CrossFit Games Scoring And Appeals Reveal Growing Pains

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During the first weekend of Regionals, we witnessed two of the biggest issues facing CrossFit: judging discrepancies and the appeals process.

Michaela North


On one end of this spectrum is North. According to the CrossFit Games, North successfully appealed a no-rep she received on her final rope climb in Event 7 and placed third overall with her adjusted score.

After “additional review” later that evening, HQ decided she actually had no right to appeal that decision because “judgment calls made during an event are final and not negotiable, subject to change, modification, or appeal.” They readjusted the scores and Candice Wagner qualified instead of North.

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Chelsey Grigsby


On the other end of the spectrum is Grigsby. During Event 3, her judge miscounted her pull-ups, so she ended up five or six reps short of the required 52. Several things may have factored in here, but the most plausible cause is the floor judge got distracted for a couple of reps by the head judge.

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Grigsby’s score was recorded, she went on to compete in Event 4, and moved on with her weekend. As she waited in the corral for Event 5, she was approached by another head judge. He informed her that her floor judge made a mistake in Event 3; that her time would be changed by some number of seconds; and that the new time would affect her ranking in that event.

Here’s the rub


In one case, HQ ruled the athlete had no right to appeal, and cited the fact that “judgment calls made during an event are final.” In another case, HQ decided the floor judge’s mistake should be fixed after the fact.

But how would HQ have reacted if, instead of miscounting in Grigsby’s favor, the judge had miscounted against her? Would they have gone back and adjusted her time and ranking? What if a judge awards a good rep for a movement violation that results in a higher ranking than they would have achieved otherwise?

CrossFit, Inc. can do whatever they want because the athletes are playing their game. They make the rules, and the rest of us just deal with it. That said, officiating is a critical part of any competition, and consistent judgment is equally important. Spectators, athletes, and fans don’t want bad decisions on the floor to affect the results of the competition, but no one wants an overbearing governing body inconsistently changing results after events are completed.

Photo Credit: CrossFit Inc.

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