Changes: Understanding the 2020 CrossFit® Games

When asked last week about my 2020 CrossFit® Games rankings, it was hard not to go on a diatribe. So many variables have changed, so frequently, and so drastically, that our conventional ranking systems have all but been torn apart. We’ll get to those rankings more in-depth in another article, but first let’s revisit what’s changed so you understand why it’s so hard to rank athletes this year.

Changes to the CrossFit Games aren’t new to us. There’s been a constant flow of iterations on the annual event since the early years. CrossFit has proven an organization unafraid to fail fast and learn quickly. Some examples of changes this year include the qualification process, venues, event dates, and the organization’s leadership. All of these changes have been made on the fly, in reaction to the global pandemic and a push for greater compassion from our leadership and diversity in our gyms.

Who has qualified for the CrossFit Games?

In response to COVID19-related shutdowns, CrossFit determined earlier in the year they would decrease the size of their invitees list in order to move the Games to the CrossFit Ranch in Aromas, CA.

These changes eliminated:

  1. National Champions (one elite male male and female from every country with a CrossFit affiliate)
  2. Age group athletes (teens and masters who qualified through the Age Group Online Qualifier)
  3. Potential winners of any Sanctional event unable to take place because of the shutdown
  4. Teams (four athletes and two alternates who qualified by winning Sanctional events)

This means elite individual winners of completed Sanctionals and the top 20 males and females from the CrossFit Open are the only athletes still in the running to win the 2020 CrossFit Games. This does not mean they will all be going to Aromas. More on that to come.

Qualified Males (Alphabetical)

Qualified Females

Where will the CrossFit Games be this year?

Originally, the CrossFit Games were set to finish their fourth and final contracted year at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, WI. When it became clear sporting crowds would not be allowed, CrossFit made the decision to move the event back to its original home at the CrossFit Ranch in Aromas, CA. Not all invitees will be able to compete in Aromas, though. Given that many states are experiencing a second wave of outbreaks this fall, the new plan is for the initial portion of the CrossFit Games to be completed in a digital format, followed by the top five males and females being invited to Aromas for the finals. This is why making the top-five lists is so pivotal for athletes.

By Ben Garves

Ben Garves is a digital product expert, author, entertainer, and activist. His portfolio of thought leadership in digital marketing and web experiences has included major clients like Microsoft, Google, Twitter, eBay, and Facebook. He’s also a freelance health and fitness journalist with over 400 stories written since 2018, a podcaster with 200 episodes to his name, and runs a YouTube channel with over 100 fitness and activism-oriented videos and live streams. Ben has founded the Fitness is for Everyone™ initiative to raise awareness about social injustice in both racial inequality and socioeconomic disparity in access to quality fitness and nutrition options around the globe.

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