CrossFit Outlines Changes to Adaptive Division for 2023 Games Season

The CrossFit Games has hosted adaptive divisions for the past two years. And after working with the adaptive community and the Adaptive Divisional Athlete Committee, CrossFit is making changes to be “on par” with other adaptive or Paralympic sport.

“We’re extremely proud of the progress CrossFit has made every year to improve the eligibility standards and process for the adaptive divisions,” Accessibility and Adaptive Sport Specialist Alec Zirkenbach said. “With two years of data collection and feedback from the community and the Adaptive Divisional Athlete Committee, this year’s updates put CrossFit’s classification system on par with any other adaptive or Paralympic sport.”

So what’s happening in 2023?

First, a new Adaptive Athlete Policy will be fully outlined in the Rulebook when it is published November 15. That will coincide with the start of registration for the 2023 CrossFit Open. In the policy, eligible impairments will be updated to include “measurable minimum impairment criteria and verification standards designed to ensure athletes with similar abilities are grouped into appropriate divisions.”

The Neuromuscular division will be renamed to “Multi Extremity”. The change is intended to eliminate confusion because the Neuromuscular name was based on the origin of the impairment. Additionally, many neuro and neuromuscular athletes also compete in other divisions such as Upper and Lower Extremity.

The same eight adaptive divisions will remain in 2023 (other than the name change to Multi Extremity).

Eligibility in 2023

There will also be some changes to the eligibility requirements next year.

CrossFit has updated its Eligibility Form, called the Adaptive Competition Eligibility Form (ACEF), along with video or photo evidence of their impairment. Additionally, medical diagnosis of an eligible impairment will not be enough to qualify for competition. Athletes will need to meet the minimum impairment criteria, which has been updated to include observable and measurable criteria.

On top of that, an athlete’s impairment(s) must be present consistently throughout all stages of classification and competition. All athletes will be required to submit Open workout videos as part of the observation process.

The Adaptive Season

At the close of the Open, five divisions – Vision, Intellectual, Seated with Hip Function, Seated Without Hip Function and Short Stature – will be crowned the fittest. CrossFit will conduct drug testing at this stage and will award prize money to the podium finishers.

For the other three divisions – Multi Extremity, Lower Extremity and Upper Extremity – the top 5 men and women will compete at the 2023 CrossFit Games.

The podium finishers from all eight divisions will be invited to participate in the award ceremony at the 2023 Games in Madison, Wisconsin, similar to 2022.

2024 CrossFit Games

And looking ahead two years, CrossFit will invite athletes from all eight adaptive divisions to compete at the CrossFit Games as long as the division has enough participation to allow for a competitive field.

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