It’s finally here; the 2019 CrossFit Season has finally arrived! Registration for the Open is live and we finally have an official CrossFit Games rulebook. Many people have been waiting a long time for the rulebook given all that changes coming to the 2019 Games season.
What changes, you say?
- Starting in 2019, there will be no more Regionals. But you probably already knew that because the internet lost its mind back in the fall when CrossFit founder, Greg Glassman made that announcement through a series of interviews.
- So if there are no Regionals, how do I make it to the games? There are several of paths to the games.
- If you finish in the top 20 of the Open, you automatically win a spot to the games
- You can win one of many sanctioned events around the world and win a spot to the games.
- If you finish as the top CrossFitter in the Open in your country (where there are established affiliate gyms), you will win a spot to the Games. However, you must be a citizen of that country in order to be named the fitness in the country.
- 2019 will be the last year the Open will be held in February/March. After the 2019 Games, the Open will be in October. So if you’re doing the math, 2019 will have not one, but two Opens. The CrossFit Games will still be held in late July/Early August. And then in October, we do the Open again.
- Transgender athletes are now eligible to compete in the gender division in which they identify. However, if they applies to you, be sure to study this section of the rulebook carefully because there are very specific stipulations on registering as a transgender athlete, particular if you are registering as a female athlete.
- The teens and masters divisions will change a little. After the Open, the top 200 will be invited to compete in the Online Age Qualifiers (OAQs) and normal. But only the top 10 athletes will be invited to the Games. In addition, at the beginning of the OAQs, all of the rankings of the top 200 will be reset. So your placing in the Open will not factor in your ranking for OAQ. This is huge!
- Teams no longer qualify through the Open. They only qualify by winning one of the sanctioned events. They do not need to be members of the same affiliate, which will open the door for super teams.
For all of the athletes hoping to go to the games, here’s my advice:
- Video every single workout. If you can, get someone to video it with an actual camera, not your iphone. You might even want to set up multiple cameras in case something goes wrong with one camera.
- Do your workout early enough that if your workout video looks weird, you can redo it before the deadline. If you aren’t sure if it looks valid, ask your coach or affiliate owner to review it for you. Not sure what a video is supposed to look like in the first place? Read the section about video submissions in the handbook, I’m looking at you, Individuals, Teens and Masters.
If you are even a little unsure about movement standards, take the online judges course. It not only covers movement standards, but it also covers video submissions. If you pass the judges course, you should be able to create a valid workout video without any problems.
- EVERYONE should read the Drug Policy document and check any supplements/medications for potential banned substances. Every year we see masters athletes, in particular, who are issued bans for supplements that contain banned substances. Understand this clearly, just because you are prescribed a medication/supplement by a doctor, that doesn’t mean you are in the clear. This applies to any hormone replacement therapies. Seriously consider whether or not you want to take any substance that could end your athlete career.
But I’m an average everyday crossfitter…
Ok, now for the rest of us (I’m looking at the remaining 399,000 of us that will do the Open). My advice for you is this: have fun! That’s all, just have fun. If you need more advice than that, please read the following:
- Since the CrossFit Games format has changed and the media department has been cut drastically, it is unclear if the Open announcements will be the same as in years past. I doubt that will get our Ro vs Boz fix. Whatever the format, read the workout on the Thursdays that they are released. Make a decision about the doing the workout as prescribed or scaled. The deciding factor should be based on whether or not you can do the workout safely and achieve the proper stimulus.
- “The Magic of the Open” – Many times we see people who are so close to their first pullup or their first muscle up. The magic of the open is the idea that the rush of the workout and with people cheering for you, that extra adrenaline rush might help you try just that one time and get it. But it’s good to remember what workout requires in its entirety. Suppose the workout requires 5 muscle ups per round, for 5 rounds and you haven’t gotten your first muscle yet, you aren’t likely to get the most work done as was intended. Remember it is still the workout of the day, so you want to move efficiently to achieve the intended stimulus of the workout. In our muscle up example, if the muscles ups are at the end of the workout and you can do the rest of the movements efficiently and safely, I say go for it. But just be safe and efficient.
The bottom line…
Over everything else, remember that the Open is a community event meant to bond athletes around the world, but more locally, athletes within each affiliate. Try and remember that if your box hosts Friday Night Lights or Saturday events for each Open workout. Reach out and get to know other athletes outside of your normal class times.
You got this!