Many thought it might happen, but after yesterday’s 19.1 submission deadline to compete in the 2019 CrossFit Open it is official. The number of athletes participating the 2019 CrossFit Open has declined year over year for the first time in the sport’s nine year history.
Just over 357,000 participants registered to compete in the five-week online global competition, down from 416,000 in 2018. What might be even more surprising is that 2019’s participation is less than the 380,000 that signed up in 2017.
Changes in the CrossFit Games format along with a reduced emphasis of providing media coverage directly from CrossFit HQ are the likely culprits in the decline. The good news, however, is that more affiliates than ever are participating in the Open this year – 15,000.
While the changes and uncertainty did not help promote the CrossFit Open this year there was still plenty of excitement among those who chose to sign up again this year. A quick scroll or search through Instagram shows athletes from all over the world collapsing and celebrating the completion of that 15-minute workout.