What is the Open?

By Colin Farrell

The CrossFit Games Open, commonly referred to as just “The Open”, is a 5-week long, worldwide CrossFit competition whose purpose is to test the fitness of participating athletes. For 99.9% of us, our competition season ends after Week 5. For the top few women, men, and teams in their geographic region, The Open serves as the qualifying round before making it to Regionals, and for the fittest among them, subsequently to the CrossFit Games.

The Open is, reportedly, the most egalitarian sporting event on Earth. It costs only $20 to participate (a tiny amount when compared to local fitness competition, Spartan Races, Tough Mudders, or even your local half marathon or 10k), and you can compete in your own gym, or even at your home so long as you have the necessary equipment. In its inaugural year, roughly 20,000 athletes signed up. In 2017, that number had grown to nearly a half million.

The Open usually starts in late February and runs through March. Each week during the competition, on Thursday night, CrossFit Headquarters announces the workout. Athletes around the world have until Monday night to complete the workout and submit their scores online. At Potomac CrossFit, the Open workout is programmed for Saturday during each week of the Open. At Patriot CrossFit, it is programmed for Fridays throughout the 5 weeks. Participating athletes will have a judge and scorecard to verify each repetition was completed properly (at the correct weight, with the specified range of motion, etc.) and their scores will be validated by the Head Coach from each gym.

If inclined to do so, athletes may repeat a workout for a better score. As long as their score is submitted before the deadline each Monday night.

At the end of the 5 weeks, athletes may take a look at the leaderboard to see how they did compared to their results in previous years, compared to athletes in their gym, age bracket, geographic location, and even see where they stack up in the world.

The Open is a great time to test your fitness and push yourself. It is a great time to push a little bit outside your normal comfort zone. Every year, people PR major lifts during the Open, someone will nail double-unders for the first time, get their first muscle-up, or complete a box jump at a height they never dreamed imaginable.

The Open is a ton of fun. Registration opens at games.crossfit.com on 11 January. Are you in?

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Further Reading and Viewing

The CrossFit Games website
What is The Open?
Greg Glassman On The Open, Part I and Part II
Live Announcement of 17.1
“Thank you, Dan”

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