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August 26, 2019

Bob Marinaro

The sport of CrossFit has undergone significant change in the past two years. With the 2019 Games fresh in our memories and this year’s second Open upon us, we thought it would be a good time to do a quick refresher on what’s in store for us on the road to the 2020 Games. As it was for the 2019 Games, there will be two main ways to qualify for the Games: via the Open (starting in 45 days, but who’s counting?) or by winning a Sanctioned event (Sanctional). However, the 2019 season saw multiple sanctioned events using their own qualifiers while others used athletes’ Open performances – or even special invitations.  This blend occurred, at least in part, because of the timing of the Open (February) vis-a-vis some of the early qualifiers like Wodapalooza (January).

This made it necessary for some athletes who did not qualify for the Games via their Open performances to perform qualifier workouts for multiple competitions (for example, the MACC, Iceland, and Brazil all had their own). This is not only a lot of wear and tear on athletes’ bodies, but every qualifier is not the same and their respective (unintentional) biases led to variations in the respective fields they created.

In an effort to simplify things this year, many competitions have adopted the Open as their qualifier. As of today, here is the list:

  • Pandaland CrossFit Challenge December 7 – 8, 2019 Chengdu, China
  • Dubai CrossFit Championship December 11 – 14, 2019 Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  • CrossFit Mayhem Classic January 11 – 12, 2020 Cookeville, Tennessee, U.S.
  • CrossFit Strength in Depth January 24 – 26, 2020 London, United Kingdom
  • CrossFit Fittest in Cape Town February 6 – 9, 2020 Cape Town, South Africa
  • Norwegian CrossFit Championship February 14 – 16, 2020 Gol, Norway
  • Australian CrossFit Championship March 5 – 8, 2020 Queensland, Australia
  • Brazil CrossFit Championship March 6 – 8, 2020 São Paulo, Brazil
  • Reykjavík CrossFit Championship March 13 – 15, 2020 Reykjavík, Iceland
  • West Coast CrossFit Classic March 20 – 22, 2020 Del Mar, California, U.S.
  • CrossFit German Throwdown March 28 – 29, 2020 Berlin, Germany
  • ELFIT CrossFit Championship April 8 -11, 2020 Hurghada, Egypt
  • Mid-Atlantic CrossFit Challenge April 17 – 19, 2020 Washington, D.C., U.S.
  • CrossFit Italian Showdown April 24 – 26, 2020 Milan, Italy
  • Madrid CrossFit Championship May 1 – 3, 2020 Madrid, Spain
  • Asia CrossFit Championship May 8 – 10, 2020 Shanghai, China
  • The Rogue Invitational May 2020 Columbus, Ohio, U.S.
  • Down Under CrossFit Championship May 22 – 24, 2020 Wollongong, Australia
  • CrossFit Lowlands Throwdown May 29 – 31, 2020 Apeldoorn, Netherlands
  • CanWest CrossFit Championship June 5 – 7, 2020 Vancouver, B.C., Canada
  • The Granite Games June 12 – 14, 2020 U.S.
  • Asbury Summer Games June 20 – 21, 2020 Asbury Park, New Jersey, U.S.
  • CrossFit French Throwdown June 26 – 28, 2020 Paris, France
  • Mayan CrossFit Championship July 3 – 5, 2020 Riviera Maya, Mexico

As an alternative, a set of Sanctions have created a consortium of sorts to simplify and standardize their qualifier – the International Online Qualifier. It will take place over the course of three weeks between August 21 and September 9. To date, 4 major competitions have adopted it:

  • CrossFit Filthy 150 November 22 – 24, 2019 Dublin, Ireland
  • CrossFit SouthFit Challenge December 20 – 21, 2019 Buenos Ares, Argentina
  • Wodapalooza CrossFit Festival February 20 – 23, 2020 Miami, Florida, US
  • CrossFit Atlas Games April 3 – 5, 2020 Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Between these two methods of qualifying and the expanded set of Sanctionals, there are more opportunities for athletes to qualify outside of the Open. This is partly due to the expanded list, but is also due in part to what appears to be more coordinated scheduling, as there is no overlap among scheduled events, unlike the chaotic 2019 season. Additionally, with 28 events in 21 countries spanning six continents between November 2019 and July 2020, fewer athletes should be required to travel as far as last year or be forced to choose between two events in the same week.

Nobody knows what this year holds for our favorite athletes, which new faces will emerge, or even whether some breakout stars who shocked the world the world at this year’s Games will continue their magical runs. But we’ll be keeping this post close at hand to help us remain aware of what’s happening each week.


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