Some of you are upset. I get it. You paid a lot of money. The judging was questionable. The event did not run smooth at all and there were some huge malfunctions. Some of you have had experiences similar to this at a few other local competitions. I am not saying you don't have any right to be mad, because you do. In fact, I would say this past weekend was the most disastrous competition I've experienced to date. I would, however, ask that you consider the following:
EVENT ORGANIZATION, LARGE PRIZE MONEY, BIG CLAIMS:
This isn't ESPN, folks. We've got CrossFit owners and coaches trying to run events with multiple divisions, heats, and sites. I think it's safe to say that they are doing the best they can and trying to learn. With the exception of running late and the big scoring disaster, I think they actually did a pretty great job. I know I couldn't imagine all of the work that went into making this event happen.
Do I think they were in over their head? Maybe. Were they not prepared to handle the LARGE amount of athletes they let into this competition? Maybe. The idea of a large competition with six different divisions and 400+ athletes in one day sounded terrible from the start. No one wants to be competing from 7am to 5pm (and by competing I mean mostly sitting around for hours wondering when you go because heats are running late).
Yes, there was a lot of money on the line and this comp made huge claims about live streaming and growing this event, bragging about how they would remain on time. Sad to say, but you almost have to expect MOST local competitions to run into some management issues. Not an excuse, just saying. Like I said, besides those two major issues, the competition had some pretty good potential. They obviously didn't anticipate and plan to run late... or for someone to mess up the scoring so maybe cut them some slack!
This is not an issue unique to this particular comp, other local comps, or even the sport of CrossFit. I really want to emphasize that I am not making excuses for them but think about this...
It is SO easy to look at someone else across the room or online and say "NO REP" to yourself or the person next to you. You're confident in your knowledge of movement standards, and the ability to see movement. That is a good thing! Some of you are so confident that you wouldn't even hesitate to tell that person right then and there as it was happening. Not because you're an asshole, but because that's what we do! Hold each other accountable to move well. Right?
Well, believe it or not, this is NOT easy for a lot of people. THESE JUDGES ARE VOLUNTEERS. THEY ARE POTENTIALLY NEW TO CROSSFIT. They are not CrossFit coaches. Even if they aren't new, they may not be confident enough to no rep someone (assuming they are comfortable with movement standards). It is harder than you may think! You see someone giving it their all in a high-pressured situation, they are moving fast, they are highly emotional, it is loud and the fear of stopping them and starting an argument with an athlete might be their worst nightmare. Should comp review the movements with their judges? OF COURSE. They probably did! That doesn't make someone Adrian Bozman Head CrossFit Judge over night!
OTHER ATHLETES "CHEATING" AND NOT HITTING MOVEMENT STANDARDS:
"Look at that athlete! They aren't squatting low enough!" You are very right. They are not even close. From my experience with coaching... most of these people are not INTENTIONALLY trying to cut reps short. They do it for multiple reasons such as, physical limitations, lack of body awareness, lack of strength, lack of mobility, lack of accountability, or they are a work in progress (WE ALL ARE). This is not the CrossFit Games. Many of our own athletes here at CFM are still working on their ability to perform bodyweight movements through a full range of motion. Does that make me a shitty coach or them a shitty athlete? I hope not! Does that mean they shouldn't be allowed to sign up for a scaled competition for fun? You can answer that yourself but let me just say that I would have no repped a lot of OUR athletes during this comp. ;) It does not come easy to some. We are all on a journey trying to be better. I think it's safe to say MOST people are not trying to cheat.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
Represent yourself and your gym by moving well and not reacting negatively toward other athletes and the judges. Hold yourself to a high standard.
Ask you coach before you do a competition and see whether it is new or reputable.
Worried about what other people are doing and things out of your control? Not worth it. Worry about yourself! You hear successful Games athletes say that all of the time in interviews. Stick to YOUR plan. You want to come out on top at a competition and in life? Work twice as hard as those around you, and move twice as well.