Challenging Judges’ Ruling at USAFF National Championship Costs Real Money

We just shared the roster of athletes competing at the inaugural USA Functional Fitness National Championship this weekend in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The athletes will be competing for a spot on the USA National Team that will compete next month at the International Functional Fitness Federation World Championship in California.

One of the more interesting rules that will be implemented this weekend is how athletes can protest scoring by their judge. Athletes will be able to submit a protest/inquiry as it relates to their score or time for any reason (i.e. miscounted reps, question validity of a no rep, etc). However, this protest will cost actual cash.

A scoring protest must be submitted to the head judge along with a $300 cash deposit. This monetary deposit is returned to the athlete if the review is in favor of the athlete. If the ruling stands, the athlete is out $300.

Surprisingly, this “pay to protest” system is used in many other Olympic sports. The International Gymnastics Federation created a very similar inquiry system in 2004 following widespread protests. The inquiry fee for gymnastics is also $300.

For luge, the cost is 50 euros (back in 2014) while cross-country skiing, snowboarding and Alpine skiing require 100 Swiss francs.

The idea behind the cash deposit is to reduce or eliminate frivolous protests while still giving the athlete the opportunity to challenge a judging error.

What do you think of this rule? Should more fitness competitions or even the CrossFit Games implement something like this? Let us know in the comments.

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