Is CrossFit's Video Review Process Working?


Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up.

In today’s edition:

  • Yesterday, the total number of penalties doled out to the Individual Quarterfinals surpassed 600, which begs the question: Is this video review process working?

  • With all the attention on video judging, we decided to take a quick look back at some of the important, consequential, and even silly moments in the history of CrossFit’s controversial review process.

  • Mary Harrison, at 63 years old and recovering from a hip replacement, just competed in Quarterfinals, showcasing the power of CrossFit as we age.


“I tell people all the time that CrossFit saved my life. It has made me feel younger and healthier than I have been in forever. It really gives you a sense of strength.” - Mary Harrison, 63-year-old first-time Quarterfinalist, on the impact of CrossFit in her life


Credit: Ava Kitzi

Is CrossFit’s Video Review Working? Questions Surround Uncertain Process

Throughout a tumultuous and, for some, heartbreaking week, the 2024 CrossFit Quarterfinals leaderboards continued to shift as more and more athletes were hit with minor and major penalties.

  • This development brought to mind the penalties given out in 2023 on the V sit-up workout (Individual Test 4), where 200 athletes’ scores were altered after the fact. This system is far from new — since the early days of the Open, video reviews have altered scores, dashed hopes, and changed the landscape of the sport’s leaderboards after these workouts have wrapped up.

As of Sunday, April 28, CrossFit had administered 599 total penalties, with more rolling out into Monday. The list of previous Semifinal and Games athletes who are no longer eligible for the next stage of competition due to the scoring changes is long and full of well-known names.

Some just barely fell under the cutline, while others dropped far below due to “major” penalties.

One of the names on that list is four-time CrossFit Games athlete Camilla Salomonsson Hellman of Sweden.

The details: On the morning of April 25, Hellman’s coach contacted her asking if she’d received any correspondence from CrossFit, as he noticed that her score had been adjusted. While she had been sleeping, she had gone from 13th in the European region to 80th, knocking her out of a qualifying spot for Semifinals.

  • “It’s been going on and on in my mind since (Thursday) morning,” Hellman tells Morning Chalk Up. “My coach saw that I had received a huge penalty on the first workout. We both watched the video, and we couldn’t guess what it could be.” 

  • “I started my (Thursday) morning by being ashamed and not knowing why, and what I should be ashamed of,” Hellman says. 

After speaking to her coach, Hellman checked her email and found a message from CrossFit notifying her of the penalty. The email outlined that her score had been modified because she had reps on the box step-ups that didn’t meet the standards.

  • “You had a significant number of reps where you failed to reach a position on the top of the box with your hip and both knees fully extended,” CrossFit explained in their email.

The email gave instructions on how to appeal the decision, which involved filling out a Google Doc. Hellman did this, pleading for them to take a closer look, asking exactly how many reps failed to meet the standard, ultimately hoping for an answer as to why her penalty was deemed “major.” 


Try the Element 26 Vise Grips...Risk Free

Tired of ripped hands and lost reps? Meet the Element 26 Vise Grips, designed with CrossFit Champion Scott Panchik.

The Vise Grips are a game changer with:

  • Unmatched grip and comfort: They use a unique microfiber blend for superior bar feel and hand protection.

  • Personalized design: Finger holes or gymnastic fold – the choice is yours.

  • Ultimate support: Cushioned wrist strap reduces strain for longer workouts.

Love them, or your money back.


2024 CrossFit Games Quarterfinals Leaderboards (official, as of 7 p.m. PT, April 29, 2024)

  • North America East
    1. Jeffrey Adler (19) | Alexis Raptis (22)
    2. Roman Khrennikov (29) | Emma Lawson (24)
    3. Austin Hatfield (40) | Danielle Brandon (44)
    4. Jayson Hopper (41) | Erica Folo (56)
    5. Dallin Pepper (53) | Haley Adams (69)

  • North America West
    1. Justin Medeiros (35) | Alex Gazan (22)
    2. Brandon Luckett (42) | Abigail Domit (29)
    3. Samuel Kwant (44) | Emily Rolfe (32)
    4. Cole Greashaber (49) | Arielle Loewen (36)
    5. Zachery Buntin (50) | Rebecca Fuselier (67)

  • Europe
    1. Jonne Koski (24) | Gabriela Migala (21)
    2. Victor Hoffer (47) | Laura Horvath (38)
    3. Bjorgvin Karl Gudmundsson (56) | Manon Angonese (52)
    4. Moritz Fiebig (74) | Emma Tall (55)
    5. Aniol Ekai (81) | Emma McQuaid (57)

  • Oceania
    1. Ricky Garard (11) | Madeline Sturt (12)
    2. Jay Crouch (11) | Grace Walton (18)
    3. Bayley Martin (24) | Katelyn Van Zyl (20)
    4. Ben Fowler (40) | Daisy McDonald (46)
    5. Zac Thomas (62) | Erika Palasty (53)

  • Asia 
    1. Ivan Kukartsev (21) | Seher Kaya (12)
    2. Morteza Sedaghat (44) | Seungyeon Choi (20)
    3. Mevlut Agir (67) | Dawon Jung (21)
    4. Seungjong Kim (76) | Evie Hollis (24)
    5. Ilyas Kuliev (78) | Anastasiya Dodonova (27)

  • South America
    1. Agustin Richelme (22) | Victoria Campos (28)
    2. Joao Pedro Barcelos (28) | Emily Andrade (54)
    3. Bruno Marins (30) | Gabriella Luque (76)
    4. Guilherme Malheiros (55) | Luiza Marques (85)
    5. Juan Ignacio Sforzini (84) | Lillian Nagao (94)

  • Africa
    1. Kaelan Henry (10) | Christina Livaditakis (14)
    2. Ruan Duvenage (17) | Gemma Rader (17)
    3. Callum Deeble (34) | Dina Swift (27)
    4. Darren Zurnamer (38) | Gilmari Reyneke (37)
    5. Michael Van Tonder (40) | Reegan Finkel (48)

  • Reminder: The top 40 men and women will qualify for Semifinals in each region. For full age-group leaderboards, refer to the CrossFit Games site.

  • See Morning Chalk Up's full Quarterfinals coverage and learn all the details about qualifying for the next stage of the 2024 CrossFit Games season.

Subscribe to The BarBend Newsletter to keep up with all of the action from the 2024 World's Strongest Man contest from May 1 - May 5.

  • Plus, stick around for free training hacks, nutrition tips, and strength sports news delivered right to your inbox.

🧑‍⚖️👩‍⚖️ Association of Fitness Judges Statement: The Association of Fitness Judges released a statement in the aftermath of the Individual Quarterfinal Workout 1 score adjustments. Many of the athletes who were heavily penalized had utilized judges from the organization.

  • From the statement: “This Quarterfinals, the AFJ was brought in to help a number of Training Camps and Individual athletes with their workouts. We had their trust, their faith, and their confidence.”

  • “The CrossFit Video Review Team was looking for very exacting standards that we didn’t manage to produce every time. Since the first wave of penalties have gone out, we have been in communication with the various athletes and training camps that have been affected to advise and consult with how to move forward.”

Pat Vellner’s IQF Workout 1: After receiving a major penalty for his Individual Quarterfinals Workout 1 video, Second Fittest Man on Earth, Pat Vellner posted his full video to YouTube. Vellner’s original score was 252 reps, but after CrossFit’s penalty for not extending his knees and hips on top of the box step-ups, his score was adjusted to 202 reps. Check out the video now.

Madrid Championship X 2: There will be two editions of the Madrid Championship in 2024. First, the MAD Fitness Festival will take place June 28-30 at the Quijote Arena in Ciudad Real, Spain, then the Mad Fittest Cup on November 22-24 at the Centro Deportivo Municipal Gallur, Madrid, Spain.

👑🏆 TYR Wodapalooza’s LatAm Cup is Expanding: In 2024, the Second Annual TYR WZA LatAm Cup will include 10 events in 10 countries, culminating in the final championship at WZA Miami in January 2025.

🎟️ 🎟️ CrossFit Asia Semifinal: The Far East Throwdown, the 2024 CrossFit Asia Semifinal, will take place May 17-19 at the BEXCO Exhibition and Convention Center in Busan, South Korea. Tickets are available now!

ICYMI: Andrea Nisler — Games vet and two-time Games champ in the team division on Mayhem Freedom — talks about qualifying for Semifinals only six weeks postpartum.


Credit: Victor Freitas (Unsplash)

A Look Back: Key Moments in CrossFit Video Review History

The dust has yet to settle on what remains of the Individual Quarterfinals leaderboard. 

But, athletes, coaches, and commentators in the media are looking to make sense of the avalanche of penalties and score adjustments that happened over the past week.

While it’s clear that athletes in the 2024 Quarterfinals were not trying to cheat or otherwise purposely manipulate their videos, we wanted to take a few moments and look back at some of the more notable penalties and video review controversies from years past.  


Sweaty days are here to stay and that means replenishing your electrolytes is essential. LMNT, the (delicious) electrolyte mix helps replace vital electrolytes without any sugar or dodgy ingredients. This stuff’s the real deal. No sugar. No coloring. No artificial ingredients. No gluten. No fillers. No junk, period. For a limited time, you can get a free 8-count LMNT sample pack with any purchase. That’s right—all the flavors (like the superrr-refreshing Watermelon) for free.


Credit: Sarah Hunter

Hip Replacement, Chronic Leukemia No Problem for 63-Year-Old Quarterfinals Qualifier Mary Harrison 

The day before the 2024 CrossFit Open started, Mary Harrison didn’t think she was going to compete.

The 63-year-old had a hip replacement last June and still isn’t 100 percent. But when the first workout was announced, she thought, “I can do this.”

Three weeks later, Harrison even managed to qualify to Quarterfinals. 

  • “I never dreamed I would go through to the Quarterfinals. When I got the email, I thought they must have emailed the wrong person. And then I was like, ‘Oh shit,’” said Harrison, who started CrossFit at CrossFit Palm Harbor in Florida three years ago.

One big thing: For Harrison, this year’s Open showed her she’s further along in her recovery than even she realized.

After her hip replacement surgery last summer, Harrison was back at the gym within two weeks, but she eased back into it slowly, modifying as necessary. As a result, she still hadn’t skipped, let alone done a double-under in two years before the Open.

But when double-unders showed up in 24.2, Harrison figured she’d give them a go and was surprised when she managed to get through 110 of them without any issues.

Harrison surprised herself again the following week when 65-pound thrusters were programmed, a lift Harrison had never done before.

  • “But I managed to get three of them,” said Harrison, who was part of the first women’s rowing team at Cambridge University in the UK.

She added: “I’m so glad I did the Open. I’m pushing myself harder again now because I know I can.”

The big picture: Harrison is adamant the reason she has recovered as well as she has since her hip replacement is because of CrossFit.


Celebrating a PR, hosting a fundraiser, this, that, or otherwise? Send us a tip.

  • 🍼Congratulations to Dan and Alexandra Bailey on the birth of their twins.

  • Congratulations to everyone snagging deadlift PRs at Core City CrossFit in Detroit, MI.

  • Congratulations to Nasty Habit CrossFit on winning the annual Homework House Adult Spelling Bee, benefitting kids in Holyoke, MA.

  • Congratulations to Tati of CrossFit Vila Mascote in Brazil on her 1:17 Grace time.

  • 🏋️‍♀️Nice work to Semifinals athlete Ruan Potgieter on the 122-kilo/268-pound snatch.

In June, CrossFit Aspinok in Putnam, CT, is hosting a virtual fundraiser in honor of community member and coach Chad Davidson, who tragically died in a plane crash in January. Anyone can participate in the fundraiser WOD, from any affiliate. Proceeds will be donated to three separate nonprofits in Davidson’s name.