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Exposure 7 of 8
12 Push Jerks 155/105
Coach Brett practicing some advanced Handstand Walks at the CrossFit Games East Regional this weekend
Coach David at the CrossFit Games East Regional
By David Osorio
Editor’s Note: Coach David just completed his 8th year as Competition Director of the East Regional. Enjoy this post from 6.9.2016 in which he reflects on this experience!
For the past 6 years, the end of spring has meant that it’s time for Regionals. The first one I worked was the inaugural Regional qualifier, which was held in a parking lot (no, really) in Albany. I schlepped up most of the gym’s equipment in a U-Haul and the Regional Director (Jason Ackerman) and I basically created a competition floor with chalk, some cones, a bunch of mismatched equipment, and whatever else we could find. Back then, you could basically just show up and compete. It was part competition, part BBQ, and part social.
Over the years CrossFit, especially the competative side of CrossFit, has seen tremendous growth. The athletes who qualify for Regionals are nothing short of Meat Robots (credit goes to Kelly Starrett for this term) who look and perform more like superheroes than humans. While the scope and scale of everything has drastically changed, in my opinion, the spirits of community and competition are still there, just on a much larger stage.
I’ve been honored to have been asked back to be the Competition Director of East Regionals every year, and the role has grown along with the competition. “Competition Director” essentially means that you’re the lead on every aspect of the competition with the exception of equipment, which is done by Rogue and a team of volunteers. As CD I work with the Regional Director and CrossFit HQ to make sure we’re optimizing the use of the venue. This includes managing the assembly and placement of the athlete warm-up areas, Athlete Village, Athlete Rally Points, back-of-house rooms for different teams, and drug testing. We also have to create a concrete “flow plan” for where and how athletes get checked in prior to heats, get set up with their chip timers, and walk onto and off the floor.
At the start and end of each day, there are also athlete briefings detailing each event. The judges also need to be trained on a similar protocol, which contains exact specifications for where to run to, how to stand, when to take a knee, what each athlete’s specific lane assignments are, and how score cards will be assigned. The call time for judges is 5:30am every day, and we usually don’t leave until 6 to 8pm. Beyond that, we work intensively with the judges leading up to and through the event to make sure that they understand the standards and flow for every event.
This year we had 180 individuals participating in the Team Competition, 80 in the individual, and about 70 judges (plus our scoring team, timing team, chip timing, athlete control, and medical services). I oversee all these people and teams to make sure everyone is doing their job and things are running exactly on schedule. (We have to coordinate everything to the second; at Regionals, if you’re one minute (literally) off, you’ll need to explain why it happened and have a plan to fix it. In addition organizing and overseeing these teams, I also am the point person for athlete appeals, which means I’m the lucky guy who has to talk to all the athletes who are upset about on the field calls or are appealing something related to their performance. Fortunately, most of the athletes are very reasonable and diplomacy is one of my strong suits!
So, in a nutshell, that’s what I do at Regionals. There is a HUGE crew of dedicated and hard working people who come together to make these events run smoothly. I’m so grateful to be one of the many people behind the scenes who work hard to make sure we send the right people to Carson and create fair, memorable, and fun event for everyone. It’s always an incredibly stressful and draining week, but it’s totally worth it, and I’ll keep coming back as long as they keep inviting me back.
Thanks, DO! You make CFSBK proud!
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