Armen Hammer TV: On Saturday, Sept. 8, I had a call with CrossFit Founder and Chairman Greg Glassman to discuss, on the record, new details surrounding the changes coming to the CrossFit Games season. Here is a rundown:
Teens and Masters: Not much will change. Same Open participation, same Online Age Group Qualifier, same situation competing at the Games in person, though there will probably be a smaller field of Games competitors. The goal is to get the teens and masters out of the shadows and actually competing in front of the crowds.
Teams: They're going to allow super teams. They’re not playing the game of “where do you live, how long have you lived there?” anymore. The sanctioned events will be the only pathway for a team to get to the Games. That means that throughout the season, individual athletes who fail to qualify could be looking to form a team to make it to the Games.
The lineup of sanctioned events: As many as 13 of the 16 are already locked up for 2019. This includes events in China, Australia, Iceland, Cape Town, Dubai, Ohio, Miami, Del Mar, France, and Amsterdam. Just to make sure they’re not missing anyone, in 2019 they’ll take the top 20 Open participants who aren’t national champions or winners in the sanctioned qualifiers, and maybe the top 10 the year after.
Dealing with the number of competitors: Lots of athletes will show up to the Games. With all the national champions and the sanctioned qualifier winners, they’re looking at 150+ on each side. The solution to that will be an elimination round of workouts to cut the entrants down significantly early in the week so that the last couple days of competition are just the athletes who you care about and who have a chance to win. On top of that, the winners of the sanctioned events will either get a bye on this elimination round or they’ll get the advantage of taking the final heat during the elimination round.
Why now?: CrossFit is more global than the Games may let on, and the Games should reflect that. The new format will make the Games more competitive at the top end, more interesting, more global, and more exciting to watch.