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Editor’s Note: The SoCal ‘Judging Misstatement’

CrossFit Judge

Earlier this week, The Rx Review posted an article by Dave Chung on Andrea Ager and the recent “judging mishap” at the 2013 Southern California Regional.

While Chung has written many in-depth and informative articles for a number of websites and magazines, this particular piece contained a number of factual errors and misleading premises, and should not have been published on The Rx Review.

First, let’s get the basics sorted out.

In case you missed the news, Southern California competitor Andrea Ager failed to meet the minimum work requirement on Event 2, the Overhead Squat Complex. She chose to open with the heaviest barbell, loaded to 175 lbs., but couldn’t complete three overhead squats at that weight within the 7-minute time cap.

According to the rules, any competitor who fails to meet the minimum work requirement in an Event will be cut from the competition.

However, later that day, fans saw Ager’s name appear on the Southern California Leaderboard with the score 17.52.

What happened exactly?

CrossFit’s head judge, Adrian Bozman, acknowledged that he had made a verbal mistake at the mandatory athlete briefing at the SoCal Regional earlier that day.

“This was a mistake on my behalf,” Head Judge Adrian Bozman said.

“During the mandatory morning athlete briefing, I incorrectly answered a question by saying that there was no minimum work requirement for Individual Event 2. I made a mistake, clear and simple.”

To rectify the misstatement, CrossFit decided to hold all Southern California individual athletes to rules as outlined by Bozman. Like Bozman said, there would be no minimum work requirement on Event 2 for Southern California athletes.

Those athletes who failed to complete three reps at their chosen opening weight would remain in the competition, and their score would rank below those athletes who got three reps at any weight.

With a score of 17.52, Ager took 31st on Event 2. She and five other Southern California competitors remained in the competition.

The next morning, Ager withdrew from the Regional.

Now that we have the basics sorted, let’s get into Chung’s article.

Chung states that Ager’s decision to withdraw from the SoCal Regional was the “right” one, and that had she have ended up qualifying for the CrossFit Games after the “mishap,” it could have led to some “embarrassment and controversy” for the sport of CrossFit.

Let’s have a look at these claims a bit closer.

First, unless the events would have played out very differently with Ager present, we can conclude that she would not have reached the CrossFit Games. Had Ager decided to remain in the competition, and went on to win the remaining four events, she would have finished in 5th place overall with 43 points — 20 points outside of the top three.

SoCal Judging Misstatement

SoCal Judging Misstatement

Second, it’s not a mishap, but a misstatement, and one that was rectified by the later ruling. No competitor within the Region was adversely affected by Bozman’s misstatement or the later correction. No competitor who risked a heavy weight and failed would be cut from the competition, and also no competitor who scrupulously followed the rules would be punished by having an athlete who failed to complete the three reps at the opening weight rank ahead of them. With the ruling, CrossFit contained the problem.

Throughout the article, Chung also states that CrossFit handed Ager a “public pass” and gave her a “second life” by making the rule adjustment. The truth is, the rules were slightly adjusted to accommodate for a miscommunication between all athletes, not just one. As the rules were the same for all competitors in the SoCal Region during Event 2, there was no unfair advantage given to any athlete, including Ager.

While it was statistically impossible in the end, had Ager actually qualified for the Games, she would have deserved her spot, as she was competing on a level playing field with every other individual female athlete over the weekend.

At the 2013 SoCal Regional, CrossFit was presented with a situation where it could have stuck to the Rule Book and marked the six athletes with a DNF for Event 2, or remedy the situation and allow an exception for those who were unfortunately misinformed.

I think the majority of athletes and fans at the 2013 SoCal Regional would agree that CrossFit came up with the fairest possible outcome.

Rather than ignoring the error, or punishing the athletes for the mistake, Bozman, along with fellow CrossFit officials, acted swiftly to ensure the best result was achieved for the sport, and its fans and athletes.

CrossFitters around the world will always have differing opinions on the incident, but to say, like Chung did, that it had the potential to cause the sport embarrassment and controversy is far fetched.

  • JaseDono

    Boz fcked up, he fixed it. No biggie. Storm in a teacup and Ager withdrawing was soft. Bad call by her Coach. Her whole “I’m doing this because it’s the right thing to do” comes across as BS. The right thing to do is continue having a crack and putting in 100% all weekend regardless of where you’ll finish. I’m sure she’s a great girl but maybe this could give her a rep as the Anna Kournikova of CF?? 😉

  • Daniel Templeman

    Ha ha. Love the style of this rebuttal. Now where have I read that style before? Not the RX Review for sure. Could it have be CFHQ? LOL.

  • Wesley B

    This article misses the point of the controversy. Namely, that Boz probably didn’t fuck up and even if he did, the rules have been posted for weeks. So why was Andrea crying as she left the floor?

    The feeling is that HQ asked Boz to fall on the sword to keep Andrea in the games, then she turned around and let him take the fall for nothing as she quit. The feeling is that the rules were end-arounded for her because she’s hot and would look awesome on ESPN even if she came in 25th.

    Being a nerd with the numbers doesn’t change the perception of the accommodation Ager received from HQ.

    • Eric

      Agreed. According to athletes that were present during the briefing, Adrian didn’t “mis-state” the rules. Everyone knew what was required and the repercussions of failing the opening 3 reps, especially Andrea.

  • Well done The RX Review on clarifying a poor article. I agree with JaseDono, after Boz’s mistake, CFHQ made a fair decision for all.

  • Dave Webber

    setting it straight

  • Philip

    No big deal.

  • In my opinion there was backlash because she was awarded 175.2 first (which I think left her in 7th or 9th place) then fixed to 17.52 appearing as favoritism to a lot of people.

    Don’t get me wrong I think she is a hell of an athlete and was cheering for her to qualify, but would hate to think that HQ would go out of their way to help her out because she is popular and hot.

  • Some things you just have to let go of.

  • Pingback: Andrea Ager's Decision to WD From the SoCal Regional()

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