A common question we receive in the gym is what CrossFit competitions are out there, and what the entry requirements are and expected standards.
There are a range of unlicensed and CrossFit lisenced events across the UK, aimed at a range of abilities and age groups. Most events require individuals to take part in qualifiers; a series of workouts and tests designed to rank athletes in some way to either filter down the participants to the number who will be invited to compete on the day, or to categorise them into like-ability groups so they’re able to compete with their relevant peer group. The format varies from competition to competition, so it’s worth thoroughly checking how a competition format works before registering to ensure you’re fully clued up on what to expect in the lead up and on the day.
This is by no means an extensive list, but is simply an introduction to some of the more well-known CrossFit and CrossFit-style competitions across the UK. It’s worth noting that none of these competitions (even those lisenced by CrossFit) lead to the CrossFit Games. There are often prizes and funds up for grabs for the winners, but the competitions are not designed for budding professional athletes, and winning athletes / teams do not progress towards the next stages of competition for The CrossFit Games. For details on how athletes can qualify for the CrossFit Games, check out our recent blog post here!
So – what’s out there for budding beginner and intermediate competitive athletes?
Battle for the Middle Ground
BFMG Is a fast growing company that holds various licences CrossFit events throughout the year. These currently include:
- March Mayhem
- Arnold Fitness Games
- Trinity War North
- Winter Soldiers
The BFMG events offer spots for a range of different individual and team compositions, from individual, pairs (mixed and same sex), threes and fours. Within these team types, there are different categories designed to suit different ability levels, from scaled, RX, elite etc. Typically, budding participants choose which category they wish to enter and complete the relevant qualifier workouts, submitting their scores and videos online, in the hope to make the live finals. It is up to the athletes themselves to choose the relevant category, but here is guidance on expected movement standards and skill / strength requirements so athletes know what to expect if they qualify.
Typical Location: Location varies depending on the event – from Leeds, Peterborough, to the NEC Birmingham (Arnold Fitness Games).
Get Involved: Check out the BFMG website for information on how to get involved!
Next Date: You can find out the various dates of qualifiers and finals here.
Midlands Fitness Games
Facebook: Midlands Fitness Games Facebook Page
A relatively young Company, MFG began as a single annual event, and is now hosting mug-lie events annually. Like BFMG, MFG offers a range of different team types as well as ability categories; Scaled, Intermediate, RX and Masters. Currently, each event is dedicated to one team type, with the next date (October) being dedicated to mixed teams of four. Previously, MFG do not require athletes to take part in qualifiers; instead teams simply purchase a ticket for their chosen category.
Typical Location: Newark Showground, Notts
Next Date: Sunday October 16th 2022 (Mixed Teams of Four)
The Rainhill Trials
Website: The Rainhill Trials Facebook Page
The Rainhill Trials have been running since 2013, and is a unique, inclusive event for a couple of reasons. Due to its popularity, tickets are awarded on a ballot basis. In the past Rainhill has exclusively been an individual event, where individuals register their interest in the hope to be awarded a spot. Once the 480 athletes have been chosen, they are given a series of Qualifier style workouts to allow them to be ranked with similar level athletes for the competition day. The result of the workouts does not determine whether they will be invited to the competition or not; once a spot is granter, this spot is secured, but it does determine which category they will compete in. This format ensures athletes will compete in their relevant peer group regardless of the overall standard that year. It’s a popular event for beginners and experienced alike.
Typical Location: SportCity, Manchester
Get Involved: Rainhill Trials are currently accepting volunteers for their summer event, which you can register for here. In return, volunteers received a guaranteed discounted entry in the next event – overriding the ballot system! Keep an eye on their social media for the ballot dates for the next event.
Next Event: July 2022
Strength In Depth – Origins
Overview: SiD Origins is a 12-person team event, spanning across two days. The weekend typically consists of 7-10 workouts, ranging from max lift complexes, big outdoor runs, a swim, and a whole range of classic CrossFit style workouts. Not every athlete will need to complete every workout, and within each workout there are typically options and different roles that each athlete can play, so that individuals can controbute with their skill set whilst also being challenged and contribute to the overall team’s efforts. Expect to see some more challenging movements including rope climbs, synchronised gymnastics, and some heavier barbells, as well as some bodyweight movements, cardio machines, dumbbell and barbell cycling. In the past, teams were made up of 7 male athletes and 5 female athletes, with one masters age athlete of each (one 35+, one 40+).
Typical Location: University of Bath
Get Involved: Keep your eyes peeled on the SCFIT social media platforms! Registration for SiD is done by the gym itself, and a team put together of current members, meeting the team roster requirements. In the past 3 qualifiers are released over a 2-3 month period, where teams submit scores for their efforts in the ope to make the top 60 teams in Europe, tea due invited to the in-person weekend. SCFIT has sent a team to SiD Origins for the last 4 years and have had an absolute blast! Gyms can submit multiple teams if they wish, but each will need to meet the roster requirements and qualify in order to attend the in-person weekend.
Next Date: TBC. In previous years the weekend has taken place towards the end of November / start of December.
There are a large number of smaller local CrossFit competitions too for the novice athlete and beyond, as well as higher level semi-professional and professional competitions! Simply speak to a member of staff if you’ve seen something you might be interested in and want to know more. If they have any experience with that particular event they will be delighted to share their knowledge.
If competing itself isn’t for you but you’re keen to get involved, consider volunteering at an event! Volunteers are often awarded with some goodies, and have the opportunity to see an event from the ‘other side’, which can be a valuable experience if you’re considering if competing is for you. Not all volunteers are required to judge the athlete workouts, so even if the idea of judging doesn’t appeal, there are other opportunities for front of house staff as well as equipment teams and back of house admin roles for collating scores and compiling leaderboards etc.
If you’re looking for something more inclusive and less daunting as your first competition, sign up for the next SCFIT Throwdown! The next date will be released soon (we’ll give you a hint… it’s only a couple of months away!) and is a completely inclusive, zero-pressure fun-focussed event for any and all members of SCFIT.
Not yet a member? Get in touch to book your free No Sweat Intro so we can find out about you and your goals, and for you to find out what we’re all about! We can’t wait to meet you.