What is the CrossFit Open? (2022)

CrossFit as a sport was born in 2007 at a Ranch located in Aromas, California. The brain child of Dave Castro, an employee of the HQ at the time, the CrossFit Games was a backyard barbecue at his family’s property in the hills of Northern California. The event was open to anyone who wanted to come and the fittest man and woman would be crowned after a few events and the whole event ended in an afternoon. 

By 2011 the backyard barbecue had grown to take over the StubHub center in Carson California (Former home of the LA Chargers and current home of the Galaxy). Thousands of fans would attend the event, Reebok become a title sponsor, and it was aired on ESPN during the length of the 5 day competition.

This was amazing for the sport and is part of the reason why CrossFit has become so popular. This also meant that not just anyone could show up, the field of Games hopefuls would have to be whittled down someway. This problem is what birthed The CrossFit Games Open. 

In 2011 CrossFit HQ hosted the first ever Open. It was a 6 week competition where Dave Castro would announce the workout he had written for the week and then two Games athletes would complete the workout minutes later in a live streamed event for all of the community to see.

From there athletes from all over the world would have the option to complete the workout as prescribed (Rx) or modified (Scaled) and submit their scores to an online leaderboard by the following Monday. Athlete’s who ranked in the top 20 of their region (Southwest, Meridian, Pacific, etc..) would qualify for Sectionals (later called Regionals and now Semifinals). After a 3 day competition in their respective regions, 3-5 athletes from each of those would continue on to be the top 40 fittest men, women, and teams in the world, earning the right to compete at the CrossFit Games. 

After 11 years, the tradition continues. As the competition has aged, it has turned into a worldwide community event that represents more than just the start of the 2022 CrossFit Games Competition year. It is now a way for affiliates all over the world to connect and share in the thing that unites us all. A bunch of people who love fitness and working out with our friends. And this year, we can expect about 400,000 friends to be doing the exact same workouts in their home gyms all across the planet.

As anything ages, other changes come as well. This year the Open is 3 weeks, a repeat from last year and a change from the 5 weeks it had been since 2012. This year is also going to be the first Open without Dave Castro at the helm of the competition (he was fired from his post earlier this month). That last change in particular leaves a bit of an unknown with how programming for the workouts might change, but so many other things we have learned to love and expect will continue to happen this year:

  • CrossFit HQ will be hosting Open announcements every Thursday night during the Open
  • There will be 4 different scaling options and different brackets for athlete ages.
    • Foundations, Scaled, Adaptive, and Home work versions of workouts will be available for Teens, Open, and Masters athletes!
  • The Open is still the path to the games, it now leads into these competitions for the top athletes:
    • Top 10% open athletes qualify for The Quarterfinals
    • Top 10% in each age group outside of the Open ages, qualities for the Age Group Qualifiers.
    • Top  25% of teams will make it on to The Quarterfinals
      • Teams must all be from the same affiliate. 
  • You can also compete as part of occupational or group leaderboards!
    • Wanna see where you rank against fellow moms? There’s a leaderboard for that.
    • Wanna see who the fittest CrossFitter in Houston is? There’s a leaderboard for that. 
    • Wanna see who the fittest alumni from Rice is in the over 45 years old category? There’s a leaderboard for that!

Regardless of if you have aspirations of competition, The CrossFit Open is an amazing experience for athletes of all levels. I made the mistake of competing in my first Open alone in a “Globo Gym” (That’s a Dodgeball reference for ya). While it was cool doing the same workouts as the people I had watched on YouTube for years, it was nothing compared to what a real Open atmosphere feels like.

When you walk into a CrossFit Box during Open season, each week is filled with anticipation for the workout of the week. People are putting on their best Mel Kiper hat and trying to guess what could possibly be the next test we all had to go through. Thursday night, everyone stays behind after class to watch the announcement and watch as some of the greats of this sport duke it out. Last, Friday’s are the absolute best. Everyone you know and don’t know in your gym’s family comes in to do the same exact workout as you and cheer everyone on as we come together to celebrate each other.

While The Open might be a qualifier in its’ roots, it is truly the CrossFit Community’s event.

If you’re looking for an affiliate to try the Open out at, sign up for a No Sweat Intro. From there we can teach you how to do all the movements that will appear in The Open that you are able to do now and give you progressions and a plan to get the movements that you want! Just click the “Free Intro” button at the top of.

This Open is shaping up to be one of the most fun and interesting years yet! So grab a buddy, sign up, and have fun!!

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