How to be a good crossfit open judge

The CrossFit Open is well underway and each workout requires a bit of clarification before hitting 3.2.1. go!   Your role is to uphold the standard of the CrossFit Ppen and ensure your fellow CrossFitters are achieving the movements as demonstrated in the workouts. It’s a heck of a responsibility and sometimes can get confusing because of the sheer amount of things to keep track of throughout the workout. To keep yourself focused, here are a few points to help you hone your judging skills:

1) Watch the Open Standards for the specific workout at and ensure you understand not only the movement standards, but all of the options for each level. IE: Rx, Scaled, Masters 55+.  Little things like both heads of the DB touching the floor, or whether someone else can load your bar for you matter!

2) Read the Score Sheet that’s released every week too. There are some additional details on these sheets to explain the workout before you start and a lot of questions can be answered right there.

3) Listen to the wod brief at the start of the workout. Its important that you differentiate between the open standard and what you may have done in a previous workout.

4) Ask questions when in doubt! We are all in this together and are here for you. Sometimes it can get confusing when you’re moving from an Rx Athlete to a Masters 55+ then to a Scaled Athlete. Sometimes you’re not sure if what you see is ok or not. See something, say something! If you have any doubts just raise your hand when asked “Are all the judges ready”?

5) Be in the best position to judge the movement. If you’re judging pull ups, make sure you’re at a level plane to see if the chin passes the bar, if you’re watching Wall Balls ensure you’re watching both the full depth squat AND the position the ball touches the target.

6) Communicate with your Athlete. Let them know up front what the expectation is; have them demonstrate the movements before you begin. If their movement is meeting the standard but starting to become questionable let them know. IE: “Watch your depth on the squat”. If you call a No Rep, let them know Why, “No Rep, Deeper on the Squat” “No Rep, Open your Hips at the Top”… but if you have time. (Your job is not to coach) This will help them understand the limitation and improve instead of continuing the same action without a positive result.

7) Have Fun. We trust your judgment and do not question the integrity of our judges. You need to call it like you see it and as long as you’re following the above principles, everything will be fine.

In a perfect world, the rep standard would be held exactly the same across all gyms, all judges, all athletes. We know that isn’t possible but feel confident knowing that at our gym everyone does their very best and that we uphold the intended standard of the Open.  That way, when you get your first ANYTHING,  it will be legit and you deserve the bragging rights and glory!

Happy Judging and HAVE FUN!

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