What Goes Into the Video Review Process for the Dubai CrossFit Championship Online Qualifier?

The Dubai CrossFit Championship’s Online Qualifier ended Tuesday morning here in the United States. But while the athletes’ work is done, it is now time for the organizers to validate scores, finalize the leaderboard and send out invites to the top 20 men and 20 women who will compete in Dubai this December.

Recently, there has been a lot of focus on what happens between the time scores are submitted and the leaderboard is finalized. From accidentally releasing which workouts will be video reviewed to a constantly changing leaderboard, it has been a rough couple of months for event organizers.

Because of this, we wanted to hear how the Dubai CrossFit Championship was handling this stage of the competition. 

But first, a brief overview of the Dubai CrossFit Championship. As mentioned earlier, the top 20 men and women will qualify to compete at the in-person final. There are no special invites. No RX, intermediate or scaled divisions…just an elite field. This year there were 95 men and 70 women who submitted at least one score. Of those 165 athletes, 152 submitted scores for all five workouts.

The Dubai CrossFit Championship team’s goal is to finalize the leaderboard in 10 days, or by 10/8. To accomplish this feat, they have six judges reviewing the videos to make sure the athletes use the correct weight, perform the right number of reps and meet the movement standards.

All five of the scored workouts will be reviewed by the six judges. First, the top 35-40 scores in each workout will be carefully reviewed for accuracy.

The next layer of review moves to the Top 20-25 athletes overall. While most of these athletes will likely have had their videos already reviewed in the first step of the process, there could be a few that finished outside the top 40 in a particular event. In this case, that athlete’s video would be reviewed.

For example, Karin Freyova took 43rd on Workout 4. Her video would not have been reviewed during the first stage, but because she is sitting in 11th overall the team would review her video for accuracy.

Excluding Workout 2 (because it was a combined event with Workout 1 and mostly likely both workouts are reviewed at the same time), there are only two other instances where an athlete in the top 20 overall finished outside the top 40 in any given event (Reggie Fasa took 45th on Workout 4 and Khan Porter finished 51st on Workout 5).

In these rare cases, the Dubai team will review all the videos up to that athlete. So on Workout 5, the team would review the top 51 scores of that workout.

If you are starting to wonder how many hours it will take to review all these videos, you’re in luck because we did the math.

Workout 1 & 2 was a combined 12 minutes.

Workout 3 was a 15-minute AMRAP. 

Workout 4 & 5 took up to 16 minutes.

Add in 2-3 minutes as an introduction for each video and that’s approximately 50 minutes of video review per athlete. Assuming the team does review the top 40 of every event for both men and women, that is at least 4,000 minutes, or 67 hours, of video to be reviewed….and that doesn’t count having to rewatch or pause if there is an issue with a video submission.

That is a lot of video review!

But at least the Dubai CrossFit Championship only has the elite division to worry about where the athletes are used to doing online qualifiers. Now compare that to an event like Wodapalooza with divisions upon divisions upon divisions submitting videos during its online qualifier.

It’s easy to sit back and complain that these competition organizers are not doing a good job when it comes to the video review process. And yes, there have been hiccups that could have been avoided in a lot of cases. However, there are a lot of moving pieces that most of us aren’t able to see.

Let’s hope that event organizers continue to learn best practices to avoid mistakes and make the video submission and review process as smooth as possible…for their and the athletes’ sake.

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