2023 Cross-Semifinal World Wide Leaderboards: Part 2

June 26, 202312 min read

**Contributions by Barclay Dale, Brian Friend, and Mike Halpin**

Image Credits: Athlete’s Eye

If you missed part one of this two part series you can find it here.

This two-part series is a collection of findings we’ve observed after filtering through cross-semifinal leaderboards for a couple weeks. We acknowledged certain disclaimers in part one about what these leaderboards are and are not.

There are two different leaderboards for each division:


Open style scoring for all athletes in the division scored against each other.

Color key: Competitive Region Highlighted with matching Bold Colors for Games Qualifiers and Soft Colors for the rest of the semifinalists.

Men’s Cross-Semifinal leaderboard  

Women’s Cross-Semifinal leaderboard  

Team Cross-Semifinal leaderboard  


Games style scoring using the traditional 40 athlete scoring table (Hyperlink to it) for the qualifying athletes. 

Color key: Competitive Region Highlighted with matching Bold Colors for Games Qualifiers and Soft Colors for the rest of the semifinalists.

Men’s Cross-Semifinal leaderboard  

Women’s Cross-Semifinal leaderboard

Team Cross-Semifinal leaderboard  


Which Test Had the HIghest Correlation with CrossFit Games Qualifiers?

After many CrossFit Competitions, a look back is done to see which Event (CrossFit now calls them Tests) best aligned with the final rankings of the competition. 

Let’s take a look at the numbers involved:

Test# of Games Qualifiers in Test Top-40Average finish of Games Qualifiers / RangeAverage All Semi Overall Rank of Games Qualifiers
12258.62 (2nd Hoste – 240th Panchik)59.62
21641.65 (1st Koski – 171st Semenov)34.97
31746.47 (1st Mertens – 258th J. Smith)50.02
41846.1 (3rd Douglas – 149th J. Smith)52.95
51951.75 (1st Hoste – 205th J. Smith)49.6
61541.35 (1st Medeiros – 142nd Fiebig)42.52
71639.85 (1st Pepper – 207th Sedaghat)32.22

22 of the 40 Games qualifiers placed in the Top 40 of Test 1, and only 15 of the 40 Games qualifiers placed in the top 40 on Test 6. 

Looking at where the Games Qualifiers placed on average in each Test, the lowest average for Games qualifiers is Test 1 with an average finish of 58.62 while the best average finish is Test 7 with a 39.85 average finish.

Looking at where the athletes ended up on the Cross Semifinal WW ranking Test 1 has the highest at 59.62 while again Test 7 has the best at 32.22.

Zooming in on the Top-10 of Test 7, coincidentally seven of the Top-10 are Games qualifiers, the only test that out does this is Test 3 that has all 10 in the top-10 as Games qualifiers. Six of the 10 come from week 1’s North America East.

4Dallin PepperNorth America East03:46.401
3Jayson HopperNorth America East03:50.902
6Roman KhrennikovNorth America East03:54.823
16Alex VigneaultNorth America East03:57.584
18Luke ParkerNorth America East04:06.735
23Jelle HosteEurope04:06.876
2Patrick VellnerNorth America West04:08.487
65Isaac NewmanOceania04:10.558
45John WoodNorth America West04:12.539
47Tyler ChristophelNorth America East04:13.3310

But is that surprising…?

When you look at a 3-day Competition with seven total Tests there is little room for jumping up the leaderboard going into the final day. For nearly all regions, a portion of the podium or and a majority of the qualifiers was locked in before a Rogue Echo bike fan was spun up.

Watching that final test back, especially the Big 3 semifinals (NA East, NA West, & Europe), you may notice a few things from the cut line graphics. The final test mattered for about 15 or so athletes to qualify, mattered for 4-5 athletes to podium and mattered to about 1-3 athletes to win.  The smaller competitive regions had comparable numbers for their size.

After the top15, athletes 16-60 may be just riding things out or trying to end it on a high note but ‘sending it’ on the echo bike wasn’t going to yield a Games ticket.  Keep in mind, there is no prize money for each Test.  So, if Test 7 is the closest correlate to finding the qualifiers, is that because the best did well at that test? or is it because the best over the last six tests were the only ones pushing the pace and jockeying for qualifying spots by the time the final event came around?


European women mean business.

As mentioned in part one, 15 of the women’s 40 Games qualifiers had top 100-finishes in all tests on the full field Cross-Semifinal leaderboard, ten of those 15 women were from Europe. In fact, of the 77 total tests that the Games-bound European women competed in, only Rebecka Vitesson’s 114th in Semifinals Linda was not a top 100 finish worldwide.

Region# of Finishes Outside Top 100 WorldwideGames Spots
Africa5 (71.4%)1
Asia8 (57.1%)2
Europe1 (1.3%)11
NA East11 (14.3%)11
NA West15 (21.4%)10
South America7 (50%)2
Oceania3 (14.3%)3

To put Europe’s impressive showing into perspective, the next best regions were in North America East and Oceania which averaged one finish outside of the top 100 per Games qualifier – 11 times worse than Europe’s single finish outside of the top 100.

On both the full field and Games athletes-only Cross-Semifinal leaderboards, every single European woman placed 23rd or better. And while Semifinals performance doesn’t necessarily predict Games results, we know that the key to success is consistency. Therefore, we can expect a strong showing from these 11 women in Madison, which is absolutely not out of the ordinary, it’s been known and expected for European women for years. 


One for the teams. 

Almost everything we thought we knew about the team competition following Quarterfinals, came to fruition, begging the same question we’ve been asking throughout the season, which is do we have too many stages of the season? 

On April 28, I put out an article with Team Power Rankings for the first time this year. Following Quarterfinals, in the current season system, is the first time we really know who’s competing on which team with any degree of verifiable certainty (meaning not word of mouth, but that it’s actually on a leaderboard on the Games site). 

In the article I broke the rankings down into four groups of ten, not ranking the 38 teams I thought would necessarily make the Games, but instead the 40 teams I thought were the best in the world- power rankings. Here’s a snapshot of how I did: 

  • Teams 1-10: All 10 made the Games
  • Teams 11-20: 7/10 made the Games, the three that didn’t were all from NA East
  • Teams 21-30: 5/10 made the Games, four of those five were from NA East, the other was the Mayhem Latin America team 
  • Teams 31-40: 8/10 made the Games, one team from Europe, and another from NA East both missed

There were only ten spots in NA East, and I had 18 teams ranked in the top 40, so I had to miss on those 8 spots. The question is, how did those eight teams actually do relative to the world? 

North America East Teams World Wide

We’ll keep it simple, these are the eight teams I had in the top 40, and their ranking on the worldwide Cross-Semifinal team leaderboard:

NA East TeamWW Finish
8th Day CrossFit24th
CrossFit Resurrection28th
CrossFit Westchase29th
CrossFit MFLH 36535th
CrossFit Pro1 Montreal52nd
12 Labours CrossFit Lions55th
CrossFit Crash Black65th
CrossFit Future the Brutes66th

Pretty good overall. Four of those teams theoretically performed well enough to make the Games. The other four also did rather well on the world wide level. 

Knowing that the North American East teams continued to be impressive at Semifinals (as they were during Quarterfinals), let’s take a look at the overall distribution of teams in the top 40. After studying the Quarterfinals leaderboard, it really seemed clear that the team division could be a good case study for the “15% threshold”  idea Halpin and I had worked for individuals this season. 

Let’s see how the expected distribution looks compared to the actual distribution after Semifinals: 

Competitive RegionExpected Number in the top-40Actual Number in the top-40Allocated Spots (38 total)
NA East181510
NA West8910
South America102

*Note that in our power rankings we allocated a minimum of one spot to each region. That is what we believe every competitive region should be allocated at a minimum for all three elite divisions (men, women, teams).


Overall, pretty indicative of what was expected. A few of the strong NA East teams from Quarters tapered off in Semifinals, while both Europe and Oceania performed slightly better. No teams from South America, Asia, or Africa performed well enough globally to be in the top 40, but we still feel the best of every region should have a chance to represent their part of the world at the Games. 

In general, I’m still not sure why there are only 38 spots for teams at the Games instead of 40. Additionally, it seems rather clear that an opportunity for spot allocation following Quarterfinals could hold some value in the team divisions. Even more so with teams than individuals, the landscape of where the highly competitive teams will be year to year has the potential to be most volatile. We have the opportunity to account for that and I’m hopeful that we will implement something to do so moving forward. 

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Brian Friend

Brian stumbled upon CrossFit in the Fall of 2013. He has been a writer, data analyst, content creator, commentator, and broadcast coordinator. He's worked at a majority of the largest CrossFit competitions over the last three seasons, is a regular guest on the Sevan Podcast, and has been amongst the leading sports analysts in the sport in recent years. He has a passion for advancing the sport of CrossFit, and spreading the CrossFit methodology, by living it out in both his personal and professional life.


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