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State of the Community: Executives Panel Parts 1-2 by Various - CrossFit Journal

In CrossFit, CrossFit Endurance, Videos

December 04, 2010

Video Article

A tent city and a swarm of CrossFitters guaranteed some fun and engaging discussion at the recent CrossFit Endurance Sports and Fitness Expo in Costa Mesa, Calif. The event allowed CrossFitters to connect with their own community and reach out to the larger community to share CrossFit with the general public.

In this video, a panel of CrossFit HQ executives has been assembled, including Paula Gravatt of CrossFit by Overload and the Affiliate Support Team, Director of Training Dave Castro, Director of Business Development Jimi Letchford, Jeff Martin of CrossFit Kids, Brian MacKenzie of CrossFit Endurance, and CrossFit founder and CEO Greg Glassman.

In Part 1, event MC Doug Katona of CrossFit Endurance asks the assembled HQ execs questions about themselves and about their priorities right now. Find out how each of these members of the HQ staff found CrossFit and how each continually helps CrossFit grow as a business and as a fitness program.

Says Coach Glassman: “I’m spending my time putting together the teams—legal, financial and technical—to pave the way forward for the continued growth of everyone: affiliates, trainers, clients.”

In Part 2, Katona poses audience questions to the panel. Castro discusses the future of the Games, including the return of the masters division and the new format for the sectionals and regionals, and Jeff Martin announces an inaugural CrossFit Kids event at the Games.

When a question is posed about HQ communication with the community, Coach Glassman admits he has trouble keeping up with his overflowing in-box.

“All the correspondence is appreciated. I’ve got nothing but love for all of you, but I’m overwhelmed,” Glassman says.

He and Letchford also discuss the expansion of the CrossFit name and what happened to Operation Phoenix.

Part 1: 13min 0sec
Part 2: 12min 29sec

Video by Again Faster and CrossFit Films by Jordan Gravatt.

Additional reading: CrossFit HQ, 2851 Research Park Dr., Santa Cruz, Calif. by Greg Amundson, published Jan. 5, 2010.

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Part 1:
Part 2:


89 Comments on “State of the Community: Executives Panel Parts 1-2 ”


wrote …

Dying to hear more details about the 6 week long qualifier/on-line sectional.


wrote …

mark sisson with a cameo!


wrote …

Thank you HQ for keeping the corporate jungle at bay. I totally agree with maintaining CrossFit at a simple level.


wrote …

No sectionals ????


replied to comment from Reynaldo Fernandez

Yep, no Sectionals. This is ridiculous, I understand allowing people to have a certain period to qualify online if they can't make it to a sectional, but completely getting rid of sectional qualifiers is ridiculous. The format of it will be nowhere near the same as a Crossfit style event. People won't have to do all of the workouts in a two day period, they are going to be able to do them as many times as they want, and doing the events at a box won't make it like having their own little sectional. I know it took a lot of time and planning for Sectionals to happen last year, and no it probably wasn't as beneficial for HQ as they thought it would be, but it was worth it. I am anxious to see how this is going to go, but I am also very skeptical about it because I am definitely PRO Sectionals.


wrote …

I was at the Expo and couldn't believe my ears when they said no sectionals. I went to the SoCal sectionals last year as a spectator to watch 2 guys from my gym compete. It inspired me. I said that whatever I did, I was going to prepare myself to compete this year. After competing in two "throwdown" type events that were incredibly well organized and professionally run I really wanted to compete in an "official" CrossFit event. I don't have any misconceptions about ever competing at the regional level but sectionals would have been a big accomplishment for me. Too bad I won't have that opportunity and I know there are others out there that are in a similar situation and feel the same way.


wrote …

There have been three errors in Games history.

1. The Clean and Jerk workout in 2008 when the games was scored for time
2. The deadlift event in 2009 where the weights were too light, leading to a 17-way tie for first, when the scoring didn't give a share of 1-17, but gave all 17 a 1 point result
3. No open online sectional in 2010.

Because the cut the open sectionals in 2010, I guess that the only way they could be reintroduced without embarassing people is to go 100% to online sectionals in 2011.

Sectionals allow bonding across localities. It allows "amateur crossfitters" proper access to competition. It allows hot newbies to experience competition for the first time, with the added pressures involved. And it builds the Crossfit community below the elite level.

HUGE mistake IMO.


Daniel Carney wrote …

That's one tight panel of HQ "executives" (read BMF).

Love to see that HQ continues to raise the bar, and at the same time, not take sh** from anyone. Though I'm also bummed to see Sectionals go by the wayside, as that's the only CF event I'm ever going to qualify for, I'm excited for where this is all going!

I'm especially relieved to see the continued effort and involvement of CrossFit HQ to get our service men/women real life training gear. Allowing those who want/need the gear the most to contribute to its acquisition is definitely the way to go.

Favorite Glassman quote: "Both barrels Jimi. Let'em have it. Fu**'em."


wrote …

no sectionals....that is so lame. BOOOOOOO!!!!!! i loved sectionals as did every competitor that competed at sectionals. why are they taking that away from us. what a terrible terrible idea


wrote …

IMHO, Coach explains the "why" for no Sectionals. They have a 3 prong approach to CrossFit's Event "Properties". 1) The Games, 1) The Sport Series, and 3) Throw-Downs. He states that they "loathe to thwart anything". Which means that they are going to thwart, they just hate doing it. It's like someone saying "No offense" to you, it means that the person is about to offend you.

He goes on to say "yet, if we let go of the licensing requirement it becomes legally a quit-claim on the property and we can lose the mark and worse." So, if local comps are left to stand that are not controlled or dictated by HQ, then this puts all of the comps (up through and including the Games) at risk of not being able to maintain a trademark for.

CF can spin it anyway they'd like, but the reality is that they are protecting their trademark and their property. Which is absolutely fine. It has nothing to do with on-line qualifiers being better. It only has to do with the fact that they can't (or don't want to) maintain control of the Sectionals.

Expect local competitions to be squeezed out because if these are left to stand they represent the same threat to the "property". My guess is that CF will fill the calendar with Throw-Downs to discourage locally-developed competitions, promote them heavily as the thing to do, nicely encourage boxes to stop local comps, ask that local comps not use the CF name, and then get more aggressive from there.


wrote …

Dave said "you'll have to qualify online OR at a local box. Any box can host what's essentially a sectional - any gym can host these can do it online..."

It sounds like we (affiliates, box owners) can still host a "sectional" event. It may not be officially sanctioned by HQ, but we can still do it, and people's results will count. Perhaps we'll have to video tape the event and send it in?

In addition to that we have the option of individual video submissions, as we have in the past. Only now the videos will be HQ's main focus/way to control the events.

I'm personally anxious for more info to come out as I've been training hard and looking forward to competing in this years sectional for the first time...


wrote …

This video was filmed several weeks ago. The final details of the Universal Sectionals have been worked out since then. All the details are coming soon on the Games site. But here are a few key things:

1. Last year's Sectionals were great. We loved them and it was a very difficult decision to change the format.
2. While the Sectionals were open to "everyone," really they were only open to folks who could be at that one spot that one weekend.
3. The new Universal Sectionals are open to anyone in the world who has access to the internet.
4. There will be two ways to validate a performance: with a video that you submit online or at a "registered affiliate."
5. Each week, affiliates who register can create a nearly identical atmosphere to last year's Sectionals if they want.

Again, full details will be coming to the Games site very soon. This is a change for sure, but the process will definitely identify the fittest in each Region, who will come together in late May / early June to battle for the precious few spots allocated to the CrossFit Games in July.


wrote …

I started CrossFit last year and went to sectionals to support my uncle and the rest of my box just after my first month. It was inspiring to say the least! I could not believe the output of all the athletes and of course, everyones positive attitude and warm welcome. Crossfit is a community and events like sectionals are a chance to build and create relationships. I think that submitting videos of workouts is cold and impersonal, the opposite of what Crossfit is for me. It is camaraderie that gets people coming back to the box.


wrote …

I understand being bummed due to the cut in sectionals but we're only coming up on the 5th year of the games. When it comes to competitive sports CrossFit is still a baby. The rules and format will continue to change every year for many years to come. Look at the Olympics of FIFA World Cup, the rules and format still change for them and look how long they've been around.


wrote …

Thanks for the reply Tony! Youd never get attention from top level people so quickly in many other sports if any.

Im not sure why everyone is so upset, sure it sucks we dont get to have it how it was last year but just think how many more people have an opportunity to compete because of it! If they wanted a box could host a mini comp every week so everyone could compete, not just those who have those specific days off! Also, just because its not an actually official comp doesnt mean you cant have the environment of one.


wrote …

Re: Sectionals, this seems pretty easy: If you want to hold a "Sectional" and you are an affiliate, than do it.

If you have a big enough space and/or local affiliates know that you have your $h!t together, then you can hold a Sectional and athletes will show up.

Coach/HQ - keep it open and loose, you're doing this right. Top down direction and organization will cause more headache for you and us. The folks that want to be told what to do because they can't figure it out for themselves and/or are afraid to try something that might fail want you to be there to cushion the fall or have you to blame for their perceived failure.

"If the apples will not remain on the tree of their own strength, if they are worm-eaten at the core, if they are early ripe and disposed to fall, let them fall!" -Frederick Douglass


wrote …

I heard someone on the video talk a little about Operation Phoenix. I am currently stationed at Ramstein AB, Germany and am hearing a rumor that there is a bunch of equipment that was given to the base as part of OP. The rumor is that it is sitting in a warehouse somewhere not being used because the Air Force won't release it. Is this the case? If it is, I'd like to find out if they would release it to someone to open a box for GI's. I've talked to a few of the other crossfitters around here and we've all said we would pitch in and rent a place to put all the stuff. I find it very disturbing to find out that some very generous people donated a bunch of equipment and now we can't use it.


wrote …

Will all competitors in a region be ranked against one another with the top say 60 going to regionals? Or will there will minimum standards to qualify for regionals, with potentially more or less going based on how many meet the standards?


wrote …

Maybe this is a stupid question but with all these online submissions what will stop athletes from video taping themselves multiple times for the same workout and then just sending the best one in?


wrote …

Ok it WAS a stupid question. Sorry I had not watched the video yet because my internet sucks here at my current deployed location. Finally got to see it and they answered my question. Should be interesting to say the least!


wrote …

I think that this will lead to some real issues. Theoretically, competitors will be able to keep trying to improve their time over the 6-week period. This puts the results in absolute limbo until the end of that period.

Even if there are on-line results posted in real time, this will force those that have "qualified" early (especially those on the bubble) to constantly be in the position of having to requalify because at any moment someone can bump them with a newly posted time.

This could also lead to people sitting on ranking times and not submitting them until the cut-off leaving those that thought they qualified out.

Even if on-going results are not posted, competitors would be smart to repeat their performance as many times as possible at as many locations as they could and seek to eek out the best time they could over the 6 weeks.

I think that the commraderie of the local event is lost.

Think of the complaints that exist at the Sectionals and now think of all of the irregularities that could exist in individuals recording and submitting their own time. I mean, how much variation in camera angle could we have and what impact on being able to determine if standars are met. Think about having the same event at 15 boxes and the differences in ref'ing the movements that could exist.

If HQ really just wanted to open this to "everyone" then there should be a non-Sectional qualifier that is open to everyone in the region as an alternative to the Sectional. It would serve to allow things to be open to everyone and as a 2nd chance qualifier. (Alternatively, athletes could be forced to choose one or the other).


wrote …

I am happy to hear of the continuation of the master competition. I would like to see masters featured on the daily WOD results and in 'round-table' conversations.


wrote …

Great information, thanks for posting this. It's discussions like this that keep me excited as an affiliate owner. I truly feel our community and sport is growing but in the right direction.

We are excited to be able to have our own mini-Sectionals at our box for our athletes and cannot wait to see what the Reebok sponsorship means at this year's Games - see you there!



wrote …

Maybe it will be explained when it all comes to light but my main concern is judging. Camera angles will be huge for video submission but at least you know if you are video submitting a workout to be judged upon sending it in you will have consistent judges from HQ watching the vids. But (I mite be wrong, but this is what it sounds like) if we are simply taking an affiliates word for it on whether certain people got certain times on an affiliate "hosted" event then thats just ludacris. You're going to get a lot of rep cheaters and bad form show up at regionals, not the fittest athletes. I don't think the online thing is a bad idea (though sectionals was an awesome experience), I just think the only way to do it is to have every individual filmed from a specific angle and only get one submission. So then all the juding happens at HQ.


wrote …

I totally desaprouve there is not sectional. The Sectional it's the plaisure of these people who are not good enough to get to Regionally, but still participate to a crossfit games weekend. This weekend of fun. For me and my
friends was our week-end of CrossFit, we are trained throughout the year for this. We made a little road trip to participate and we make a lot of experience and motivation To see better than us. A week-end of game, it serve
me to know the local community, because we have no crossfit box here, in gaspésie at east of canada. I train in globo gym and in my
garage. It will just be those who succeed to go regienal who will be able to know the pleasures of a week-end of game and i say no, sectionnal is so cool! expand Sectional at 6 weeks is really not the same feeling compare to last year.

and for those they can not be present at this weekend crossfit games. the online qualification would be very useful, but it should not replace the wonderful weekend sectional.


wrote …


I thought the sectional was an amazing experience last year, no doubt. However, there are tons and tons of throwdowns and competitions throughout the crossfit community all year long for people to go compete at if thats all they are looking to do. However, the sectionals is about finding the fittest athletes, so I am fine with this format as long as JUDGING is addressed and taken care of. think about it we have all heard the guy who says they have a 2:30 fran or sub 15 min filthy 50 but until you see it for yourself you realize that's simpley not the case.


Jennifer McKenzie wrote …

Tell me what I need to do to get licsensed to host a throwdown! Thank you HQ for wanting to get behind the affiliates and some of the smaller events/throwdowns. I'm very excited to host our own sectionals, and will probably see more participation than if we had to travel.

I see lots of opportunity for community growth. Sectionals was a blast last year and I was a little bummed for a minute when I heard the news. BUT the potenttial for participation at all levels in local throwdowns far outweighs the participation at sectionals. Additionally, our affiliate community has been holding off on creating teams for fun local sport events, like the tough mudder, mud runs, etc. because we were waiting on dates for sectionals. Now we can go ahead and register.

Looking forward to participating in the rock climbing series this weekend!


replied to comment from Chad Hobbs

I understand the idea where all may have their chance to try to be The fitest on earth, but I think we forget the meeting where you can know people from elsewhere and also chat with them. that's also a big piece.


replied to comment from Ryan Martin

All I can say is... thank goodness you guys are at the top. Thanks for keeping the site ad free and keeping the money grabbers away. Thanks for denying TV networks with stupid ideas (it would almost be oxymoronic if you think about it, CF's mandate is to be active but a CF TV show would have people back on the couch).

I have full confidence in these guys that they won't spoil the brand. Keep it up, I hope you guys don't burn yourselves out.

As a last point, I support the online qualifiers/no sectionals. Lots of people made it to the games last year that maybe shouldn't have been there from certain areas. Having online sectionals will ensure that everyone gets a shot, an if they have an off day they maybe will get a second shot, and that this way even guys like me who have never been to an affiliate can still have a shot at making it. I think the hardest part is going to be making a set standard for video quality and certain camera angles so form can be easily checked and then having the manpower to be able to critique all those videos. But for people with busy lives like me now I don't have to worry about driving a long ways to get to a sectional an take that extra time off if I want to try my hand at the games.


replied to comment from Jean-François Morneau

It isn't that there will be no events to congregate at, it's that anyregistered affiliate can host one. People won't be required to go to any particular place, they can choose to go to the "Sectional" that suits them best or which they will enjoy most. If you want to have the most people at your event, make it the biggest and best and most fun to be at.

Mikko had to travel to Ireland to qualify his first year of competing, in the new format he could have qualified at home and saved money. There are a lot of people in a similar position. This opens things up much more.

I have serious reservations about some very obvious points, quality of movements, difficulty assessing those in poor quality video, the sheer volume of entries that will have to be processed etc. All the things I know Tony and Dave are nutting out right now.
It's bold and innovative and I await the announcement of how it will work with interest.


Bill Russell wrote …

Thanks for sharing the additional information Tony.

I'd like to see the same sectional/regional format as in 2010, but make it necessary to qualify for the sectionals using the online video submission concept. This would eliminate the 'open to everyone' format at sectionals, which would be virtually impossible to manage given the growth of the Games. It shouldn't be much trouble to re-create the same fair competitions as last year's sectionals and regionals. Both events in our area ran very well and were very fair tests, kudos to Rogue, DChap and their crews.

No matter what the format, it's going to come down to the fittest men and women advancing and going down to the wire at the Home Depot Center.


I'm relatively new to CrossFit and was looking forward to giving Sectionals a go, either as an individual or as a team from my Affiliate. That being said, I completely understand the rationale for the elimination of sectionals.

As for those worried about things like camera angles, rep cheating, etc: I think as a community we've come past that and I think that the open format might instill a bit (not that our community needs it) of honesty, but that's just the psychologist in me... And if it doesn't then those people will get killed at regionals. All's good!

I totally have to reiterate others' THANKS to Tony for such a quick response from such a top level exec. Stupendous example of the CrossFit way. The whole panel was also an excellent example of, well, excellence! This group of people are doing what is RX'ed for Affiliates and athletes: BE EXCELLENT! Thanks!

Many folks are commenting on the negative, but there were a few very positive comments pertaining to the future of things: 1) Coach is making strides toward making this thing "100x bigger"! Holy Sh*t, right? We've all heard about the Reebok deal, well we haven't heard much actually, but know it's there. Huge! Sure it might have some bad come with it, not sure what that is, but I trust that CF HQ is doing what they think is right for them and for us, affiliate owners and athletes. Based upon past behavior of HQ I have no other reason to believe otherwise. 2) Op Phoenix! I love that they just spit out what happened and that they are making a new way to support our "trigger pullers!" Awesome! 3) Water. In fact, although Dave was asked about Water, I'd bet half my manhood that they've got more than water up their sleeve. Think Sports series... Climbing (which I am stoked about this weekend), Skiiing(?), etc. Sport is sport and we are the sport of fitness afterall, right?

All in all, I think things are moving forward. I whole-heartedly appreciate HQ's open source information policy and sharing this with us.

A few people - e.g. on Facebook, etc - have asked "is CrossFit still forging elite fitness or just forging the elite?" I think given the new format anyone still has a chance to be one of those elite and I particularly like the panel's comment about the sports series being a means to have fun. At the end of the day this should be fun!

Just my 2¢ maybe worthless...


wrote …

Wow can you imagine the sheer volume of video that they will have to sort through. I can't even begin to fathom why they would bring this upon themselves. And there will be so much question about camera angles,video quality etc. Seems ludacris to me. So this means i can go to my local affiliate compete in their so called sectional and if i am not happy with my result i can just keep doing the workouts until i get my best time?? How is that type of performance going to transfer to my ability to perform at regionals under pressure with only one chance to do well?? Or maybe there will be no regionals either. it also completely eliminates the community of crossfit, and the feel and excitement of competing in such an event not just for the athletes but the spectators too. Hmmmmm i think they will be back doing normal sectionals next year


wrote …

There have been a couple of comments regarding camera angles and missed reps and so on with the online sectionals. I wonder how it will workout if, say an athlete finishes a wod with a great time, but HQ sees a couple missed reps. If they had a judge on them they would redo the reps and still, potentially have a good time. Maybe it will be up to the athletes to only submit video's with out missed reps, hence the chance to redo the workout.

Also, I have a very limited knowledge of video editing and production, but I'm pretty sure I could conjure up a video that looks like I did a 1:50 Fran with perfect form. I know this would only get someone to Regionals but with the mention of a potential prize pot of $1 mil (from a different video at the panal) I wouldn't be surprized if it comes to that.

I will really miss the sectionals. 2010 sectionals was the highlight of my Crossfit career. I DNF'ed one workout and that has been a driving force through training for 2011. It will be interesting to see how this plays out and what the feel of the individual comps are like.


Bryce Greenstein wrote …

Lets at least wait for the official, more detailed announcement before all the speculation and complaints about the 2011 Games season.


replied to comment from Bryce Greenstein

You mean abandon our proven tactics of jumping to conclusions, unfounded allegations and conjecture based on rumour and heresay?

Have you no pride in your heritage man? :-)


wrote …

I personally think this is a mistake. The sense of community at the sectional level was amazing. People from small boxes who have never met another CrossFitter got a chance to immerse themselves in the CrossFit community and culture and feel like they were indeed a part of something larger than what was within the walls of their local boxes.
If CrossFit is truly about community, I think that HQ should take some of that Reebok and other sponsorship money and put it into making sectional more streamlined, and officiated by CrossFit HQ staff! If people can't make it to an event they have been made aware of for several months, and probably been training for....well I don't think there is a lot of excuses for that. I say keep the sectionals, and use the new resources that we have gained to make them even better! If we are about community we need to keep bringing people together on this level.
The whole idea of video taping your performance and sending it in is far to out of touch in my opinion. Secondly if they can send in multiple videos of the same WOD I think that screws the idea of competing in a CrossFit event. It's not about your best time you can achieve over multiple attempts people, it's about what you can throwdown that day, at that very moment, with the pressure of other athletes competing against you and a screaming crowd cheering you on! Any given Sunday and all that. That’s my 2 cents.


wrote …

Thanks for the update, have faith in the system. No sectionals, no problem. From an ownership perspective. Put the work back in the box, ie (the coach). Your people are a direct reflection of you. The cold stark reality of just you and a video camera in a cold gym going 100% knowing your going to be scrutinized may turn some folks off. Not sure if this is for you. Dont let this slip away, lifes short see what your capable of you might suprise yourself. How bad do you want it? And even if you dont make it enjoy the experience. Crossfit builds more than muscle.
16th place


wrote …

why not get rid of regionals as well? hell, lets make everything online and no one will ever have to take a day off from work or drive somewhere in a car. Crossfit can become completely virtual and online video!!!! i like it!!! what a terrible terrible idea this is getting rid of sectionals.


wrote …

I think HQ has taken a pretty hard lashing thus far on the concept of no sectionals. Although, it doesn't make sense to me and I DO think it is a huge mistake, it is what it is... I just hope that they are not going to rely on Affiliate owners to judge the video entries of their respective states. All of the video judging needs to be the responsibility of HQ staff, not the Level 2 trainers who own or work at gyms and do certifications. We have about an 8,000 sq ft space and full access to a stadium here and would be glad to host a sectional, but who would want to do a "mock" sectional if they were still required to send in videos in order to qualify. It's just a bad idea all around...


wrote …

Thank you HQ for looking at a lot of big picture stuff and choosing the right paths, not the ones with the most money.

I think an online qualifier is a great idea! There will still be "sectionals" at tons of affiliates. For those complaining about the good time, go to the sports series stuff or throw downs or anything else affiliates happen to organize. In the long run I believe this format is a better choice.


wrote …

I feel as though one of the greatest aspects of CrossFit is being knocked a few notches down by not having sectional competitions -- the community.

I started doing CF as my full-time workout routine shortly before sectionals last year, it took me a long time to believe that those short intense workouts would really replace the hours spent in the globo each day targeting a different muscle group. But then I got hooked -- a few months later I traveled 9 hours to Denver for my level 1, and realized how wonderful it was to meet crossfitters from other cities. Did I really enjoy sitting those hours in the car? No..Nebraska is the most boring state to travel through. Was it worth it? Yes, absolutely. Which is exactly how I feel about sectionals. Sure, it isn't easy, cheap, or convenient to hop in the car and travel 8-9 hours to the closest competition spot, but the community and sense of inspiration that you walk away with far outweigh any cost.

While I understand the desire to open the field up to all possible participants, it takes away the magic of what most of those participants were seeking. I can do a workout every day at my local affiliate and compete against those other members, and with the new system those workouts may take me to regionals...but if not, they certainly won't make me feel like a part of something greater like sectionals would.


wrote …

p.s. I believe a lot of the drive to have the throwdown competitions starts at the sectional and regional levels. Its an opportunity for coaches and affiliate owners to get the ball rolling from city to city.


wrote …

Never competed in a sectional, but I can understand one's grief. Sounds like there can still be mini-sectionals though. I like the idea of submitting videos, may give us deployed service members that crossfit a chance to compete.

Thanks Coach!


wrote …

Why don't you run the games like a triathlon with age groups, open, elite and amateur? You can still the overall fittest person on earth.


wrote …

This is like the worst case of psychological guarding on Crossfit yet. The workouts haven't even been anounced and the form critics have started coming in.

I didn't make it to regionals because...
1.) Everyone else in my entire region manipulated their video...
2.) The other guys did multiple submissions and since that is such an advantage i decided not to...
3.) That other affiliate had different judging criteria
4.) The camera angle on that other person's video!

It is in everyone's best interest to ensure the judging is as fair and competent as possible. Do you think they decided on a video submission format without thinking about those things?

Affiliates all go through the same level 1 training course...ROM standards are pretty well understood...

If your that concerned about multiple submissions...YOU do the workout multiple times.

I'll get off my soap box now...I think Universal access is AWESOME!!!


Rob McBee wrote …

I largely agree with Laure's comments above. Will it be 'better' or 'worse' to jettison the sectional format from last year? Only hindsight can tell for sure. Last year was the first and only time sectionals were held anyway. Its not like it was a 30 year tradition or something like that. The 'best' way forward for the games and determining the "Worlds Fittest Human" is a process that will surely continue to evolve.

Big thanks to Dave Castro and all at HQ for all the hard work that goes on unrecognized but so very often criticized. I appreciate it...

Kind regards,

Crossfit Camas


wrote …

Folks, we are part of a snowball that has rolled into a boulder, then became a mountain that is about to erupt. Watching the videos from Tahoe was very reminiscent of watching the young teenage Tony Hawk, Steve Cabellero, etc as they searched for Charlie Chan. Bones Brigade!!! Where is Tony Hawk now? Someone from that group is going to take Crossfit to the level Tony took skating, guaranteed. Point is, Crossfit is changing at a fast pace and is on track to be dare I say, "Popular". This is a good thing right? Last year's sectionals were HUGE, as were the regionals. It isn't in HQ's best interest to spend the time on an extra level to an event that spans the WORLD for people like me (99% of crossfitters) that just want a taste of competing. Having "Throwdowns" is the perfect way for those of us who want a taste of competition but know that we’ll never “compete” against people like (insert favorite games competitor here). So I understand Glassman's respone to mean that others can run "Throwdowns" etc to quench that thirst. This thing is getting bigger by the minute and Glassman and his crew are protecting the brand and keeping crossfit as accessible as possible to everyone. That’s the end goal right? Change isn’t fun, but it’s coming either way. Glassman and his crew have done pretty well getting it to this level, I trust them to take it to the next, whatever that is.


wrote …

I don't agree with removing the sectionals from the crossfit experience for a couple of reasons: 1st how crossfit is it to get a wod, practice practice practice the same movements over and over again over a period of time and then send it the best timed work out in? I'm sure doing fran every day for a month i'm going to have a good fran time, but what about everything else involved, like running and how does that prove elite fitness, all it proves is you have the work capacity to do two movements quickly. 2nd aside from all the obvious abuses that can crop up in judging, video editing, and environment (ie my boxes 400m has a turn around at the 200m mark and also two driveways at negotiate) I feel that having a standard wod environment is key to ranking individuals. 3rd sectionals if fun for everyone involved in crossfit. It's not just an event for the elite crossfitters to duke it out, but rather the community to get together and compete. From beginning crossfitters to the elite, from athletes to weekend warriors, and I believe it's an intergral part of crossfit. We already have an event for the elite to compete and thats regionals. It seems that by getting rid of sectionals as a event we are losing something that should be cherished, looked forward to, trained for, and embraced just by the the simple fact that the spirit of the competition can inspire and motivate people to doing amazing acts of fittness, and to exemplify courage, strength and heart. I'm not sure the whys involoved with dissolving sectionals, but my instincts tell me it is simply a wrong direction for crossfit to head towards.


wrote …

Don't worry about the sectionals or nothing people! I am going for Graham Holmberg or Chris Spealler this Year, all you beasts out there, this online stuff opens the doors for plenty of people to qual, I can see people specializing for it, but at the games, the unknown and unknownable is what counts! SO BRING THE GAMES!



replied to comment from Chad Hobbs


You must come from an area with a ton of affiliates. Where I'm from there is only one within an hour of us. There are no throwdowns, etc, to participate in. The only "competition" my clients get to see from other affiliates is at sectionals. It is a shame they are no longer. The hardest thing I will ever have to do is announce to my 25 athletes who've been training for over a year that they will not get to compete.


Kevin Wood wrote …

Very unhappy to see the removal of Sectionals. This was one event that people in our area looked forward to having. It gave everyone a chance to see and compete with people from all over. I'm sure there are valid reasons for the removal, but everyone here is pissed off. Not fun to deal with as a box owner.


wrote …

First of all, comment #36 is amazing and had me laughing out loud! Thank you for brightening my morning with that one and for introducing some sanity.

CrossFit is an incredible COMMUNITY made up of some of the best people I have ever met. All the fun, camaraderie, excitement, etc of the sectionals is not going anywhere. It is up to YOU, the CF community around the world, to make special, inclusive, entertaining, fun events, if you so desire. I think this is extremely cool. You guys, the community, are being given a lot of ownership to make this thing as spectacular as you want at your local affiliate, stadium, etc......or, if $ is tight and you can't afford to travel to compete, then you can throw down in your garage and have the same opportunity to potentially go to regionals or the Games.

CrossFit is, always been, and always will be about the community. The ball is in your court and I have no doubt what so ever that the CF community will rise to the occasion and make the sectionals a blast.


Dale Saran wrote …

@Philip Kneip:

I hate to make fun of you, brother, but go with me for a minute:

You're going to gather your 25 (TWENTY-FIVE!) athletes, presumably at your BOX, where there is (presumably) all of this, um, equipment, and you could even have them bring their families and friends, charge a few bucks for some food and maybe to get a few porta-potties (just to have enough for everyone), and then gather in the middle of your gym, or outside, and then tell them, "You can't compete this year. There are no sectionals..." And then everyone can stand around, stare wistfully at the equipment, and complain that there's no Sectionals... Maybe you could even give it a name - and ask CF HQ for license (for some nominal fee and a media kit and some guidelines) - and call it the "UN-Sectionals" or the "CrossFit We Can't Have Sectionals Gathering."

I don't want to extend this conceit into a full-blown Swift "Proposal," but you do get the point, right? For all who missed it in the video, what Dave (and Coach) actually said was that rather than being NO Sectionals, (as opposed to the 33 from last year), there will be a greater number of opportunities for Sectionals - along with an online, open Qualifying "season."

So, instead of HQ dubbing particular affiliates as worthy of holding sectionals, and thereby limiting participation by either "first come, first serve" or by geographic proximity, we've opened it up to allow any affiliate to become a Sectional Host, all their very own. And somehow, they gets turned into HQ "taking away the Sectionals." Only on the internet can allowing MORE access to MORE people be termed "taking something away." Yeesh.

Kieran Barry's post (#7) illustrates the impossibility of our position - He notes that we were wrong for not having an open online qualifier in 2010 (he falsely claims we "cut it" or some such nonsense, because we never even discussed an open qualifier for 2010, but whatever) and now that we have it, his final line is that it's a "huge mistake." So, we were wrong when we didn't have it and now we're wrong that we changed it to have it (an open qualifying round).

Let me add a final thought - I've competed in 3 of the 4 years' Games, twice at the first two in Aromas, and at a Regional in 2009. I love the community that is created when we CrossFitters all come together from various places to gather and do our thing. But we had 33 sectionals last year (for the first time), and it's only growing across the globe. We have a staff of perhaps 35 people. The Games consumes a lot of our time and we have a LOT of other stuff going on in serving this community. This year we talked about 50-100 sectionals. Imagine it in just 3 years. It would overrun us and require a staff of hundreds, dedicated year-round to sectionals - which would still keep out people who can't afford to travel to the sites to compete. And they're not free to put on. We've put the onus back on our community and created opportunities for every affiliate to become a Games' site. Your local box in Topeka might be host to some epic performance by the future Games champ. If there had been a box in Pori, Finland, in 2010, people would have laughed, but that "sectional" in that tiny town, (under this format) would have hosted the future Games champ doing his thing that year. Just try to keep that in mind.


wrote …

The main problem I see with this is the sheer volume of data (video tapes to watch and Affiliates' numbers to crunch) in order to determine who goes to Regionals. This will be amplified by people being allowed to send in multiples video tapes.

My question is - Who is going tally up all the numbers, and who is going to watch (without falling asleep) all of these video tapes? I'm assuming that there will be thousands of tapes. I know that I love watching WOD demos on the Main Site, but if I had to watch a thousand video tapes of various people doing WOD's at a slower pace than Graham, Chris, or Rob, I might have a tendency of nodding off. How can people be assured that they will be judged fairly?

The other concern I have is cheating. It would be so easy to drill holes in your bumpers so that you could get through a WOD quicker. Right now you're thinking, "Yeah, but any moron that tried that would get his ass handed to him during Regionals." This is absolutely true. However, any moron that got into the Regionals that way, or by using "beneficial camera angles," or by any other method of gaming the system will prevent a REAL athlete from getting in.

So long as HQ keeps all of this in mind as they go forward with this new format, I'm good with it.


wrote …

@ Dale Saran

I appreciate your advice, but I'd like to ask you this. Have you ever played a competitive sport (football, basketball, baseball, soccer, etc.)? You train and practice all year long for a specific event, whether it be your rival, the play-offs whatever it might be. Most of your time is spent practicing against your OWN teammates. After awhile your team grows tired of "practice" and itches for new competition. This is exactly what it's like for my athletes. They have "beaten up" on each other in "practice" for the entire year and are dying to get some new competition. Holding "Sectionals" in our box with the same 25 athletes will not be as special as getting to travel 9 hours to their Super Bowl to compete against some of the best athletes from Chicago, St. Louis, Des Moines, Topeka, Kansas City, etc. The head-to-head competition against 'the best' is what drives our competitive spirit. The thing is some of my athletes realize they may not make it to Regionals, but they were so inspired by the athletes from last years sectionals that they made it their primary goal to be able to compete in a sectional with the 'tiniest, slightest chance' they might make it to the 'big dance'.

It would be compared to taping your teams football practices, sending your videos to the BCS and letting them decide who gets to play in the National Championship. It's ludacris. In a head-to-head competition anything can happen. A team or individual, who on paper should win easily, can lose. It happens all of the time. That is nature of "sport". When you compete head-to-head, you either beat the other person or you don't. It's that simple. It's sad to see this happen.

Dale, I hope you understand.


wrote …


Now that essentially any box can host a 'sectional', it doesn't mean that every box HAS to. Nothing is stopping your affiliate from driving 9 hours, imagine how many boxes are in that range! In fact, you could invite all the other affiliates to do the workout(s) at your box. Host the party.

CFHQ is trying to make it more accessible. Nothing seems to be stopping anyone from gathering at the same affiliate. 5 affiliates in one city? Bring all your gear to the biggest facility, and let the good times roll.

To all the comments about cheating,

WTF? They aren't going to roll out the video submissions without rules. Stay positive, and think about how you can improve your workouts, not whether some clown uses pretend weights, at a sneaky camera angle, for the 6th time. The cream will rise to the top. If you need all that help, you will get embarrassed at regionals AND not even come to close to winning. The Games are about finding the fittest person. The process happens to be fun - but it's not about having the most fun day of the year. To win (for the men), you have to beat out Khalipa, Orlando, OPT, Hack, Hobart, Malleolo, and Mikko...and that won't even put you in the Top 4! No one gets that good at CF by cheating.


wrote …

I'd like to add another point. I agree with you Dale on the fact that the next Games Champion could be found anywhere. In their garage gym, at your local box or wherever. That is a very true statement. And I will agree that in 6 weeks the best athletes will be found, however, the competition atmosphere is totally different than working out in your own box, where you feel comfortable and you know all of your competitors, along with their strengths and weaknesses. I'm disappointed that there will not be an 'official, sanctioned sectional' and my athletes will be disappointed, there is no way around that.


wrote …

No sectionals this year is just lame. I've been to local box and done on-line comps and saw almost every person "cheat" in some way or have bad form etc cause you don't have a judge watching your every rep.

Video submission also limits any type of movement other then just standing in one place and doing something. Cause I'm sure everyone has a camera guy just waiting around to follow you hoping to grab the correct video perspective and completed rep.

6 weeks or whatever the time frame they decide it is going to be is no where near the same physical beating you take in a 2 day format of 3 to 4 WODs a day is. I say boo hoo if you can't make that weekend. If you can't make it then it is not a high enough priority for you. I'm sure Shaun White said, "Sh#t I can't make Canada this year, I have a wedding I have to go to!" It is not like Sectionals were posted yesterday saying "Sectionals tomorrow at noon". You know way in advance last year when your sectional was.

I can understand if CF main wants all sectionals to have a Rx workout vs. the random mix of stuff people did last year, thats fine with me. But like many other have said, just going to your local box, competing with your local folks is not the same as going to sectionals.

As a college swimmer, I know I could beat everyone on my team everyday every hour of every minute. But if I knew someone from another team had a faster time standing next to me on the blocks, great times happened and PRs were set. It just not the same.

Very sad to see it go away.


wrote …

I've already made the point that I wanted to make, so I'm not going to repeat it. However, I see a lot of people who seem to be upset by this new format.

My question is: What are the odds that CFHQ would actually listen to the input of the people (MANY more opposed to the new format than for), change their minds, and go back to having Sectionals?


replied to comment from Trevor Smith


"As a college swimmer, I know I could beat everyone on my team everyday every hour of every minute. But if I knew someone from another team had a faster time standing next to me on the blocks, great times happened and PRs were set. It just not the same."

And that's what separates you from achieving your actual best.

Swimming, like Crossfit, is a horse race. You put your blinders and run your own race. Your best is your best, and it doesn't matter what the other competitors are doing. If you really want to maximize your potential, you have to hit that top gear on your own, every day in training, and not just when someone better than you turns up.


wrote …

Assuming that one or two of the events will require some running, whether it be a 400 or 800 mtr run, how are these distances going to be standardized? Seems like a potential problem...otherwise I agree with the crowd who state that there is more than enough opportunity here for the community to make these events as special as they'd like.


replied to comment from Phillip Kniep

Phillip Kniep,

hey brother im the owner of CrossFit West Ames here in Ames, Iowa. Shoot me an email at Lets chat!!


replied to comment from Dale Saran

Dale, moronic comment. you didnt come across as making fun you came across sounding like an idiot


replied to comment from Pat Sherwood

This was NOT a community decision Pat. HQ and the 'powers' at top did not involve any community when making this decision to eliminate a path to many well deserving athletes to gauge their own fitness. This comes down to money, just like anything. Crossfit was and always should be a grassroots organization with community making it what it is. Top-down approaches such as this decision muddy the waters that were once pure.


wrote …

Every affiliate who hosted a sectional last year can again in 2011. So can any other affiliate who wants to, and anywhere they want to. Same is true of non-affiliates, anywhere and everywhere. Any athlete who competed last year can again this year, from the same venue, or one of their choosing, or from their garage or backyard. The price drops from $100 for a competitor in 2010 to $10 for US/Canada and $5 everywhere else in 2011.

Tyler Sullivan, #65, sees this as driven by money and characterizes this as a "decision to eliminate a path to well deserving athletes to gauge their own fitness."

We've dropped the price for participation by 90-95%, opened the hosting and competition to a universal market and many here characterize this as greed and restrictive.

This entire fitness concept was launched amid near universal derision and consternation. I'm quite comfortable making unpopular decisions that irritate the masses and dim-witted. I'm proud of the decisions we've made, the deliberative processes we've engaged, and our track record generally.

That so many of you are confused and angry by changes that reduce the threshold for competition and participation, for spectators and athletes alike, says more about you than it does CF's leadership or the community. It's long been a mantra here at HQ to "keep delivery ahead of expectations" and the din of naysayers here is but evidence that we're leading beyond the potential of some to see. All is well and as it should be if we're truly doing something remarkable, important, and good.


replied to comment from Tyler Sullivan


I thought CF was and always has been owned, run and directed by Greg Glassman. It was grassroots when it was grassroots and now it's a loosely bound worldwide organisation.
The Games though are not a grassroots activity. We're not talking a bunch of people getting together and throwing together a couple of WODs before having a barbecue. They're an international event, one that requires a lot of very careful planning and organisation.

We had Sectionals once. Effectively they didn't work, for the reasons Dale outlined.
Now something else is being tried. Interestingly it's something that is actually more "grassroots" than a rigidly defined number of locations. Now everyone who can send in a video can enter. You can't get any more grassroots than that.
And as Dale also says, now everyone can organise a "Sectional". It might be one affiliate, it might be all of them in a region or even a country.

There's nothing to say you have to compete in the games. We can all train in our garages and let the people who want to be part of an organised event do that. It's still possible to be exactly the same sort of homegrown grassroots operation affiliates have always been. That hasn't changed.

I remember an interesting point made in an evaluation of the japanese car industry when it was at its height. When a country proposed new safety regulations that would require car manufacturers to alter their designs the local manufacturers would circle their wagons, hire lobbyists and publicists and make a stink. The japanese manufactures would start producing vehicles which complied with the new regulations.

There are people who see opportunities in change (they'll be the affiliates organising their own sectionals or sending in videos to save money to travel to the finals) and there are those who sit still and wish for the "good ol' days", which usually weren't so good (they won't be competing in the finals of the games).


wrote …

Coach I personally want to thank you and your team for making the "tough" decisions. Many times the immediate reaction from an individual is to lash out at change. Never giving pause to reflect and understand. My personal experience with implementing change is the joy I get from watching the most vocal antagonist or naysayers becoming the strongest supporters after the dust has settled. What you and your team are able to accomplish is truly amazing. Those that do not appreciate it have obviously never run a business operation of any kind. Let alone one as complex or diverse as CrossFit.
"Change means movement. Movement means friction. Only in the frictionless vacuum of a nonexistent abstract world can movement or change occur without that abrasive friction of conflict." - Saul Alinsky


wrote …

Thank you coach for replying. I laid in bed thinking about this whole thing and realized I over-reacted, however, it is human nature to have deductive reasoning and question your surroundings. I don't feel any of the community is 'dim-witted' for questioning the powers at be. Something was taken from them which they really enjoyed and without a lot of explaination. It would be nice to have a little more info, so the community does not over-react. We all understand we can host our own sectionals or attend another if we'd like. The competition will still be there and I assume will be more standardized than 33 separate sectionals with 33 different types of programming. But my point is this: What if in the middle of the 2010 College Football Season the BCS decided not to have any bowl games? And they told them "Hey, you guys can still play, but you have to figure out where and who you will play on your own. But you don't have too, you can just practice at home if you want. Send us the video when you're done and we will decide who are the best 5 teams in the country. Good Luck." You are going to have a reaction. Doesn't mean anyone is 'dim-witted'.

HQ, I hope you understand that's how most of the community feels. Now, I trust that you guys have a fool-proof plan on how this is going to work and everything will be fine. It would be nice to have more info. From what it looked like in the video, Dave Castro didn't really know if he should mention anything or not until he got the 'ok' from Coach. Just thought it could have been handled much better.


Dale Saran wrote …

Baker - I sound like an idiot? Do you have something to add substantively or you just wanted to call me names?


Dale Saran wrote …


I understand - you liked it when HQ told you who would host the Sectional. Instead, you have to make that decision for your athletes and possibly do some of that work. You'll have to find another affiliate within 4-5 hours and coordinate to put on an event. Hire independent judges. Get together on the programming or ask someone from the outside so that there is no question about you or your bud rigging the comp for your athletes. Talk to possible vendors, sponsors, handle equipment logistics, locations (if you need to reserve/rent one), and on and on. And I am well aware of what that takes and how hard it is.

But no one has "taken anything away." Not unless my BA in English was a complete waste.

As to your BCS analogies, let me just say that we here at CF HQ believe in letting the athletes actually compete, rather than be kept out of competition by vote, so I'm not sure I follow those analogies. And as to your "what if IN THE MIDDLE of the Bowl season...?" question, no one has changed the rules "in mid-season." The 2010 Games are over. The 2011 Games Season has yet to begin or be announced. How are rule changes now "in the middle of the Bowl season..?"

And there seems to be this continuous conflation of video-taped entries (for which guidelines have yet to be announced) and actual competitions, which we believe will be abundant and fruitful across the globe (and for which there will also be guidelines and guidance). Everyone wants info, we try to be as forthcoming as possible as soon as possible, to let the community know and have time to digest and prepare, but that comes with the price of being vilified about details not yet announced. If we waited until we had every last detail in place and contract signed, we'd be a-holes for waiting too long. (And last year a chief complaint was the barrier for people who couldn't come to the specific sectionals on the specific dates). As to our ability to know from video what is what, it is interesting is to look at the finishing places of the Online Qualifiers. Just check those out and let me know what you find.

And finally, Philip, yes, I've competed in a few sporting events in my day, in high school and beyond. You might even want to check the results for the 2007 and 2008 Games - you know, back in the Dark Ages of our sport.


Dale Saran
One of the CF Lawyers


replied to comment from Greg Glassman

Thank you Coach for your comments. Just so you know, I will not be competing at any Sectionals (too old and too new to CrossFit), so I am not affected by this change at all. So I could be considered impartial to this whole topic. But the amount of people that are anxious and upset about this decision (and the announcement thereof) has got me thinking that this wasn't really handled as well as it could have been.

I enjoy the fact that CrossFit HQ strives to "keep delivery ahead of expectations." This attitude is one of the foundations of CrossFit, and one of the reasons that (in my opinion) it is the best workout program ever devised. But I'd like to say that I think the huge uproar here came only PARTLY from the fact that HQ is making a change - yes, people hate change. However, I think that this uproar also came from the announcement coming before the plan was released to the public. It seems like if rather than Dave saying, "No Sectionals...," it might have been smoother to hold off on that announcement, and then state (some time in the future), "The new format for sectionals is _______________, and the new rules are _____________." Then, the people who freak out when something in their life changes would still have freaked out, but the majority of the badass CrossFitters out there would have said, "Oh, I think this can work."

I absolutely LOVE the concept of " the unknown and unknowable" at the Games, and even at my local CrossFit box. However, when you're making a change that might effect how thousands of people are going to plan out the next 5 months of their lives, a little more structure and better communication would probably be appreciated.


replied to comment from Dale Saran

DICKHEAD paragraph typed by you

""""""""I hate to make fun of you, brother, but go with me for a minute:

You're going to gather your 25 (TWENTY-FIVE!) athletes, presumably at your BOX, where there is (presumably) all of this, um, equipment, and you could even have them bring their families and friends, charge a few bucks for some food and maybe to get a few porta-potties (just to have enough for everyone), and then gather in the middle of your gym, or outside, and then tell them, "You can't compete this year. There are no sectionals..." And then everyone can stand around, stare wistfully at the equipment, and complain that there's no Sectionals... Maybe you could even give it a name - and ask CF HQ for license (for some nominal fee and a media kit and some guidelines) - and call it the "UN-Sectionals" or the "CrossFit We Can't Have Sectionals Gathering.""""""""""""


replied to comment from Dale Saran


You're right. Time to move on. Changes have been made and wasting time blogging about it will not accomplish anything. The best athletes will be found and move on to regionals. We will either host an event or travel to one. CrossFit is my passion and want to see it grow to the best it can be. Once again, thanks for your input.


replied to comment from Matt Solomon

I'm sorry Matt but your statement does not make any sense. If you think just can go just as fast without competition, why do we compete at all?
NASCAR, lets just do single car 5 lap time trials and see who wins at the end of the series.
For the next Olympics, 100m track people should submit their best 100m video time and see who wins the gold. Lame boring. Sorry. Its the whole piece of going to sectionals, seeing someone you competed go to regionals, and maybe make it to the games. Having 200-300 of family, friends and people cheer you on as you struggle to make every rep and they don't even know you. Not sure at my garage or local box is going to bring that level.

People do better when competing against others and perform in front of groups of people. Sorry that is just how it is. If you say you can produce 100% solo by yourself alone, I would say I doubt you have competed at a college/national level.

If the Rouge vs. Again faster comp teams each were at two different locations (assume terrain etc was same) that they would produce the same results or times? No way, competition is what drives humans to do better, push beyond to complete that last rep cause they had their team "making" them do more then their very best.

Personally I just looked forward to going to sectionals. I'm sure it will be all good and everything will workout just fine. But having 100+ competitors under one roof was pretty cool. 20 people at a local box is still fun but not the same.


wrote …

im w trevor, ive actually calmed down a bit now that i have had time to think about it and we are just gonna have to do it on our own. it will be fun but it wont be the same as Sectionals. for a lot of people sectionals was like the regionals and regionals was "their games"


replied to comment from Trevor Smith

Training individually might be lame to watch, but it doesn't change the truth. There is nothing that competing against other people adds to your performance in a closed sport. It just helps you get beyond a mental block - but you could have done that on your own.

You have no idea whether I have competed at a college/national level. It's irrelevant. If I could produce at 100% every time, I would be more likely to be a higher level.

Michael Phelps was in the pool every day before the 08 Olympics. He went in knowing his swim times. He didn't accidentally win 8 golds because other people showed up. Do you think Usain Bolt was surprised when he dominated the sprints with a smile? Have you watched the Mikko documentary? Mikko rowed in a furniture closet. He did the 08 CF Games workouts (minus the run) by himself and put out stellar times. Kendrick Farris is nearing the world record for the Clean and Jerk by working hard, not waiting for competitors to show him up.

I agree that having people to match up with and a crowd to cheer you on is more fun. But if you want to achieve your absolute best, you need to learn to train at that level consistently. Champions have a special desire to win that motivates them beyond the playing arena.

As an aside, everyone should check out Farris doing 211 kilos. Mind-bottling!


freddy camacho wrote …

I'm not going to rush to conclusions until the entire format is announced. I am not sure what the big fuss is. I'm reading this as "standardized workouts" for everyone at the first qualifying level. I hope it carries on to standardized workouts at the regional level also.

Lots of people commenting on "the sheer number of videos" being overwhelming, but my guess is there will be certain time or score criteria to be met, and its not going to be easy. Tons of people won't be able to meet the criteria, thus weeding out the volume of videos.

In the end, the fun of everyone getting to compete together at the lower qulaifying levels in big venues is over, and that's a bummer cuz it was a ton of fun. If you are going to try and turn the CrossFit Games into a bigger sporting spectacle, then it had to spin this way.

We'll see how it all pans out.


wrote …

I totally agree with Freddy. Last year think of all the people who could have made it to Regionals if they had been in a different Sectional with different workouts that favored them. This way no one can complain that one Sectional was biased toward/against certain athletes - everyone will be doing the same workout(s). And if for some reason this format doesn't work well, they can change it for the 2012 Games. That's the cool thing about CrossFit - it is always changing and evolving. To see if something will work, you've got to try it first. Just wish people would calm down until the entire format is announced, seems to be a lot of jumping to conclusions here.


wrote …

I totally understand putting the ball back in the local affiliate's court, but I don't think that shifting to a completely online sectional is the way to go. Like many others have stated, there's a lot of issues with online submissions even beyond your basic tech problems. However, a wishy washy ' can ALSO do a mini sectional if you WANT' only makes it worse. So if we want the comraderie and the excitement of competing against each other, we have to travel and do all of the WODs within a day or two, but everyone who can't (or won't take the time to) travel gets to spread out their WODs, make multiple attempts, and possibily squeek by on less-than-kosher reps? That's just too wide of a range of possibilities to judge on an equal playing field, in my opinion.

I will definitely wait for the more official announcement, and I will following whatever guidelines HQ lays out for the year before I pass final judgement, but my gut feeling is that this is a bad idea. More and smaller sectionals would be okay with me. I hope they figure out a way to do that without losing their money/credibility/brand name because I think it'll be a lot better. Maybe they need to hire more staff!


wrote …

unknown and unknowable...

any news of the masters? will they still be competing directly at the regionals and worlwide on standardized wods?
by the way its funny none gave this as an example of how u can actually judge with the same wods across the world and have the elite make it to the finals.....exactly what is going to happen in 2011....

in the video dvae castro also mentions ....expand the masters.....was this relating to age or athletic domains?


wrote …

So I must say that I am going to miss the big HQ sponsored Sectionals... that was realistically as far as I will probably ever get in this sport and the competition was a rush that motivated the shit out of me. That being said, it looks like I am going to have to dig my heels into the ground... allocate some time... and throw down a big ass "sectionals" of our own at CrossFit Coweta. I do like the idea of standardized programming and can't wait to see what it will be...
Oh and look out Froning, B.P., Hendel, Berger, Mike G, Ken G, A.J., and all the other bad asses in the Southeast... I'm coming for you :-)
(all that know me, know I am laughing my ass off while typing this)
Thanks HQ, Thank you CrossFit... I love this shit!!!
Bring it!!!


wrote …

Good luck standardizing the functional movements that make Sectionals what they are. There will be no hills. There will be no akward objects. There will be no battle in the arena of exertion. It will be difficult surely, but it will be vanilla. I feel like my prowess has grown testicles and that Dave Castro has kicked those testicles.


wrote …

HQ Decision makers,

Please re think the format for the sectionals. This was not only great competition but it was the best way to introduce new CrossFitters at our box to the bigger picture. Watching videos on the internet falls far short of having a live event to attend and the smaller box sectionals just wont be anywhere near as good as the real thing, put simply something like the real thing is rarely anything like the real thing, simple. The pressure of having to perform in the moment and the race against your competitors is CrossFit!
The sectionals are also the best way for us to build our local communities at a grass roots level and display our sport locally and the community is the difference between CrossFit and the Globo gyms, you can do a W.O.D at any globo but it isnt the same without the community.
If it is a hassle or a burden or even just an amazingly large challenge to organise the games each year as Im sure we all appreciate it is, then if it is too much for the current organisers surely there is enough in the coffers to employ a full time dedicated event management team to help them get it done
I cannot think of any other anything where you dont have to turn up and compete against your opponents in the same place except for video games?
I know CrossFit prides itself on being outside of the norm but this move cannot make our sport more visible or inviting to new CrossFitters.
Please rethink this! We all know you can change your minds and get it done well.



replied to comment from Dale Saran


Just to clarify, there was an open regional in 2009, and one restricted to US Service personnel in 2010.

I leave it to other to judge whether it was impossible to understand my point.


wrote …

I placed this comment on the Crossfit Board earlier in the week.

I think the sectionals going completely online is an unfortunate decision. Sectionals are an excuse for the Crossfit family to come together and have a party, and for sub-firebreathers to experience competition. They're a great way of promoting the Crossfit brand, and a great potential training goal ("I may never make it to regionals, but I'm going to kill myself so that I can compete in Sectionals").

I would guess that the logistics of Sectionals might be challenging. As Crossfit grows more popular, the cost of putting on Sectionals is going to rise. There's also a considerable advantage having sectionals near home, especially in places like Canada or Europe or Australia/NZ.

Coach also made some comments regarding the need to protect the trademark. So here is what I'd do:

Qualification for Regionals split into two streams, a box stream and an online stream.

Box stream
Box stream happens on a single day (called Sectional Saturday). Any affiliate or group of affiliates can hold a box-stream event. Top n competitor(s) from each affiliate gets through, event if Crossfit Useless winds up last in every event (provided that all events are completed). In the case of a multi-box event, a bonus place is awarded for each x affiliates taking part, which goes to the best performance by someone not getting one of the n affiliate places.

Events include stuff like muscleups and HSPUs and 70kg snatch and the "Rich Froning memorial rope climb" either as part of the events or as a skills-qualifier, to ensure that Crossfit Useless don't get to buy a place in a regionals without being able to compete at all.

There's a benefit to organising a decent multi-affiliate event, from the bonus places. That feeds the Crossfit family party feel, and gives a virtuous feedback loop to affiliates that are good neighbours. To protect the trademark, such events have to be registered with HQ along with a 10 buck cheque. HQ must approve the event. HQ would specify all events, standard across the world. The benefit of at least one person from every box going to Regionals is that no box gets cut out of the Crossfit games family, unless the training is really crap. Sectionals cost is minimised, because it's picked up by affiliates.

Online Sectionals stream
This is probably as suggested in the video. 25% or 50% or 75% (I'd take 25%) of the places in the regionals go to the top qualifiers in the online stream. The qualification period would start the day after the Sectional Saturday. This would also include a skills element to ensure that anyone qualifying for Regionals isn't going to crash out on a lack of basic skills.

The problem this creates is that Regionals will get huge. Even if you only qualify 1 guy from each affiliate, there's 2000+ affiliates, so 2000+ places in regionals would be required. I think the solution to THAT is to allow a fixed percentage to go through to the games. Based on 2000, 1% or 0.5% might make sense, giving 200 or 100 games competitors. It also solves the problem of the insanely competitive California regionals, by giving a head-count based allocation.

That would mean that you could go to State-wide or sub State-wide Regionals for areas where it is appropriate (ie have more than 100-200 affiliates). For remote areas (think Africa, maybe Australia, South America) the online regional still exists for great competitors.

Online Regionals stream
The argument about sectionals being about performing on one day also applies to Regionals. I think a percentage of Games places should be available in a world-wide open Regional, as was done in 2009. I also have a lot of time for reserving a spot for the top US Navy, Army, Marine Corps, Air Force and Coast Guard guy in the open Regional if they don't qualify automatically. I don't think that it's necessary, a lot of those guys rock, but it's a nice gesture.

Obviously, this is just me brainstorming. What do you guys think?


wrote …

This system (decentralized, setting a basic minimum of requirements) is terrible for people that need to be told what to do and great for those of us that hate to be told what to do.

Over several events over the last few years, I've heard gripes from plenty of people about how they were organized, competency of judges, number of restrooms available, the color of the barbells, and every other complaint imaginable.

Now those gripers have a chance to put on their own event with little to no restrictions on how it's run, and the common refrain is "Tell us every little detail on how to run these" and "Get somebody else to run these so I can just show up and enjoy myself!"

HQ - This is exactly the right approach: give us an azimuth, those of us that can will take it from there.

"The Command Post business will ruin the American Army and Marines if it isn't watched. Hell, our platoons and squads would like the command post in the attack if they are not watched! As soon as you set up a Command Post, all forward movement stops."

"To hell with the telephone wire with advancing troops. We can't carry enough wire. We received an order: 'The advance will stop until the wire gets in.' This is backward!"

-LtCol L.B. Puller

"You constantly hear about all of the leadership traits, especially courage, intelligence, fitness, perseverance, and endurance, all of which are important, but I see all of those as given for all Marine leaders (whether it's a corporal squad leader or a general division commander), so I don't even count those. I think the critical element for any combat commander, the one you must have, and you will be an absolute failure without it, is decisiveness in combat."

-Col John Ripley


Christine Ford wrote …

No one organization will ever make everyone athletes we must learn to overcome our fears, limitations and the unknown. This will be an unknown for sure, but so what. Go out and try as hard as you can. If you don't make it for any reason, as there may be multiple, who cares. Crossfit is about being the best you can be, not about others judging you. If you go out and give 100%, you can look at yourself in the mirror with no problems.


wrote …

Good luck to those who are going to compete in the Sectionals, Regionals, and The Games!

Thanks Jimi for taking the time to answer my question about Operation Phoenix. It meant a great deal to me that everyone there took there time to be there and answer our questions about CrossFit.

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