5 (+2) things I learned from Judging a #CrossFit – like #Competition

Had the opportunity to judge at NorCal Masters Comp today. Really well run comp. I’d much rather compete, but since I’m not supposed to even be moving weight untilncm-final-small (1) March due to the hip surgery I figured it’s really good to give back and volunteer.

It was a great experience, and I learned a few things in addition to picking up quite a bit of stoke:

  1. Don’t even joke about competition’s being “easier” when you age-up to a new Age Group
    When I was a triathlete, we would often talk about aging up, “This 25-29 group is nasty tough. I can’t wait to break into 30-34 and get on the podium.” I judged several 60+ age groupers today. Even if I was able to bump from 45-49 straight to 60+…. I’d still get my ass handed to me. Wow. Really. Just wow.
  2. The WOD standard is the WOD standard is the …. WOD standard.
    I was legit judging everyone. Mostly judged folks in the middle of the standings. No-repped as needed. Had a couple of the leaders, and it was the same with them. Judged one person who clearly was having a really tough time with the heavy thrusters. WOD standard, which was reiterated, was “no jerking your thrusters.” This person was toughing it out in the lower range of points for the WOD, and I did let a couple of jerks slide. Turns out others didn’t know this person was on the round of 6 (they were on the round of 15), and they didn’t appreciate that the standard was being a bit lax. They are right. I wasn’t doing anybody any favors. The WOD standard is….the WOD standard.
  3. People want to do the right thing.
    Everyone I no-repped took the information and used it to make their reps better.
  4. This stuff is fun.
    Throwing it back to my triathlon days, whether it was IM or an all-out sprint course – folks show up to do their best. That spirit clearly lives in a CF comp. Saw folks digging deep for some really hard efforts on the floor. On a nice note, didn’t deal with any random prima donnas that we used to see in the transition area back in the  day.
  5. Don’t get wrapped up in the guy next to you.
    Bunch of no-reps at the start of the walking lunges and when people were next to someone and wanted to get ahead of them. Standard was for both feet to come together, pause, then move on (ala the old wedding march which, thankfully, is not done anymore). Really, really easy to just step through in the heat of the moment.
  6. Don’t change technique.
    Also on the lunges. Saw a few people “over reaching” on their steps. Sure, more a bit more ground was covered, but they burned out hard. I’d comment on what I saw with thruster technique, but I feel decidedly NOT in a position to do so as my thrusters totally and completely suck.
  7. Judging is not “thankless”
    Even folks who I had to no-rep several times were appreciative.
    Without volunteers these competitions just wouldn’t happen. Even a neighborhood 5k takes a small army of volunteers. Having 1 judge for every athlete in a heat, assembling rigs (and disassembling rigs), scoring, changing weights every heat… Lot of folks put in their time. Not to mention the organizers. Ain’t nobody paying for their private jet by throwing CrossFit competitions. Heard a lot of athletes saying “thanks” – which was cool.Don’t get me wrong… they were not saying it while doing burpees, but who says “Thank You” during burpees?…

Had a blast today. Wish I could have judged both days, but life gets in they way sometimes. If I’m not competing at NorCal Masters next year, I hope I can volunteer.

Disclaimer: event was not branded “CrossFit ™” – I’m using the term as a descriptor.

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