Controversy Surrounding Plate Diameter Used in 16.1

On Tuesday morning, the CrossFit Games site posted an article stating that athletes using small diameter plates during 16.1 would be penalized 15%. This article followed an Instagram post by Dave Castro on Monday night showing video of OPEX athletes using kilo change plates during the bar facing burpees.

The official release by CrossFit, Inc. refers to Section 1.24 – Open Workouts – Uncommon Movement Clause/Range of Motion Exceptions as the basis for the penalty applied to athletes found using smaller change plates. Here is the official release from CrossFit.


Below is the section in the 2016 Reebok CrossFit Games Competition Rulebook referred to by CrossFit in its official reponse.


Any violation of the prescribed workout format, including the movement standards or range of motion, will result in the repetition(s) being disallowed. Therefore, athletes and judges should be familiar with the Uncommon Movement Clause:

“Any movement deemed uncommon, out of the ordinary or used to amend, shorten or change the accepted movement standard or range of motion including line of action of any event movement can and will be disallowed. It is the responsibility of the athlete to notify their judge or CrossFit Inc. of any questionable movement before the workout.”

In addition, athletes and judges should be aware that certain athletes with physical limitations in a specific range of motion may be granted an exception, in CrossFit’s sole discretion, from performing the prescribed range of motion for the workout. This limitation in the range of motion must be due to prior physical limitations or injuries that are obvious and clearly definable by demonstration. Any limitation must be brought to the attention of a judge or CrossFit Inc. PRIOR to the beginning of the competition. Such instances are extremely rare and will be handled on a case-by-case basis.

Following the social media posts and the official CrossFit announcement, James Fitzgerald, owner of OPEX Fitness, wrote a blog post providing his perspective on the situation. Here is the beginning of Fitzgerald’s post. You can read the rest of it here.