Opens and Regional Updates

If you are into Crossfit at all, then you know by this point that the Opens dates and Regional dates have been announced.

To recap:

The Opens will begin on February 27th and end on March 31st.
We have four days (Thursday-Monday) to complete the Opens workout.

The first regional begins the weekend of May 9 and looks like the following:

Weekend 1: May 9-11
North Central (Chicago, Ill.)
Canada West (Vancouver, B.C.)
South East (Jacksonville, Fla.)
Latin America (Santiago, Chile)

Weekend 2: May 16-18
Central East (Columbus, Ohio)
Canada East (Toronto, Ontario)
North West (Kent, Wash.)
Europe (Copenhagen, Denmark)
Australia (Wollongong, Australia)

Weekend 3: May 23-25
Mid Atlantic (Washington D.C.)
SoCal (Del Mar, Calif.)
South Central (San Antonio, Texas)
Asia (Seoul, South Korea)

Weekend 4: May 30-June 1
North East (Canton, Mass.)
NorCal (San Jose, Calif.)
South West (Salt Lake City, Utah)
Africa (Johannesburg, South Africa)

All of that information was pretty standard as it was announced. However, the announcement posted Monday adds some interesting twists to this year. I like literally every change that has been made. I think the head honchos at HQ made some improvements here to make the sport a lot more legitimate. Is it 100% bulletproof? No. Is it a good first step? Absolutely!

Here’s some of the highlights that I specifically like:

  • If you plan to compete at Regionals you have to be video-ready. I absolutely love that EVERY Regional competitor is held accountable by video now. I especially like that to prevent having to sift through months of video footage, HQ is only requiring one video submission, BUT that video submission could be from ANY of the 5 workouts. It forces Regional competitors to hold to standards and shuts up the critics. It will however be interesting to see how many videos HQ rejects and how strict they are across the board. This is especially going to be interesting in regards to standards required for masters athletes.
  • I especially love that ANYONE in the top 60 is subject to video submission. That’s a lot of work for folks who aren’t planning on competing in the individual competition, BUT it’s worth it for the purity of the sport. This will actually be a pain in my butt trying to keep all my team competitors filmed in hopes that they make it inside the top 60.
  • The addition of unannounced, non-competition drug testing was extremely necessary to give legitimacy to the sport and rank it even with other Olympic level sports. I’m interested to see how often they perform these tests and to what caliber of athletes, but I think this was a absolutely necessary step. As a drug-tested athlete, I think this was only a matter of time before this happens. Now the question becomes, which high-level athlete is going to get busted first?
  • My most favorite addition is the Wild Card spots. Last year some of the best athletes in the world were left out of the Games because of the competitiveness of their region. I featured this site last year when I mentioned this problem, but here’s a look at the ranking for all regional athletes who competed last year.  2103 Crossfit Regional Showdown  According to this, athletes like Gerald Sasser, Kevin Simons, Chris Spealler, Nate Schrader, Pat Barber,  Amy Dracup, Candice Ruiz, Ingrid Kantola, Lindsey Smith, Amanda Allen, and Annie Sakamoto would all have a reasonable argument for a wild card spot.  My only concern with this new addition is the terminology; “If CrossFit chooses to invite more.”  I wish they would state how many spots there are and the system they will use to determine those spots PRIOR to Regionals. However, it’s their sport and their Games, so they can do whatever they want.

I think the adjustments and additions are great and are slowly helping this sport rise to the level of legitimate professional and Olympic sports.  If HQ continues on this trend, it won’t be long before there’s no room for argument against the sports legitimacy.

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