Get ready to sweat, CrossFitters! The 2023 CrossFit season is finally here, and it’s packed with exciting changes that are sure to up the ante in the competition.
From the Open to the Quarterfinals, Semifinals, and CrossFit Games, this season is shaping up to be the most action-packed yet. Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or a newcomer to the sport, the CrossFit Open is a thrilling experience that will push you to your limits.
If, like me, you’ve been around the sport for some time, then changes can have a massive impact on how you perform. The team and I touch on this in our pilot podcast: “Our Predictions for the Open”. You can no longer take for granted what has worked well for you in the past, and instead default to the quality of your training to adapt to the new challenges.
In this article, I’ll break down what has happened in previous years and why changes have been made for 2023 CrossFit competition season.
So, strap on your weightlifting shoes, grab a FitAid, and get ready to experience the CrossFit Open like never before!
How does the Open work?
The CrossFit Open is the premier fitness test for the CrossFit community, and an electrifying display of athleticism and determination.
With each passing year, the competition evolves, and athletes are pushed to new heights of performance as new movements and standards are introduced.
It showcases all abilities of CrossFitters worldwide as athletes, like you, push themselves to complete a series of gruelling workouts designed to test their strength, endurance, and overall fitness. The Open is a time of excitement, challenge, and pushing the boundaries of what’s possible.
Every year, we also release strategies, tactics and tips to help you get the best score possible. Make sure you’re subscribed to WODprep’s YouTube channel and our mailing list to be the first to receive mega valuable content.
If this is your first year of CrossFit and your first Open, here’s a quick run down. The CrossFit Open is a three-week long competition that consists of three workouts - starting Feb, 16 2023.
Athletes are required to complete the workouts within a specified time frame and submit their scores online at CrossFit.com. Hurry - you’ll need to be registered in advance and have downloaded the CrossFit app to be able to see the leaderboard.
CrossFit Open Key Dates
Here are some key dates to add to your calendar right now:
- 23.1 Announcement: Thursday, February 16, 2023
- 23.2 Announcement: Thursday, February 23, 2023
- 23.3 Announcement: Thursday, March 02, 2023
Note that for all the events, you will have from Thursday to the following Monday to submit your score for the previous week’s WOD.
From the first 3 workouts, the top 10% of individuals and athletes from each age group and 25% of teams will then advance to the quarterfinals, which take place over a period of three days in March. Then after that, the top 60 from each region will compete in the semifinals in April.
For example, if your country is based in Europe, and your finish in the top 60 of the European leaderboard following the quarterfinals, you’ll attend the Berlin Semifinal throwdowns live on the main stage to compete against your fellow athletes. It’s here that you would have the opportunity to punch your ticket to the CrossFit Games. Naturally, only the best of the best do this. But don’t worry, this isn’t the only way you can get your name on the roster.
Now that we’ve run through the ins and outs of how the CrossFit Open runs, let’s find out what’s new in this season’s competition.
So, what’s new in the Open?
For starters, only affiliate owners can validate scores, so make sure your scores are on point! Registered judges will no longer be able to validate scores in place of affiliate owners.
You can thank CrossFit HQ for calling out the rep shavers. This is their approach to making an online competition more fair.
If you’re not part of an affiliated CrossFit gym, have a quick look on the internet for your local box and give them a message on social media. I’m sure they would love to have you during the Open. Especially when it’s Friday Night Lights and you can meet the rest of the community.
If this is still not possible to attend an affiliated gym, then you can upload a video of your workout and include the video upon submission.
Additionally, adaptive athletes will have the option to scale the workouts to suit their needs. If you’ve been following the CrossFit Games for some time now, HQ have slowly been making efforts towards making it a more inclusive sport. We think this is a great step to making it more accessible to adaptive athletes to follow their dreams.
Finally, for the first time ever, team rosters will be selected immediately after the Open. This is huge news!
Team managers will create a team and select athletes to join the team through their CrossFit Account Competition Dashboard. The rules are relatively simple. Any CrossFit affiliate can register a team, and anyone can be a part of the affiliate's team as long as they perform all of the Open tests at the physical location of that affiliate (with video evidence).
Teams will advance to the Quarterfinals based on their top two female and top two male scores in each test. Once the team advances past the Open to the Quarterfinal level, all tests are designed to have four-person teams (two male and two female) working together. The tests for the Quarterfinals can be performed at any location.
Teams are no longer just a sideline entertainment to fill the gaps in time between the Elite individual showdown at the CrossFit Games. Many of the big names, like Rich Froning, have transitioned into the team competition and shown the world how to dominate.
Next up, the Quarterfinals!
This exciting competition continues to be held online, and the best of the best will rise to the top. These will be workouts over 3 days, with the workouts being announced on the day.
As mentioned previously, top 10% of individual athletes and those competing in each age group will advance to this stage, along with 25% of all teams.
This year, the Teams and Age-Group Quarterfinals will be held during the same week, so get ready to show off your team spirit!
Unlike previous years, athletes will have two 24-hour score submission windows instead of the three 24 hour windows. These tighter constraints force the athletes to be undertaking the workouts in the same order and in the same time window. It certainly makes it interesting when it comes to the workout strategy.
The final change to the CrossFit Open Quarterfinals is that athletes will also have the choice to compete in both the individual and team quarterfinals.
If you happen to have caught the 2023 WODapoolza, the Games athletes put on a hell of a show with many of them competing in both the individual and the teams over a 4 day period. The crowds went wild as the big names truly put on a performance. It’s clear with CrossFit’s changes, it’s looking to help athletes gain more spotlight and the opportunity to win more cash prizes.
The Semifinals are also getting a revamp for 2023
North America will have 2 Semifinals instead of 4, and Europe will have just 1 (back to the old school days!).
The Semifinals in North America East and West will see the top 60 individual men and women and the top 40 teams move on.
The last-chance qualifier will no longer exist. For context, the last-chance qualifiers were for athletes who narrowly missed a spot at the 2023 NoBull CrossFit Games and were given one more chance to make it to Madison. This online competition was reserved for individual athletes who finish within three spots of a Games-qualifying position at the semifinals. Now that this no longer exists - the pressure is really on for the top athletes to perform in the semifinals and earn their ticket. There is only one shot.
Instead of the last-chance qualifier, the final two spots for the CrossFit Games will now be given to athletes who rank lower on the Semifinal leaderboard, based on a new ranking system that considers the overall competitiveness of the field.
To help you, the viewer, keep track of your progress throughout the season, CrossFit has updated its Worldwide Rankings System. Similar to other sports like Golf, points are assigned based on the previous two years of competitive results, with the initial rankings calculated using performance data from the last two seasons.
The two-year sliding window is a living overview of an athlete’s current fitness, and the rankings are updated after each major stage of the season.
Last but not least, CrossFit will partner with organizers in Africa, Asia, Oceania, and South America to bring the Semifinals to those continents!
Africa, Asia, Australia, and South America Semifinals will have the top 30 individual men and women, and the top 20 teams competing.
Finally, the CrossFit Games!
This year’s competition will be a 6-day format instead of 5, from August, 1 to August, 6 2023. Rather than all categories performing across all 5 days, the age groups and adaptive athletes will kick off the competition on the Tuesday for 2.5 days. The individuals enter the game on the Thursday, and will compete through to the end on the Sunday. Teams will only perform across 3 days from the Friday.
At first glance, this might seem strange, particularly for the individual competition but it’s pretty normal for them to have a 4 day competition and rest day sandwiched into the event. However, for the beady eyes out there, you’ll know that when poor weather conditions (like thunderstorms) hit the CrossFit Games Events, it’s not unheard of for athletes to lose their rest day to keep the event on schedule. It’s always a challenging and gruelling week for them.
But, what’s staying the same?
The excitement and competition of the CrossFit season will remain unchanged in some of the key areas.
For starters, the Open will still be a thrilling three weeks of gruelling workouts and incredible displays of strength and skill.
Next, the same number of top athletes and teams will have the opportunity to advance to the Quarterfinals, with the best of the best continuing on to the Semifinals.
And, the Age-Group athletes will still get to show off their skills in the online competition.
Rest assured that the same number of top athletes will get to compete at the CrossFit Games, across all divisions.
In short, the Open is here and we are here to have some fun.
The 2023 CrossFit season promises to be a thrilling and exciting journey, with changes and updates at every stage, from the Open to the CrossFit Games.
The Open features new changes this year, including score validation by affiliate owners, scaling options for adaptive athletes, and immediate team roster selection.
The Quarterfinals continue to be an online competition, with the best of the best rising to the top.
The Semi Finals have been reworked, with only two in North America and one in Europe, and CrossFit partnering with organizers in other continents to bring the competition to a wider audience.
The CrossFit Games, now a 6-day format, will provide even more intense competition and heart-pumping action.
If you’re looking for more strategies, tips and tactics to smash this year’s Open, check out WODprep’s YouTube here. We publish an article once a week, packed full of sick content that is designed to help you RX CrossFit and crush every workout.
Good luck for 23.1!
The only links you need for the 2023 CrossFit Open:
Blog: 23.2 Open Strategy Re-do
YouTube Video: CrossFit Open 23.1 Strategy & Tips
YouTube Video: CrossFit Open: 5 Stages of 23.1
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