Category: Competition Planning Resources

Planning an elite fitness event such as a CrossFit competition involves a lot of planning and coordination. The articles in these archives contain tips and tricks for helping you to save time and increase the impact of your competition. Learn tips and tricks for scoring competitive fitness events, selling out registration, and building serious reputation within your community of athletes.

5 Things That Will Make Your Swag Bags Better

Most competitions offer swag bags for pick-up at the registration table on event morning. What you might not know is that the items in your swag bag can directly affect your event favorability. Athletes expect a well-curated bag, but that is at odds with your goal of keeping costs low.

Here is a list of affordable, sure-to-impress products you may not have thought about including in your swag bag:

1. Strideline Socks

If you are tired of dealing with athlete shirt sizes, custom branded socks may be the perfect solution. There are no order minimums, but you will need a little more lead time than you would for shirt sizes – 3 weeks. However, because they are one-sized, it will be next to impossible to mess up an order. Bonus: You won’t receive any last-minute emails with requests to change an athlete’s shirt size.

 

2. Junk Headbands

Another non-shirt option for your swag bag is Junk Headbands. You can choose from one of their MANY headband options in a color scheme that matches your event branding, or you can have custom headbands made in a variety of styles.

3. Retail Coupons for Vendors At Your Event

Don’t just offer coupons in your bag – offer coupons for vendors that are present at your event, so your athletes can make a purchase right then and there. If you ask for swag bag coupon contributions as part of the cost of being a vendor or sponsor, this costs you nothing!

4. Creative Snacks

You can offer protein sample packets, but you can also get creative with your snack offerings! Consider offering something like Jelly Belly’s Sport Beans for a quick dose of carbs that your athletes will love snacking on between events.

5. Lunch Voucher

If you are running an all-day event, there is one universal truth: your athletes will need to eat at some point. Show them you’ve already thought about this by having a lunch offering on-site (maybe your local meal-prep company and/or a favorite food truck) and giving all athletes free or reduced lunch.

Op-Ed: Hosting Your Competition On Throwdowns.com Will Make Your Event Better

There are a lot of options on the market for competition registration and scoring solutions. Some are companies substantially larger than Throwdowns.com. A few require a smaller investment. Some have been around awhile longer.

We have run 500 successful competitions since we opened for business three years ago. I have personally been with the company for half that time; running all the operations for almost as long.

Why should you choose us to partner with you for your event? There are a few reasons.

We are not a big company with a huge support team you’ll only have email access to. It isn’t our policy to hit you with an FAQ and ask you to figure it out on your own. I will personally partner with you every step of the way. Not a fan of asking questions via email? No problem. You can call, text, What’s App, Facebook message, Skype or Snapchat me anytime. You can even try your luck with carrier pigeon, if that is your preferred method. Leading up to your event we guarantee a 24-hour response turnaround time, and on event weekend, that guarantee is an hour (if that).

We have a robust platform that is highly customizable. If there is something you want your event to be able to do, there is a good chance we can accommodate it. But we are also constantly taking suggestions on how to improve the product, so if you want something we don’t currently offer, we may be able to bake it in. In the grand scheme, we haven’t been around very long, but we are battle-tested and have tons of flexibility. You can relax in knowing that your score system is going to work exactly the way you need it to when it counts. We’ll even travel to run your scoring onsite if you want the added peace of mind.

Another one of our advantages is that we are fully owned and operated by competitive crossfitters, coaches and event logistics planners who also happen to be software gurus. We don’t just know technology – we know CrossFit, and we know events. We’ve been there on every side of the table, so we anticipate what you will need for your competition before you do. And if you need a protein sponsor, a videographer recommendation, an emcee or an apparel company; let us help make the connection for you. We also have relationships with vendors in all different sectors of the competition business.

You care about your people, and your registration and scoring vendor should too. We have a heart for the community and will help with charity events to the best of our ability. At the very least, we will always decrease our rate for charity events.

And finally, our reputation in the community is unparalleled. Throwdowns.com has run 500 successful events all over the world – and our community of highly satisfied repeat customers will agree: we are the best out there. We care just as much about your event being seamless as you do, and we take pride in not just having a beautiful product that your athletes, vendors and scorekeepers will enjoy using – but in having the strongest and most accessible team behind the scenes to help you succeed.

My name is Kate, and I’m co-owner and Director of Operations for Throwdowns.com. You can reach me directly to set up your next event at kate@throwdowns.com or (419)-279-9974.

Should Your Event Have an Online Qualifier? (Five Things to Consider)

Should My Event Have a Qualifier?

This is a question we wish more people would ask. Qualifiers can add huge amounts of value to your event… but if you aren’t able to give them the attention they deserve, they could do more harm than good.

There are a few things to think about if you are on the fence about having a qualifier.

  1. Size of the Event
  2. Administrative capabilities
  3. Level of Athlete
  4. Brand Goals
  5. Internet in Your Area

A qualifier requires as much, if not more, work than an in-person event. Although you don’t have to concern yourself with the onsite logistics, you will have to deal with every athlete concern under the sun – from accurately communicating and enforcing standards, video upload issues, validating submissions and beyond. A qualifier is not for the faint of heart.

Size of the Event

Large competitions are natural contenders for qualifiers, however, having an event with a lot of people does not inherently mean you should have a qualifier. If your venue can accommodate many athletes, you may be better off letting people register from the get-go. Also, if you have a large event but people hold off on registration until the very last minute, you may wish to skip the qualifier.

The last thing you want to do in the weeks before your competition is worry about validating online videos. That said, you can still incorporate a qualifier component into your event without having a full-blown qualifier. Consider having one workout for athletes to submit prior to the final event to decide your heats.

Administrative Capabilities

Some large events are run by a robust team where the duties are distributed. Some large competitions are run by a solo administrator. Neither option is wrong, but if you are running lean, you may not be able to give your qualifier the attention it deserves. Consider this: If you have 300 would-be competitors, three qualifier workouts over the course of three weeks and every competitor has one question per workout, that is 900 questions over the three week time period. Do you really want that many Facebook notifications and emails if you don’t absolutely need them?

There’s also potentially a ton of work involved in reviewing and keeping track of video submissions. Be sure to pick a system that simplifies this as much as possible. We’ve designed our system so that athletes can easily include video links in their score submission, and you can optionally configure whether or not the videos appear publicly on the leaderboards. If they do appear publicly, you’ll have the benefit of other athletes helping to police and maintain standards. If you prefer to keep the videos private, you’ll still have a streamlined way to review and keep track in our easy to use admin interface.

Castle Games preferred to keep video submissions hidden from the public leaderboard for their qualifier event.

Level of Athlete

Qualifier events are not suitable for every type of athlete. If the event you are throwing is popular but not exceptionally competitive, a qualifier may dissuade athletes from signing up because it feels more official. You know the kind of athlete you want to attract to your competition, but keep in mind that it doesn’t have to be an all-or-none decision. A hybrid approach is also possible. For example, you might require a qualifier only for your RX or Elite divisions, but allow registrations into Scaled divisions without a qualifier.

Brand Goals

You have to get honest with yourself for this one. What are your goals? Are you looking to have a successful event once or twice a year, or do you want to build a competition-throwing empire? Maybe you are looking to branch into programming for the masses, or becoming a memorable event franchise. A qualifier may be a natural thing to incorporate into your competitions.

If you are thinking about ways to expand your brand footprint and generate some extra revenue without too much additional overhead here’s an idea for you: host a live event each year, but host an online virtual event at the halfway point through the year to stay in touch with your community of athletes. It’s easy to offer incentives such as free registration or discounted registrations to athletes who place well in the virtual comp.

Internet in Your Area

In some parts of the world, access to video hosting software is less than optimal. If you know that your athletes will have a hard time uploading their workout videos, you may be better off not requiring video submissions or skipping the qualifier component altogether. Ultimately, if it makes your athletes’ lives harder and makes them think less of your event, it is not the right choice for your competition.

You know what your community of athletes will appreciate. If a qualifier is the right choice for you, make sure you have the right scoring and leaderboard platform in place to simplify and reduce as much of the work as possible. The team here at Throwdowns would be honored to support your next qualifier event with our tried and true registration and scoring system. It’s been designed to streamline online qualifiers as much as possible, and we’re committed to your success. Get in touch with us here to get started.

Flexibility is Strength

Throwdowns.com understands that you need a solution that does exactly what you need — no more and no less. You know what you need to best run your event, but you don’t want to pay for extra services you don’t need. You need flexibility. And guess what? We have it.

  • Easy to launch landing pages
  • Highly configurable registration forms
  • Standard and customizable scoring policies
  • Multiple options for choosing how you get paid
  • Around-the-clock customer support
  • Special pricing for military and charity events
  • Price match guarantees

We are constantly tweaking our business and products based on customer feedback, because our goal is to be a great partner, create relationships that last a lifetime, and make sure that our product is even better the next time that you use it. To that end, we’ve been experimenting with our pricing model and have converged on three options that seem to offer maximum flexibility for the most common needs of the CrossFit competition software market.

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All options are at a predictable fixed price, and our most popular option is the fully-integrated registration and scoring package at $299 USD. However, we also know that some competitions may be looking or last minute scoring solutions so we make it super easy to import your registration data and deliver best-in-class leaderboards to your athletes and spectators. (It’s not all that uncommon to help organizers and coaches get setup as late as the night before.)

We’d love to partner with you on your next event, so if you have an event that doesn’t fit into one of our boxes, let us know! We will build the exact level of service you need, at a price just for you.

Whether it’s in your training schedule or in business: flexibility is strength!

How to Read the Leaderboards

CrossFit competitions typically involve one of two possible scoring policies: placement-based scoring or scoring based upon points tables. This post briefly explains the difference between these two types of scoring policies.

Most CrossFit competitions tend to use a points-based scoring policy. With placement-based scoring, an athlete’s overall score at any point in the competition is the sum of their rankings. For example, if an athlete were to place 1st, 3rd, and 2nd across three workouts, they’d accumulate a total of 6 points. With placement based-scoring, athletes place higher on the leaderboards by placing higher across workouts and accumulating as few points as possible.

Although most competitions prefer placement-based scoring, some competitions, including the CrossFit Games, prefer points-based scoring policies. With a points-based system, a table pre-defines the number of points that are awarded for each placement in a competition, and the tables are designed so that athletes receive more points for ranking higher in workouts. Thus, with points-based scoring, athletes aim to accumulate as many points as possible. The points tables themselves are typically computed with non-linear formulas such that athletes who place consistently place higher receive are rewarded proportionally.

How to Get Sponsors for a Competition

How to Get Sponsors for a Competition

Most fitness competitions seek sponsorship support in the form of prizes and swag. You want to make sure it’s simple and easy for sponsors to support your event. The Throwdowns.com registration system has the ability to collect sponsor information and fees, which make the process better for everyone involved. As a rule, we recommend starting your search for sponsors well in advance of your event, preferably 6 months lead-time. Some businesses plan out their commitments a year in advance! The more time you give yourself, the better your chances in securing sponsors. Here are 4 sources of support to consider in this process of how to get sponsors for your competition:

 

1. Local connections

This is your first go-to when considering support for your event. We recommend contacting members of your own box who are business owners to see how you can develop a mutually beneficial partnership. Otherwise, reach out to your local business community and get them involved. Think of places you or your members like to frequent: restaurants, retail stores, day spas. 

 

2. City, county, or state resources

If your competition draws a large out-of-town crowd, various levels of government may have an interest in supporting your event. Visitor and tourism organizations often have resources at their disposal to aid events that will benefit the local economy. They may also provide you with hotel or dining discounts for your athletes, an added incentive to encourage participation at your competition!

 

3. CrossFit-specific companies

Don’t just go for the familiar big names here. There are many up and coming businesses aimed at the demographic of CrossFitters and several are eager to get their name out to your athletes. This gives you a great opportunity to build a relationship and offer value to your participants in whatever form of support these companies can provide to you.

 

4. Other health and fitness-related businesses

Think of any company who would be happy to have the attention of health-minded, active customers and reach out to them. It’s a good idea to explain what your athletes are like to a business who may be unfamiliar with what CrossFit is. Having some baseline demographic information (ages, percent male vs. female, etc.) about who these potential customers are is a good selling point when requesting sponsorship support.

Bonus tip: follow-up, follow-up, follow-up!

Persistence pays off in this process. Many companies are bombarded with sponsorship requests, which means a single email from you might get lost. Use multiple means of communication and try to connect with multiple people. The more you get your name on their radar, the greater the likelihood that a business will return contact and you can establish a relationship.