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CrossFit Quarterfinals: The 2nd stage on the way to the CrossFit Games

Updated: May 30

It's probably not new information, but the road to the CrossFit Games is tough and not for the faint-hearted (or muscular).


During the CrossFit season from February to June, athletes have to complete a wide variety of workouts and challenges over several months, with the field gradually getting smaller. Only the best from each region ultimately make it to the Games in Texas in August.


The Quarterfinals are an important step on this path. Want to know more about them and what makes them so special? We have all the important information for you!


What are the CrossFit Quarterfinals?

Athletes who train in a CrossFit box

The quarter-finals are basically the second round of the international CrossFit competition, where the crème de la crème from the Open have to put in a real effort once again.


What's going on in the Quarterfinals?


After the Open has made everyone sweat, the Quarterfinals shift up a gear. They are the test of whether athletes really have what it takes to progress. The best 25% of athletes and teams from each region (previously it was only 10%) compete against each other here. But not just anywhere - no, the whole thing takes place online or directly in the athletes' local pits.


What can athletes expect?

The workouts are a real house number - harder, faster and more merciless than in the Open. They push everyone to their limits, physically and mentally. The Quarterfinals are a chance for athletes to show that they are not just an Open prodigy, but that they have what it takes to compete with the best of the best.


Why are the Quarterfinals important?


Because this is where it gets serious! The Quarterfinals are the decisive step on the way to the CrossFit Games. While a relatively large number of athletes advance in the Open, only the top 40 from each region make it from the Quarterfinals to the Semifinals.



Who can take part in the CrossFit Quarterfinals?

Group of athletes doing wall balls

All athletes who have qualified through their performance in the previous CrossFit Open can participate in the Quarterfinals.


The specific criteria for participation in the Quarterfinals depend on the respective results in the Open:


Qualification criteria


  • Top Athletes: Typically, the top 10% of athletes from each region qualify for the Quarterfinals based on their performance in the CrossFit Open. Since 2021, this field has been expanded so that the top 25% of athletes in the Open can qualify for the Quarterfinals.

  • Regional affiliation: Qualification is also differentiated by regional affiliation. This means that a certain number of top athletes from different global regions will advance. These regions typically include North America East and West, Europe, Asia, Oceania, Africa and South America.


Participants


  • Individual Athletes: Both male and female individual athletes who qualify through their performance in the Open can participate in the Quarterfinals.

  • Teams: There is also a team component where the 25% of the best teams from the Open can qualify for the Quarterfinals.


Requirements


  • Minimum Standards: CrossFit sets specific performance standards and movement requirements that athletes in the Open must meet in order to qualify for the Quarterfinals. These standards ensure that all participants have a high level of fitness and ability to complete the complex and challenging workouts of the Quarterfinals.


Special features


  • Age and categories: In addition to the general Open categories, there are also special categories for Masters and Teens, which have their own specific qualifying criteria and percentages to participate in their respective Quarterfinals.

  • Adaptive categories: There are also adaptive categories for athletes with physical disabilities who also have specific qualifying criteria for the Quarterfinals.



When and where do the Quarterfinals take place?

CrossFit athlete doing a bar muscle-up

Normally, the Quarterfinals take place over several days in April, usually from a Wednesday to the following Monday. As the exact dates change every year, it's best to follow the official announcements from CrossFit to stay up to date.


Athletes do not have to complete the workouts in the specified order. There are often deadlines for individual workouts, but whether athletes start with workout 3 or 1 is up to them. It is often planned so that workouts can be repeated if necessary in order to improve the score.


Where do the Quarterfinals take place?


Like the Open, the Quarterfinals are special because they do not take place at a central location. Instead, athletes from around the world perform the prescribed workouts in their own local CrossFit boxes.


This online format allows participants to give it their all in a familiar environment - surrounded by a qualified judge (usually a coach from the box) and their personal hype crowd.



What makes CrossFit Quarterfinal workouts special?

CrossFit athlete training with two kettlebells

The CrossFit Quarterfinals are unique and special for several reasons:


  • Selection process: The Quarterfinals are the link between the Open and the Semifinals and play a central role in the selection process for the CrossFit Games. They filter out the top athletes from an enormous global participant base for the Open. The challenge is intensified by inviting only the top 25% of athletes or teams from each region. This selection guarantees that only the strongest and most versatile athletes advance to the next round.

  • Intensity and variety of workouts: Compared to the Open, the Quarterfinals workouts are often more intense and technically challenging. They are specifically designed to challenge athletes in a variety of fitness areas, from weightlifting to gymnastics to conditioning. These workouts test not only physical conditioning, but also athletes' strategic planning and adaptability.

  • Global participation, local execution: Although the Quarterfinals is a global event, the competition takes place locally in the athletes' own boxes. This allows participants to compete in a familiar environment while competing against the global elite. This unique combination of local delivery and global participation creates a special dynamic and allows athletes from less accessible regions to stand out.

  • Community and competitive spirit: The Quarterfinals bring the CrossFit community together as athletes, coaches and fans follow the performance and progress of participants. The event strengthens a sense of community and fosters a healthy competitive spirit that is central to the CrossFit philosophy.

  • A springboard for up-and-coming talent: For many athletes, the Quarterfinals provide a platform to prove themselves internationally for the first time. They are often a career springboard for up-and-coming talents who have the opportunity to attract the attention of sponsors and fans. Success in the Quarterfinals can open a door to professional opportunities and greater visibility in the sports world.



What comes after the Quarterfinals? The Semifinals!

CrossFit athlete at a competition with a judge

It doesn't get boring after the CrossFit Quarterfinals. The next stage in the CrossFit Games competition cycle follows: the Semifinals.


The Semifinals are crucial as they are the final hurdle before the actual CrossFit Games. This is where the athletes who have qualified through their performances in the quarter finals are further tested and selected.


What happens in the Semifinals?


  • Regional competitions: The Semifinals are physical events that take place in different regions around the world. Each region sends its top 40 athletes to the Semifinals based on the results of the Quarterfinals.

  • Higher level of competition: Compared to the Quarterfinals, the Semifinals are characterized by an even higher level of intensity and competition. The workouts are typically more demanding and the athletes have to prove not only their physical but also their mental strength - alongside other top athletes and in front of an audience.

  • Qualifying for the Games: The Semifinals are the direct qualifying round for the CrossFit Games. Only a limited number of athletes from each semi-final manage to qualify for the Games. The exact number of qualifiers varies depending on the region and the specific rules of each year. Sometimes it is only the top 3 or the top 5.


Why are the Semifinals so special?


The Semifinals are not only an opportunity for athletes to qualify for the CrossFit Games, but also a platform on which they can present themselves to an international audience. For many athletes, the semifinals are a chance to gain sponsors and make a name for themselves in the CrossFit community.


For spectators and fans, the Semifinals offer exciting battles and dramatic moments - the athletes give their all to get one of the coveted places at the CrossFit Games.



The road to the CrossFit Quarterfinals and beyond


We hope you now know more about the Quarterfinals and can enjoy them - whether you're sweating it out yourself or cheering on the athletes in your box or from your couch.


Remember, the quarterfinals are just the beginning of the hype - the semifinals are a whole lot more intense. The best of the best go full throttle here as they compete for a spot at the legendary CrossFit Games.

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