Incorrect Shuttle Run Scores Throw Finalized Quarterfinals Leaderboard into Disarray
The CrossFit community and a number of athletes have raised concerns about the shuttle run scoring in workout 3 of the 2022 NOBULL CrossFit Games Quarterfinals. The subsequent impact on the leaderboard for Semifinals placements–which CrossFit confirmed is finalized–has also become a point of contention given the potentially high number of incorrect scores.
An athlete who completed workout 3, and spoke to the Morning Chalk Up on condition of anonymity said they completed the shuttle run portion of the workout incorrectly, however, their score remains valid and they sit in a top 20 spot on the first page of the leaderboard in North America for workout 3.
Remind me: Workout 3 was for time:
- 8-16-24-32-24-16-8 Wall Ball Shots
- 4-8-12-16-12-8-4 Shuttle Runs
- 1-2-3-4-3-2-1 Rope Climbs
The shuttle run is a 50 foot (15.24 meters) shuttle run and the official scorecard reads: “One repetition of the shuttle run = down the length of the competition floor and back.”
The athlete shared a text exchange between themselves and their accredited judge after completing the workout:
- “I did that workout wrong, you need to invalidate my score,” they communicated to their judge after completing workout 3.
- “Literally nowhere for me to invalidate it,” the judge replied, noting it was after the time of submission deadline, but before CrossFit finalized the leaderboard, and the judge was unable to invalidate the score via CrossFit.
- “Well, they will watch it and be like [bleep] this dude. Obviously, I wouldn’t do this on purpose.”
On April 1 (the day the leaderboard was finalized) Morning Chalk Up reached out to long-time head judge and now CrossFit Games Competition director Adrian Bozman. Morning Chalk Up then presented a rundown of the approximate potential impact on the leaderboard (below) due to people incorrectly completing the shuttle run, which included:
- Among the top 150 men in North America at least 25% of the scores appear inaccurate.
- Among the top 150 women in North America at least 22% of the scores appear inaccurate.
- Among the top 100 men in Europe at least 46% of the scores appear inaccurate.
- Among the top 100 women in Europe at least 28% of the scores appear inaccurate.
Bozman then responded to the aforementioned list with the following:
- “We had many athletes complete this workout correctly. Many also did not submit a video as they likely did not expect to have a top score. To give them [the] benefit of the doubt we reached out to give them time to supply video. Those unable to verify via video will have adjustments made before the leaderboard is final.”
The athlete who spoke to Morning Chalk Up said they were sure their video would be reviewed and they would be penalized correctly, however, it has not been as of the writing of this article. The overall impact, given the amount of potentially invalid scores could have wide ranging implications for the Quarterfinal leaderboard, including:
Several easily identifiable scoring issues remain on both sides as an example:
- Bryan Sanchez is 4th in the workout worldwide; in the posted video he does not complete full shuttle run reps.
- Joseph Keyson is 17th in the workout worldwide; in the posted video he does not have proper markings on the wall and floor, his designated judge appears distracted during several reps, and a portion of the workout is not in view due to someone standing in front of the camera.
- Sara Elsafty is 28th in the workout worldwide; in the posted video she does not complete full shuttle run reps.
Why This Matters
For starters, the issue continues to erode the belief that there’s fair play at all stages of competition. And this comes amid multiple scoring inconsistencies pointed out by several media outlets this season.
Although none of the athletes the Morning Chalk Up believe have inaccurate scores due to the shuttle run issue are qualifying for Semifinals (their other four workouts leave these athletes nowhere close to qualifying), their placement on the leaderboard could potentially impact athletes who are in contention for qualifying positions rank.
Jakub Cieslik placed 67th last year in the Quarterfinals for European men. He eventually received a backfill invitation and was able to compete in the virtual Lowlands Throwdown. He currently is tied for 67th on the leaderboard for European men following the 2022 Quarterfinals also. He’s 55 points out of the final qualifying position. That may seem like a lot of points, but it’s noteworthy to observe his respective finishes on each workout:
- Workout 1: 69th
- Workout 2: 19th
- Workout 3: 319th
- Workout 4: 186th
- Workout 5: 60th
His score in workout 3 could be inflated due to inaccurate scores all over the leaderboard. Furthermore, the men directly ahead of him in spots 60-66 actually did well on that workout with finishes ranging from first to 120th in Europe. That means that in the case of the guy who finished first compared to his 319th, any inaccurate score between them would be to Cieslik’s benefit on the leaderboard (of which Morning Chalk Up has identified at least 46 in the top 100 alone).
Any score between 121st and 318th that is potentially inaccurate would be a benefit to Cieslik relative to all seven of the men ahead of him on the overall leaderboard.
In some cases, the score in workout 3 comes into question by nature of the athlete’s surrounding scores. Even though a score in the following examples may be valid, the collective pattern calls into question the depth of review these top scores received. To be clear, it appears that athletes misunderstood the workout instructions and after realizing it, were unable to invalidate their own scores.
Top 10 Finishers in Workout 3 with an Overall Placing of 500th or Lower:
Note: Leaderboard Data collected as of Sunday, April 3 at 9:00 AM PT.
|Athlete||Workout 1||Workout 2||Workout 3||Workout 4||Workout 5|
|Athlete||Workout 1||Workout 2||Workout 3||Workout 4||Workout 5|
|Alicia Christie Rodway||DNP||DNP||4th||2728th||DNP|
|Carmen Pericet Cantador||877th||1542nd||6th||1064th||918th|
Andrew Hiller, a competitive CrossFitter out of Chicago, IL, is part of an online discussion going on with the CrossFit community on social media when it comes to workout 3.
Hiller posted two YouTube videos on workout 3 specifically— one prior to the finalized Individual leaderboard, and one after. Hiller points out a handful of scores near the top of the Workout 3 leaderboard that, according to CrossFit’s Quarterfinal requirements, should be invalidated; some for miscounted reps and others for improper equipment or missing standards. Echoing the semblance of a pattern in the tables above, Hiller says “It doesn’t take any more than five seconds to pick a score and say ‘that’s a little suspicious.’”
Were Some Inaccurate Scores Removed, and Not Others?
In both Europe and North America several scores were adjusted and taken off the top of the leaderboard for that workout. In fact, on Sunday, March 26, Jeffrey Adler moved from 34th up to 26th on the leaderboard for North American men on workout 3 in less than an hour. Currently, Adler has the top score for that workout in North America, which means 33 scores were adjusted ahead of his.
In referencing the published list of penalties CrossFit released on March 28, there are a total of three listed penalties for that entire workout, and only one of them mentions anything about doing an inaccurate number of shuttle runs (in that case it was four less).
The bottom line: This isn’t the first time this year that inconsistencies about the administration of the season have been called into question. However, as each phase of competition passes there is more and more on the line. Quarterfinals to Semifinals is a huge cut, from 10% in each continental region all the way to only 300 men and 300 women. For men in North America, less than 2% of Quarterfinalists move on.
The sport is now at a point where every athlete at the Semifinal level is training hard and investing years of time and money to earn his or her spot. Therefore, it is a reasonable expectation that athletes’ abilities would be assessed according to the standards that CrossFit took the time to outline, or at the very least, assessed against each other as fairly as possible. If the Individual Quarterfinals leaderboard remains finalized “as is”, that appears not to have happened.