Judging the CrossFit Open

Over 50,000 people have taken CrossFit’s Judging course. So what is it really like to be a Judge and how does it feel to no-rep a talented Athlete? Even if can’t compete in the Open, you can still participate!

This time of year CrossFit boxes around the world are abuzz with chatter about the Open. What’s the WOD this week? Who’s competing? Are you RXing, or competing in the scaled division? Having grown up as a competitive athlete I love the energy that competition brings, and especially so in CrossFit where your boxmates seem just as invested in your WOD as you are. The cheering on, the camaraderie, it’s nothing short of inspirational.


But I’m not in the Open this year due to arthritis in my shoulder. Currently I’m unable to overhead squat and heavy snatches are troublesome too. I knew at some point snatches or OHS would show up in an Open WOD and I’d be unable to participate. Or, worse I’d participate because I couldn’t hold myself back, and I’d end up worsening my condition. It’s sad, but I’m getting over it.

Crossfit Judges
Crossfit Judges are a vital part of the sport

How am I getting over it? By doing the next best thing….I got my judges certificate so that I could partake in the WODs in an official capacity. The content of the training was mostly refresher, but I did learn a few things when it comes to judging. And fortunately the test was not as bad as I’d heard it would be.


I judged 16.1 and it was more fun than I had expected. The athlete I judged was in the RX Men’s division and performed solidly, with only three no-reps throughout the workout. Honestly, I wasn’t sure I’d have the confidence to no-rep another athlete – especially a strong athlete that typically has excellent form. But when I saw the errors I called him out, and to my surprise he was thankful for it.

So for those of you out there that didn’t sign up to the open, for whatever reason, I encourage you to partake in whatever form you can. Because even if you’re not the competitor, the competitive fire can still be stoked.

Judging the Crossfit Open
Judging the Crossfit Open

How are you participating this year?


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About The Author

I am a marketing professional, avid skiier, and of course CrossFit devotee. I live in Longmont, Colorado with my husband and two sons. I've been an active member of CrossFit Longmont for over three years, and although I still scale a lot of WODS, I am better today than I was yesterday and that's what it's all about!


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