Yesterday afternoon OPEX released a blog post explaining their side of the story. If they did get approval from the South Regional Director that they could use the smaller plates then I cannot understand how it is fair to dock their athletes 15% of their reps. If you can’t take the regions director for his/her word, then what is the point of having a director for each region?
Or, maybe Castro is just upset that OPEX continues to send athletes to Regionals and the Games and they are not a CrossFit paying affiliate?
Yesterday Dave Castro posted this on Instagram calling out some OPEX members of cheating:
View this post on Instagram
Some athletes from Team OPEX in the Southwest Region used metal plates, which shortens the height on the bar-facing burpees. From the CrossFit Games Rulebook “Any movement deemed uncommon, out of the ordinary or used to amend, shorten or change the accepted movement standard or range of motion including line of action of any event movement can and will be disallowed. It is the responsibility of the athlete to notify their judge or CrossFit Inc. of any questionable movement before the workout.” In this case it means a Major Penalty and losing 15% of your reps for the workout. Those who we find evidence of cheating 16.1 in this way, will get the same penalty. @crossfitgames #crossfitgames
You can read the comments. Some are supportive of Castro, some are appalled that he would put a video like this on his Instagram and “shame” the OPEX team and some just called Castro names because, well, some people are just trolls.
As a guy who blogged on the Rockies for many years, had access to the press box, locker rooms, etc, I don’t see what the big deal is with this video? I mean, I don’t see how this is “shaming” anyone.
Are the people who think this is shaming, do they feel Tom Brady was shamed during the football inflation mess? What about when Alex Rodriguez was caught using steroids? How about when any actress gets a boob job and it makes Entertainment Tonight?
I wrote a blog entry about this last year during or shortly after the CrossFit Games – as this sport grows more and more people are going to be hungry for information. Athletes that use steroids will be published in public and if a team cheats they will be called out, too. The fans will want to know what happened to athlete so-and-so, or why team X didn’t make Regionals when it looked like they should on the leaderboard. This stuff needs to be made public, people want to know. And giving the fans more information about the sport is the only way to go, not hide it and pretend like cheating isn’t happening. What did that do for baseball and steroids in the late 1990’s? Didn’t turn out well for Bud Selig and baseball and Castro is not going to make that same mistake.
Now, if in the caption under the video in Castro’s Instagram post he made some derogatory or insulting comments then it would be different. But, he didn’t. He kept the caption very factual and let the video do the talking.
And, on a side not, BE NICE TO THAT BAR!!! OUCH!!
If the debate is around whether or not that is cheating, that is another story. As this sport grows, so must the rules. The rules didn’t call out how big the plates need to be on the bar, thus standardizing the height of the bar in which the athletes had to hop over. Since that measurement was not clearly stated then anyone could take that standard however they chose. In OPEX’s case apparently they though small fractional plates were OK. And OK to drop?! OUCH AGAIN!
As a Raiders fan I will never forget the tuck rule. It was a mess. And it was a fumble. But, the NFL had a gray area and in the next off season they did their best to clear up any ambiguity surrounding that sort of situation. I bet the next time the Open contains bar facing burpees the height of the bar or the height of the plates are listed within the standards. CrossFit obviously thought that no one would drop an expensive piece of equipment from overhead prior to do the burpees without some sort of protection – bumper plates. What they didn’t consider is that some gyms might have beater bars in which they don’t care if they don’t spin. Drop away!
One comment that I saw that I found interesting essentially said that if an athlete isn’t going to make it to Regionals, then why even try to find gaps in the rules like that? Why try to “cheat” when you aren’t going to sniff the top 20 in your region anyway?
This feeds into the question: why do the Open? Why pay CrossFit $20 just to exercise? I mean, everyone could easily do the Open workouts without paying CrossFit and then just sort of see how poorly you stack up to Noah Olsen and his ridiculous number of reps. I already know I am not as fit as Mat Fraser, why pay $20 to find out for sure?
Because people love to compete. I pay money to run in 5k races when I know I won’t finish in the top of any sort of heat or age group no matter how it is sliced. Participating in organized competition of any kind is fun. And when you are competing you start to look for ways to beat your opponents. What little thing can you find that your opponent might not be thinking of? In Bill Belichick’s case that might mean video taping your opponent’s practice. In CrossFit it might mean using small metal plates instead of standard bumper plates to lower the bar in which you have to jump over.
What do you think of the video? Blatant cheating? Or just trying to find an edge? Should it be shared with anyone and everyone? Or should it be kept secret and people watching OPEX athletes left wondering why their scores were cut by 15%?
I say that OPEX was trying to find an edge, not cheat. And share away. I want all the information I can digest this time of year in the CrossFit world.
Hell, I am still super curious what happened to Tony Budding and the NPGL. Why is he no longer the head man? If you are going to be a public sport you better be ready to leave no stone unturned.