judge finds any issues with the submission, they make notes about the issues and send the notes to another, more senior judge. This judge then repeats the process of assessment, and if they agree there are issues, the video is sent to yet another, even more senior judge for a final penalty determination. This process ensures that no one judge can have too much influence (for good or bad) on any single athlete or division during a competition, and it helps create consistency when penalties are applied.
Input from all levels of judging is taken into consideration when determining if a penalty is appropriate.
The 2021 Quarterfinals at CrossFit Soul | Photo by @etherealpictures_
Which Videos Get Reviewed?
During online competition, the following performances provide a starting point for the team to review:
• Top scores in any single test.
• Top athletes in the overall competition standings.
The review team prioritizes performances that affect prize money and/or advancement to the next stage of the season.
Who Is Responsible for Reviewing the Videos?
The CrossFit Games video review team is made up of CrossFit staff and judges from the greater CrossFit community who have proven themselves to have a keen eye. The team of judges and team leads are paid for their time and held to a high standard. In addition to the official review team, during the Open, anyone who has passed the most recent Judges Course can view and provide input on any video that has been published on the CrossFit Games leaderboard. This feature has been available for years and is used by our internal team as a spotlight for videos that may need official review.
Reasons for modification of a score include but are not limited to:
• Failure to follow the video submission guidelines, including recording movements from angles, distances, or with effects that do not allow judges to assess whether the movement standards are being met.
• The view of the athlete in the video is obscured.
• Violation of the event format, including movement standards.
• Workout attire that prevents the judge from determining whether the athlete is meeting the movement standards.
• Miscounting repetitions.
How Penalties Are Assessed
There are five possible outcomes that may be applied by the CrossFit Games internal review team when judging video submissions.
• Good Video - All requirements are met. The score that was submitted will be accepted.
• Valid With Minor Penalty - During review, there were a small number of no reps and a minor penalty will be applied.
• Valid With Major Penalty - During review, there were a significant number of no reps and a major penalty will be applied. At minimum, the penalty will be 15% of total rep count or total time.
• Zero Score - An athlete submits a video that demonstrates they were clearly trying to complete the test, but the standards were violated egregiously, they did the wrong movements, or they used the wrong weight. In this case, the athlete’s score may be adjusted to zero. Despite the zero score, this athlete will remain in the competition.
• Invalid Score - An athlete submits a video that is actively malicious or intentionally disregards the rules of the competition. This action will result in CrossFit disqualifying the athlete and removing this and all other scores from the competition.
The video review process is thorough, time-consuming, and necessary. The main goal has always been ensuring the performance captured on video matches the submitted score while following all the rules of the competition.
Age-Group online Semifinalists may appeal any penalty issued after video review of their performance following the same process set in place during the Open and Quarterfinals. Appeals are reviewed by a separate individual from the initial review process.
Video Submission Appeal Process
(Rulebook Section 1.27): An athlete submitting a video for review will receive an email message from CrossFit if the score posted with the video is modified. The message will give a brief description explaining the reason for the change in score.
Any athletes who disagree with their score modification must contact email@example.com upon receiving notification that their score has been modified. In the email, they must list the event in question, the original score, the modified score, and the reason given for the score modification. They must also provide a brief explanation for why they are appealing the decision.
CrossFit will review the athlete’s appeal and the video in question to render a final scoring decision. This decision will be communicated to the athlete via email.
Video Submission Best Practices
Know What You Are Getting Yourself Into
Before you get started, make sure you and your judge sit down and read through the event details thoroughly. Pay particular attention to the movement standards, as that is what determines good repetitions. Next, make sure you set up your test area as close to what is shown in the event description as possible. We know that every gym is different, so we highlight some specific details that are non-negotiable immediately following the suggested floor plan photo.
Once everything is set up, shoot a quick rehearsal video and take the time to see if the athlete is 100% visible to the camera throughout the entire workout. Look for things that could possibly impede the video-review judge from doing their job. Here is a small list of things to look for:
- Is there a glare or shadow that makes it hard to judge the athlete?
- Is the athlete wearing clothes that blend in with the floor/background that make it difficult for the review judge to actually see the complete range of motion?
- Is the athlete facing the right direction for each movement? You could be penalized for not facing the right way.
- Where is your timer, and is it counting up?
Pick the Right Judge
Ask your on-site judge to do their job! Ask them to hold you accountable for the full range of motion and not just the rep count. In the long run, you are better off doing an extra rep for your on-site judge than taking a time penalty from your online review judge.
Once you have completed the test, sit down and watch your own video. Count your own reps, judge your own movement, be a critic of your own work before you submit it for our team to review. Put as much effort into the filming of your tests as you do into training all year, and we’re sure the video review process will go smoother for you and our review team.
Here are some additional best practices to be as successful as possible.
- Film ALL competition area measurements so the distances and weights can be clearly seen.
- Use the camera placement provided in the floor plan. The camera should typically capture a ¾ view of the athlete during all movements.
- Avoid placing the camera low to the ground. We recommend placing the camera at least three feet off of the ground.
- Videos must be uncut and unedited to accurately display the performance.
- A clock must be visible throughout the workout.
- Videos shot with a fisheye lens or similar lens may be rejected.
- Ensure the judge does not obstruct the view of the athlete.
For more information on video submissions, rules, or the season in general, be sure to check out the 2023 CrossFit Games Rulebook. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with more questions.
This article was originally featured in the January and February editions of The Hopper newsletter.