What Might the 2020 CrossFit Games Season Look Like?

Noah Ohlsen at the 2018 CrossFit Games. Photo courtesy of CrossFit Inc.
Noah Ohlsen at the 2018 CrossFit Games. Photo courtesy of CrossFit Inc.

The CrossFit Open in October. Sixteen qualifier events between then and June. The CrossFit Games in August. All of this will mean drastic changes in how athletes train and compete in order to make it to Madison, Wisconsin, for the CrossFit Games.

Of course, that led us to think about what might the 2020 CrossFit Games season look like. Based on what we have heard so far, here is our best guess of what the new Games format will look like.

The Open

What we know: The CrossFit Open for the 2020 CrossFit Games season will begin in October.

What we don’t know: How many weeks will the Open be? Will the format/timing be the same? Will there be multiple workouts each week? Will it look like the Team Series where it is two weeks long but multiple workouts are released at the same time?

Since we really don’t know what the Open will look like next October, we are going to take a shot at predicting a format change. The Team Series format of releasing multiple workouts at one time seems like a very possible change. Why? There are only two live announcements (down from five) and it gives CrossFit the ability to program more than five scored events easily.

With the 2019 CrossFit Games finishing up in August, we think that CrossFit will give its athletes as much time as possible to recover and get back to training for the next season. Because of this, we are guessing the Open will not start until the end of October.

From there, a two-week window for CrossFit to program between 3-4 workouts that will be divided into individual and team workouts. We fully anticipate athletes having to choose whether to go team or individual before the Open begins.

Week 1: October 24-28
Week 2: October 31-November 4

The Qualifiers

What we know: There will be 16 qualifiers in which the winning male, female and team from each will qualify for the CrossFit Games.

What we don’t know: Where will the qualifiers be held? Will they be existing competitions (i.e. Wodapalooza, Dubai Fitness Championship, etc)? Who will be responsible for the programming?

Brooke Wells at the 2018 Wodapalooza Fitness Festival.
Brooke Wells at the 2018 Wodapalooza Fitness Festival.

This seems to be one of the biggest unknowns at this time. It also appears to be one of the biggest items that the CrossFit Games team has to figure out and coordinate. All of this will not be ready for the 2019 CrossFit Games season so CrossFit HQ has a year to sort out all of the logistics.

It seems like the natural path is to use the biggest existing competitions as a starting point and then fill in the gaps. This might mean several competitions will need to change when their competition is held, like the Granite Games. Also how the 16 competitions are split between the United States and abroad will also have to be worked out.

What is interesting is that if you start the first qualifying competition two weeks after the Open with an event every other weekend, the 16th and final competition would be June 12-14. That is not too far off the existing Regional schedule where the final week of Regionals is the first weekend of June.

And based on a tweet by Russ Greene, the every other week schedule might be exactly what we see for the 2020 CrossFit Games season.

Looking at the calendar and beginning two weeks after the Open concludes, you can see this could work.

Comp #1: November 15-17, 2019
Comp #2: November 29-December 1, 2019
Comp #3: December 13-15, 2019
Comp #4: December 27-29, 2019
Comp #5: January 10-12, 2020
Comp #6: January 24-26, 2020
Comp #7: February 7-9, 2020
Comp #8: February 21-23, 2020
Comp #9: March 6-8, 2020
Comp #10: March 20-22, 2020
Comp #11: April 3-5, 2020
Comp #12: April 17-19, 2020
Comp #13: May 1-3, 2020
Comp #14: May 15-17, 2020
Comp #15: May 29-31, 2020
Comp #16: June 12-14, 2020

The Games

The 2018 CrossFit Games began on Wednesday and ran through Sunday. Again, based on a tweet by Russ Greene, Games week might be extended to accommodate the huge expansion of athletes invited to compete at the CrossFit Games.

So what if the CrossFit Games began on Monday and had a series of events that would cut the field to a manageable size for the weekend? It could be as simple as three events that test endurance, strength and a multi-discipline event that takes the field from 200 (assuming all qualified athletes and teams show up) down to 40. From there, the CrossFit Games would look almost like it does today.