Here's the thing: people think CrossFit HQ doesn't care, and that's just plain false. I'm convinced that most of the people that work for CrossFit actually do want it to be everything that they promise it to be. I'm also convinced that they're all incredibly incompetent. There're plenty of things going on in the High Council of CrossFit (or whatever Budding, Castro, and Glassman call themselves during their meetings) that I could talk about, but let's be honest: it's all about The Games. So here are a few ways HQ can go from being miserably bad at their jobs to at least being marginally adequate.
Limit the impact of self-reported scores.
People cheat. Lemme correct that actually: lots of people cheat. It's not always in the form of faking scores, although that's certainly happening. It's mostly in the form of shitty judging and questionable standards. This is not news, but the problem here is that nothing is being done to limit what is clearly a major issue with the current qualification process. Even worse, HQ knows that people are cheating and their only response is usually along the lines of "Well, we're only interested in finding the Fittest on Earth, and Rich and Annie are pretty much at the top of the pile, so therefore the system is working". By saying they only care about finding the Fittest on Earth, HQ is saying they don't care at all about the 99.9% of CrossFitters that'll never win any competitions.
So how do you fix this? Require video submissions for the top scores on every workout. How do you define "top scores"? Well, if you look at 12.3 and think to yourself "yea, I'm pretty sure I'll get 15 rounds", then record some fucking video of your workout. If you look at 12.3 and have to ask someone "what's a bartoe?" then you're off the hook, and you don't have to sweat it.
Add in another round to the qualification process.
So the Open replaced Sectionals because the pool of competitors grew too large. Sure, that's cool, I can see how that solves the problem, but now we've got another problem: the cut from the Open to Regionals is too big.
The SoCal Region has more than 3,000 people which means that only about the top 2% will make it to the Regionals. That's great and all, but with only three rounds in the CrossFit Games, we're missing out on testing potential competitors.
The NFL has four rounds of playoffs: Wildcard, Divisionals, Championships, and the Super Bowl. Right now, CrossFit basically has the Wildcard (the Open), the Championships (Regionals), and the Super Bowl (the Games). So why not add in a fourth round between the Open and Regionals..like a Regionals Round 1? Take the top 8% of performers in the Open from each region to compete in the first round of Regionals (which is an in-person, weekend long, real competition), then take the top performers from within that region to the Regionals Round 2.
This is a win-win situation: by adding in a new round, we add more credibility to CrossFit as a sport by limiting the impact of cheating cheaters cheating their way into Regionals, HQ will make more money through registration fees and ticket sales, and Reebok makes more money through apparel and accessory sales.
Advance the best in the world, not the best in each region.
Lastly, since everyone is doing the same workouts at every level of the competition, why not actually take the best in the world to the Games? Here's how it would look:
- Everyone participates in the Open and gets ranked regionally.
- The top 8ish% of performers and the best cheaters make it from the Open to the first round of Regionals, an actual, real life, properly judged competition.
- The top 30 or 50 or 60 or whatever from Regionals Round 1 make it to Regionals Round 2, where they compete against everyone in the world, not everyone in their Region.
- Finally, all the scores from Regionals Round 2 are pooled and ranked and the top 50 from that ranking are invited to the Games.
What'll this accomplish? First, it'll actually mean that the best in the world are competing at the Games. Second, it'll get rid of the whole bottleneck issue at some of the Regions (think Central East, where the men have to compete against Rich Froning, Dan Bailey, and Graham Holmberg for a spot). Third, when 84% of the 2018 CrossFit Games competitors are washed up Chinese gymnasts and weightlifters, HQ can just go back to the way things are right now to make sure some American former baseball players can make it to the Games again.
|this is a pretty awesome photo.|