Dave Castro Addresses Quarterfinal Penalties; “There Will Be a Different Solution Next Season”

The topic of conversation the past week has been the penalties assessed during the video review process of the individual Quarterfinals. Top athletes like Pat Vellner, Tia-Clair Toomey-Orr and Brooke Wells received penalties yet remaining in a qualifying spot to Semifinals. Other athletes, like Sydney Wells, Paige Powers and Nick Mathew were penalized such that they are not in the top 40 in their region and their season will be ending.

As part of his Week in Review today, Dave Castro addressed the situation right out of the gate with a question from Will Bennett, an athlete who was affected by one of the penalties handed out. Bennett, who was originally in 12th place in the North America West leaderboard, incurred a penalty and dropped down the leaderboard. He is currently sitting in 47th place, seven spots outside the top 40 who advance to Semifinals.

Bennett asked if Castro could speak on the situation regarding the penalties from the Workout 1 video reviews.

Castro said that the team did “close to 1,000 reviews” from Workout 1. He said roughly 180 penalties were minor and around 160 penalties were major penalties, or approximately 340 total penalties were handed out.

[Note: in the data provided by Mike Halpin of Known & Knowable, he is calculating 410 total penalties, 149 of which were major (15% or more), 245 minor penalties and 16 athletes who had their score “zeroed” out.]

Castro dives into the numbers and says that 35% of athletes received a penalty, but the says he looked at it a different way. That is, “65% didn’t have any penalties, didn’t have any issue. And then a total of about 85% had a minor penalty or no penalty,” Castro said.

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Castro added that he doesn’t like to see athletes’ seasons get cut short, but those are the rules and it’s the system that is in place. He added that he and team discussed whether or not something should be done with this situation, but that “we are not.”

“Is this the right way to do it next year or in future years?”

Castro then asks the question above to himself. The simple answer, “I believe…no.”

He continues by saying that he sees the system evolving, but that the online portion of the competition will likely stay. Castro says that required specific angles for recording the workouts could have helped clear some of this up or that providing guidance to judges on where to stand while judging an athlete could help.

Castro adds that “maybe the video review process isn’t doing what it is now. Maybe we are taking ourselves completely out of the video review process and empowering the judges and equipping them better and more to actually make the call where we [CrossFit] are not coming in an overseeing and overruling.”

But he, of course, adds the disclaimer that those are just ideas and may not be fully implemented the way he has outlined them.

Castro continued, “I’m incredibly sorry for the athletes who, I feel for them, who are not advancing or had a penalty. But at the end of the day, we had these rules. We had this system put in place, and again, a large amount of athletes were able to by that system, by those rules and by the requirements able to do this without any issue.”

“I look forward to seeing what solution CrossFit arrives at next season”

Castro chose another view comment that ended with this statement, “I look forward to seeing what solution CrossFit arrives at next season.”

His answer was simple, “There will be a different solution next season.”

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