2024 CrossFit Game Seasons Changes: First Thoughts

November 8, 202310 min read

Photo Credit: CrossFit LLC

Open Length and Dates

The Open will be three weeks long once again this year. That is consistent with how it’s been since 2021. 

The Open is taking place between February 29 and March 18, which is very much in line with what we’ve come to expect in terms of Open Dates.

Duration of Open3 weeks3 weeks3 weeks3 weeks
Start of OpenMar 8Feb 24Feb 16Feb 29
End of OpenMar22Mar 18Mar 6Mar 18

Dave Castro has recently said that he prefers the 3 week Open and that is what we’d have again this year on one of his Week in Review episodes on his personal YouTube channel, so nothing very surprising here. 

Note that these are the dates for the Open for all athletes in all divisions (individual, team, teenage, masters, and adaptive).

Quarterfinal Dates and Qualification Percentages

Team Quarterfinals will take place before Individual Quarterfinals this year (April 3-8).

All Individual Quarterfinals (individual and age groups) will happen on the same weekend (April 17-22). 

For Individuals that is the most amount of time scheduled between the end of the Open and the beginning of Quarterfinals since Quarterfinals was first introduced in 2021. 

End of OpenMar22Mar 18Mar 6Mar 18
Indy QF DatesApril 5-9Mar 24-27Mar 16-19Apr 17-22

In the past three years there have been one or two weeks between the Open and Quarters for Individuals, this year there are four weeks. 

This season 25% of athletes in all individual and age group divisions will advance to Quarterfinals, an increase from the 10% threshold which has existed for the last three seasons. 

In terms of the number of athletes who will potentially advance to the second stage of the season by category and overall we can use last years Open registration data: 

DivisionQF Qualifiers 2024QF Qualifiers 2023Difference
Masters Men23,575943014,145
Masters Women17,0236809.210,214
Teenage Boys795318477
Teenage Girls761304.4456.6

In total there would have been an additional 48,262 eligible athletes across all the individual and age group divisions for the 2023 Quarterfinals. If you do the quick math, that’s a potential additional revenue stream of $2,413,100. 

First Thoughts: The extra time between the Open and Quarters for individuals is an interesting point of conversation. The last three seasons I had more or less just equated the Open and Quarters as being equivalent to a five or six week Open. The additional two or three weeks distinguish these two competitions from each other to a certain degree. 

For the elite athletes, it changes which week is a distraction from the rest of their training a little more. For everyone else, it creates an interesting dynamic between Open and Quarters in terms of how to train and prepare. 

The dramatic increase in number of participants is the opposite of what I had been hoping for from a practical standpoint https://bfriendlyfitness.com/the-true-strength-of-field-for-2023/ and will create an even more massive disparity in terms of who gets through to that stage of the season. 

When you look at the potential earnings that exist in this model it is understandable as to why they would want to make this change, my first two questions would be:

  • How do you program Quarters now with such a broad swath of athletes eligible to make it?
  • How much extra stress could this be on affiliates who could see dramatic increases to the number of qualifying athletes to a much more demanding part of the season to administer and execute on as compared to the Open?

Dual Qualified Individual and Age Group Quarterfinals Athletes

In the case that you qualify for Quarters both as an individual and an Age Group athlete they will have the same slate of workouts to do and only need to do them once.

First thoughts: This is an excellent change for several reasons, I see no negatives here.

Semifinals Qualification Numbers

Individual Semifinals

The same seven Semifinal Regions will exist, but the uniformity of disturbing qualifying spots to these is new. Unlike last year where certain regions took 60 athletes and others took 30, this season each of the seven regions will qualify 40 men, 40 women, and 30 teams to Semis. 

Age Group Semifinals

On the Age Group sides of things Semifinals will continue to be virtual. The dates are now known for this (may 8-13, presumably before in person Semis for elite men, women, and teams will take place). There will be 200 athletes in each age group who advance to this stage of competition. 

Adaptive Semifinals

The top 20 athletes from each division will advance to this stage of competition, which will take place online the same weekend as the Age Group Semifinals (May 8-13). 

First Thoughts: 

For individuals this is a notable change because in the most competitive regions you are eliminating one third of the qualifying positions, while in the least competitive regions you are increasing the field size by 25%. Overall, the quality of athletes from top to bottom globally competing at Semis will be lower. 

For Age Groups, there continues to be a uniform distribution in terms of number of spots by division regardless of the dramatic difference in number of registrants. For reference, here were the registrations by age group category last season: 

Division2023 Open Sign Ups (Men)2023 Open Sign Ups (Women)
Masters 35-3934,68724,816
Masters 40-4425,54218,524
Masters 45-4915,44110,981
Masters 50-549,3416,431
Masters 55-595,1453,874
Masters 60+4,1353,466
Division2023 Open Sign Ups (Boys)2023 Open Sign Ups (Girls)
Teens 14/151,4811,387
Teens 16/171,6981,658

CrossFit Games Qualifying Spots: Age Groups

*All it says about men, women, and teams is that the “top” athletes will advance to compete in Fort Worth on the previously known dates of August 8-14. 

For the Age Groups there are varying numbers of qualifying spots by divisions, which does to a certain extent reflect the previous table when it comes to Open registration numbers from 2023.

DivisionNumber of Men/Women
Masters 35-3940
Masters 40-4440
Masters 45-4940
Masters 50-5430
Masters 55-5930
Masters 60-6530
Masters 65+20
DivisionNumber of Boys/Girls
Teens 14/1530
Teens 16/1730

First Thoughts: Overall I would say this is a positive change. I would still make the numbers a little more tapered for Semifinals by category (I don’t think you need 200 in every division there). And I would reduce the overall total number of most of these divisions at the Games as well. 

Once again there are obvious positive financial implications with having more athletes eligible to compete in more stages of the season, but that, in my opinion, must be weighed against the cost of what it does in terms of diluting the field of competitive athletes. (i.e. the disparity from the best athlete in the 65+ to the 20th is going to be massive). 

Adaptive CrossFit Games by WheelWOd

There will be a massive increase to the number of divisions and competing athletes for the in-person Adaptive CrossFit Games in 2024. 

In 2023 three divisions hosted at total of 30 Adaptive athletes at the Games; in 2024 there will be 15 divisions hosting 10 athletes each for a total of 300 Adaptive Games athletes, 10 times more than there were last season.

Quick Hits:

  • 15 % increase in total athletes qualifying for Semis
  • One month between individual Open and Quarters (two weeks longer than we’ve previously seen)
  • 3x as many masters athletes at the Games in 2024 compared to 2023
  • 3x as many teenage athletes at the Games in 2024 compared to 2023
  • 10x more in-person competitors for the Adaptive Games in 2024 vs 2023

How do you vote?

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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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