New 2022 CrossFit Games Rulebook Released: 5 Major Takeaways

CrossFit has released its rulebook for the 2022 season, find out what has changed.

The new CrossFit Games Rulebook has been released and, while big parts of the season reman the same as last year, there are a few major takeaways you should be aware of.

The 2022 CrossFit Games Rulebook is a 38-page document outlining the CrossFit Games season and the rules every person participating in it should follow.

A recap of what we already knew

  • The CrossFit Open remains a 3-week competition, starting on February 24, 2022.
  • The new master and adaptive divisions introduced last year are here to stay.  
  • The season will follow the same format as last year, starting with the CrossFit Open, Quarterfinals, 10 Semifinals, the Last Chance Qualifier, and finally the CrossFit Games.

Read more: Dates for the 2022 CrossFit Open, Quarterfinals, Semifinals and CrossFit Games Announced

5 Major Takeaways from the 2022 CrossFit Games Rulebook

2021 crossfit open home

No more Age Group Online Qualifier, number of Age Group Athletes at the Games reduced

The Age Group Online Qualifier has been replaced by virtual Quarterfinals and virtual Semifinals for Teens and Masters.

This aims provide greater opportunity for more athletes to compete past the CrossFit Open.

The top 10% of athletes (or a minimum of 200 athletes) in each Age Group following the Open will be invited to compete in the global Age-Group Quarterfinals. From there, the top 30 men and top 30 women in each age division will advance to the virtual Age-Group Semifinals.

Based on performance at the virtual Semifinal, only 10 athletes per Age Group Division will participate in the CrossFit Games.

Why it’s relevant? The Master’s division is the fastest growing division in the Open, making up just over 50% of all participants, which means any changes made to this division impact an incredibly large field of athletes.

For the youngest Teenage athletes, who also saw cuts to the number of athletes able to participate in the Age Group Online Qualifier (an issue fixed for 2022 by the way), yearly unpredictability and cuts signal instability in the sport, which might put off some potential new stars.

CrossFit staff has hinted at the potential for a new, completely separate event for Age Group athletes in future.

Read more: How Committed is CrossFit to the Future of the Sport? (Opinion)

teen athletes queue up at CrossFit GamesSource: Photo courtesy of CrossFit Inc.

Adaptive divisions are slowly growing and developing

Top Adaptive athletes will go from the CrossFit Open to a virtual Semifinal. This will be determined by their rank in the Open, with the top 20 men and women in each division advancing to the next stage.

Only Neuromuscular, Lower Extremity, and Upper Extremity Adaptive divisions will then send their top five athletes to the CrossFit Games in Madison.

Intellectual, Seated With Hip Function, Seated Without Hip Function, Vision, and Short Stature divisions will crown their Fittest Athletes after their Semifinal.

For the divisions that do send athletes to the CrossFit Games, CrossFit plans on backfilling the invites of athletes who decline to compete to the next athlete on the Semifinal’s leaderboard.

Why it’s relevant?

It’s great to see CrossFit continue to be committed to diversity and inclusion and expand the opportunities available to the Adaptive divisions. That being said, it would be even greater to see the company highlight all Adaptive Divisions on their social profiles to help grow all divisions in future, so they can all be included at the Games and more athletes benefit from the training methodology.

Read more: How the Adaptive Open Came to Be

crossfit open adaptiveSource: Elaina Janeale Ronai via CrossFit Inc.

More flexibility and community for the CrossFit Open

There are now three ways to submit your CrossFit Open workout scores:

  1. Completing the workout in a CrossFit Affiliate, with the Affiliate manager validating scores.
  2. Submitting a video of your performance, to be validated online.
  3. Performing the workout with a registered judge, a person who, having competed the 2022 Online Judges Course, can validate scores for you.

Additionally, if you’re competing in a team, your Affiliate’s name will be the first thing that appears on the leaderboard, followed by your custom team name. This change intends to celebrate and recognise affiliates.

The At Home and No Equipment options for the CrossFit Open introduced last year are also available for 2022.

Why it’s relevant? CrossFit has listened to the community’s feedback and made changes accordingly. It is now easier than ever to participate in the Open.

athlete does toes to bar progression doing knee raises

Clarifications on help allowed during workouts

In short: no help allowed.

“Unless otherwise stated, athletes may not receive assistance moving or placing equipment during any workout. Athletes who receive outside assistance to manage or place equipment during the workout may face penalty or disqualification.”

Why it’s relevant? This matters to elite athletes more than your everyday athlete. Specifically, we’re thinking about Emma Tall’s score adjustment during the online German Throwdown Semifinal last season, which lost the athlete her CrossFit Games invite.

She got a penalty “for receiving assistance with equipment,” yet the athlete raised a good point for the need of clarification in the rulebook and movement standards.

Source: Stevie D Photography

New equipment clause included

New specifications on the attire and additional equipment athletes are allowed to wear and use during different stages of competition have been introduced.

The rulebook clause includes specifications such as:

• Athletes must wear sport footwear while competing; slippers, socks, and open-toed shoes are not permitted. An exception may be made for swim events or other specific events.
• No part of any shoe’s underside, or sole, shall be higher than 2 inches or 5 cm.
• Shoes cannot be altered from their original manufactured state to increase the sole’s height.
Knee and elbow support:
Sleeves worn on the knees and/or elbows must conform to the following specifications:
• The sleeves must be constructed entirely of a single ply of neoprene or synthetic rubber or predominantly of a single ply of neoprene or synthetic rubber plus a non-supportive single layer of fabric over the neoprene.
• The entire construction of the sleeves may not be such as to provide any appreciable support or rebound to the lifter’s knees.
• The sleeves may not be worn in a manner that provides appreciable rebound.
• Knee and elbow sleeves shall not have any additional strapping, velcro, drawstrings, padding, or similar supportive devices in or on them.
• Knee and elbow sleeves shall be of a maximum thickness of ¼ inch or 7 mm and a maximum length of 12 inches or 30 cm.

Why it’s relevant: for the everyday athlete, this means costumes are allowed so long as the judge can see you’re squatting below parallel. For Elite athletes, the rule means they’ll have to pay even more attention to what they’re wearing and taking with them onto the competition floor.

Source: Photo courtesy of CrossFit Inc.

More coverage on the 2022 CrossFit Games rulebook coming soon.

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