The “Open”

CrossFit Games

Even if you’re brand new to CrossFit, you’ve probably heard people referring to “The Open” as they stand around waiting for class to begin (or waiting to recover after the WOD)!  The goal of today’s post is to explain a little about the CrossFit Open and get everyone excited for this once-a-year competition that’s rapidly approaching!

What is the “Open?”

Officially, the Open is the first level of competition required for CrossFit athletes to qualify for the world championships – the Reebok CrossFit Games.  The CrossFit competition season has three distinct stages: the Open, Regionals, and the Games. For an in-depth explanation of the CrossFit Games season, check out this article: “The 2013 Games Season.”  For more about the championship competition, aka the CrossFit Games, check out this video: “What are the CrossFit Games.”

Who Should Participate in the Open?

The Open is the most inclusive competition in the world – it is open to everyone/anyone who wants to participate. At ICA, we encourage EVERYONE to register! Although “elite” CrossFitters see the Open as the first step in qualifying for the Games, that doesn’t mean you need to be an elite athlete to participate! For 99.999% of CrossFitters, the Open is simply a once-a-year opportunity to push yourself to new limits, test what you’re really made of, and see how you stack up against CrossFitters around the world! Take two minutes to watch this short video: “I’m Competing in the Open Because…”

When is the “Open?”

This year, the Open will run from March 6 through April 7.   Every Wednesday for 5 consecutive weeks an Open workout will be posted to the Games website. Registered athletes will have until that Sunday to complete the workout and post their scores online.  All scores must be validated by a qualified judge.

When and Where Can I do the Open WODs?

At ICA, we will run the Open WODs on Saturday mornings, in lieu of our regular classes. You can join us on Saturdays to work out even if you’re not formally registered for the competition… but we encourage everyone to register!  If a registered athlete can not make it to a Saturday workout, we will do our best to accomodate. Please let us know about your conflict as soon as possible, so we can arrange for a judge to be available during the Thursday Make Up Session or, if needed, outside of normal class times.

Other FAQS:

1. How do I qualify for Regionals?

All athletes compete individually in the Open, but the top scores from each affiliate are also combined to form a “team” score. At the end of the Open, the top 48 men, top 48 women, and top 30 teams from each region are invited to the Regionals. There are also Masters divisions in 5 year increments for athletes over the age of 40. Masters do not compete at the Regional level. Instead, the top 20 in each age category after the Open are invited directly to the CrossFit Games.

2. What if I need to scale an Open WOD?

In order for your score to count in the worldwide competition, you have to complete all the workouts as prescribed. Most workouts are designed so that everyone can get at least a few official reps in. (For example, most workouts that involve very heavy weights or tricky gymnastics movements have some lighter/easier movements first… so you can get some legitimate points on the board.) At ICA we’ll encourage everyone to try the workout as prescribed, and if you hit a point where you absolutely can’t continue we’ll write down your score, and have you continue “off the books” at a lighter weight or with scaled movements. That way you get an official score and you still get a great work out in!

3. How much does it cost to register for the Open?

Registration is $20 for individual athletes.

4. Will the Saturday morning Open WOD count as one of my classes for the week?

Yes, the Saturday morning WOD will count as a class, so punchcard and 2x/week members should plan accordingly.

5. Okay, I’m Sold. How Do I Register?

Register on the CrossFit Games website starting January 30, 2013. Remember to choose CrossFit Phoenixville as your affiliate! If you have any questions, talk to John, Nikki or any of your coaches.


This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. ICA admin

    To our athletes who did the Open last year – any thoughts or experiences you’d like to share? Post to comments!

  2. T

    My experience for the open last year was filled with excitement and nervousness all wrapped into one. I had only been participating in crossfit for just under a month when the first open WOD took place. I actually remember thinking that the open wasn’t for people like me who were new to crossfit and I’d made a post on the blog asking if I could come in and cheer everyone on. It was Joe McG, John & Nikki that encouraged me to register. So I did and it was probably the best decision I’d ever made as far as crossfit goes. It was during the open that I decided I wanted to become a competitor in crossfit rather than to use it as a way to lose weight. I was really determined to become as good as I possibly could in the sport. The open is a great way to get a taste of competition without all of the pressure of competing in front of people you don’t know. You’re still competing but you’re competing with family support. You push yourself harder because in the back of your mind you know this WOD is just a little different than our everyday WOD’s but you still get that sense of security because your working out in front of the the people you work out with everyday. I was nervous before every WOD just because I knew I’d be keeping score and posting on the website every week and seeing where I ranked in the WORLD. For those of you who were there last year I’m sure you remember how hyped I was after WOD 12.2 🙂 for a split second (literally) I was ranked in the top 60 in the region after that WOD, it was very short lived but definitely a proud moment. To be at that time only competing in crossfit for 30 something days and have a respectable rank LOL it really gave me a sense of accomplishment and definitely confirmed that if I tried and I mean really gave it my all that crossfit could become so much more to me personally. We all know crossfit is hard if it wasn’t everyone would do it, but when you accomplish something difficult in one arena of your life it really puts into perspective what other difficult situations you can accomplish in other aspects of your life. The open was my first realization that after years of being over weight, lazy and unhealthy that it was indeed possible for me to be a real athlete again. I hope everyone NEW & SEASONED will register this year each and every one of us can accomplish more than we already have at this years open. Good luck everyone!

    1. T

      I should also add that Kev gave me encouragement too! Can’t leave him out 🙂

  3. Lindsey

    Last year it was so fun to come into ICA during the Open!! The energy was was amazing! I was so nervous each Wends night before the WOD was posted last year. Infact, I am not sure it i had any nails left by the end of the Open…. However, it was awesome to come into the gym and be around so many people who were pumped for the WOD.I was amazed at how encouraging and supportive everyone was last year!! Dont worry what your skill level is- everything is scalable!!It is a great time!! I hope all of ICA signs up!

  4. Kehl

    I couldn’t agree more with everyone! It’s a bigger competition with oneself than anything. …and the group support is intensified. Just take a look at this picture. This was during one of the CF Open WOD’s last year…

  5. Sarge

    i really enjoyed watching the team aspect of the Open. it’s really exciting to see people so invested in their own success AND the success of others. people came into the Open scared and nervous and came out with HUGE PRs and other achievements. it’s really fun (and satisfying) to watch the ICA family encourage each other and overcome mental roadblocks to accomplish things they never thought possible and i’m looking forward to another year of competition!! 🙂

    i hope all of our athletes consider joining. there’s a place for all of you on our team, no matter your ability. what you’ll gain in joining in can’t be measured. you’ll do things you didn’t think you could and you’ll make friends with people you don’t see in your regular class. you’ll succeed and help others succeed. and you’ll be so proud to be a part of our community.

    the Open is something we can be proud to be a part of. it’s ours. we should enjoy it 🙂

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