CrossFit Open: all the details
If you are new to CrossFit , you may wonder what CrossFit Open is. Here's what you need to know.
What is the Open?
The Open is a 3-week online competition which is held during the months of February/March. Participating athletes must perform the announced WODs and upload their scores in the specified time.
The CrossFit Games defines the Open as the beginning of everything, and so it is. Any athlete who wants to end up at the CrossFit Games has to start by doing the Open.
The Open is the sporting event with the largest number of participants in the world.
The athlete must register for the category in which he/she meets the requirements and wishes to participate. The minimum age to register for the Open is 14 years old..
The one chosen by the professionals and athletes who know how to do all the exercises.
Those who need to make adjustments to their more difficult version of the exercises. This category has no chance of advancing further in the qualification for the Games.
Divided into different age ranges under 18 years of age (Teens) and over 35 years of age (Master).
People with limitations. Within this category there are many divisions according to the athlete's limitation. For example, in the upper or lower extremity, or different neurocerebral variants.
This is one of the newest categories and one that will surely undergo more changes over the years in order to be as inclusive as possible.
Formed by 2 boys and 2 girls from the same affiliated gym.
What are those Open numbers?
The system for naming the WODs is by using the year of the season, for example this year it will be 22, and the next number is the order of the week. The first WOD will be 22.1, the next one 22.2 and the last one 22.3.
So if someone talks about how difficult 16.2 was you know they are referring to the Open in the second week of 2016.
How do I become a part of the Open?
First of all, you need to register on the CrossFit Games website and pay the registration fee which varies between $15-$20 depending on the country you are in. This is a one-time payment for the 3 weeks of competition.
The WOD in question is posted on Thursday and there is a time window until Monday to complete it. In that period you have 3 options to perform the WOD:
1.- Do the Open at an affiliated CrossFit:
It is the most common way to perform the Open and the most fun, since you share the suffering with your fellow boxers.
The judge supervises your WODThe athlete uploads the result to the CrossFit website and the person in charge will validate the scores.
2.- Upload the WOD video
You can record yourself doing the WOD and upload the result and the link to the video.
To become a judge you must validate your qualification online every year.
** Important!!! ALL athletes who wish to advance in the competition must record each Open in case the organization asks requests a review.
When you upload your result your score will be listed with the rest of the people competing around the world.
This competition is a way to celebrate the sport and participate in the world's most popular sporting event, no matter what your level.
It unites the community as we all face the same tests, and at the same time it is a personal challenge that will help you see how you grow each year.
The rules for competition are determined each season in the CrossFit Rulebook and if you want to compete seriously, it is important that you know the details that are specified each year.
The Rulebook is not only for the Open, but includes all phases including the Games.
What happens after the Open?
At the end of the 3 weeks only the best athletes will advance to the next phase, the Quarterfinals.
The Quarterfinals is a 2 more weeks of online competition with the same method as the Open, but with a higher smaller selection of athletes and with an increase in the demands and difficulty of the WODs.
After the Quarterfinals, only the best will advance to a final stage before reaching the Games.
All Semifinals are competitions programmed by CrossFit and some are organized independently.
Initially, they are in the form of on-site if there is no uncontrollable mishap on the part of the organization and if they are held between May and June.
Athletes will be assigned to the competition in which they participate based on the region they belong to (the information they provide when registering for the Open at the beginning of the season).
The top athletes from the Semifinals will be invited to compete at the CrossFit Games in August.
The Open has not stopped to evolve since its first edition in 2011.
That year, athletes from all over the world were encouraged to record themselves doing a WOD with the goal of qualifying for Regionals (what are now the Semifinals). The number of participants in the first edition was around 26,000.
That year the winners of the Games were Rich Froning and Annie Thorisdottir.
In 2012, the Open totaled a figure of around 70.000 participants of 73 different nationalities. It has continued to grow in popularity year after year.
Its peak was in 2018 with 416,000 participants.
Open participants per year
The Open announcements
Once registered for the Open, the excitement was focused on knowing the WOD we were going to face.
For years, on Thursdays during the Open, a whole show was put on, broadcasted on YouTube and orchestrated by Dave Castro, who has been the director of the Games for years.
The WOD was announced, no one knew what it consisted of, and 2 elite athletes were invited to do a 1 vs. 1.
At the beginning the way to choose the athletes was very simple, they looked at the list of the Games and made the 1st against the 2nd.
In 2015, 100,000 concurrent viewers watched the Froning vs. Fraser head-to-head for 15.1 . This time, Froning won with a 3 rep lead.