5 tips for hosting a successful CrossFit competition

5 tips for hosting a successful CrossFit competition

Our Wodify Guest Blog Series is part of our initiative to open our doors to the Wodify fitness community around the world, so they may share their experience, news, and advice.

Alycia Alves is an entrepreneur and owner of Rookie Rumble Competitions, specializing in high energy, low intimidation events for first-time participants. As a former CrossFit box owner herself, she knows what it takes to pull off successful competitions without a hitch.


As gym owners and CrossFit fans, we’ve seen the amazing results: the cheering crowds and focused judges, the blaring music and unbelievable PRs, and both the glory and defeat of the participants. Whether they’re held in a dusty garage gym or at a major arena, CrossFit competitions have the ability to turn casual exercisers into laser-focused competitive athletes. In short, we know that the energy we experience is unparalleled.

Flawless competitions. Zero stress.
Wodify Arena: the #1 competition software.

What we may not know, however, is what it takes to create that atmosphere: the 3-5 months of preparation, logistics, communication, and coordination necessary to put on a great CrossFit competition. And after all, what’s the point in hosting a competition if it’s not a GREAT one?

With that in mind, here are 5 tips on how to organize the very best competition you can.

1.Change your role

Hosting an event requires serious work. Preparation and planning must become a part of your job, NOT something you squeeze into the end of each week. Along with being a gym owner and coach, you are now also an event marketer, ticket salesperson, social media promoter, event planner, logistics director, as well as a vendor, staff, and judge coordinator. You will need to be highly organized and on-task at least 3 months prior to your event.

2. Delegate

If you know you won’t be able to handle all of the coordination necessary to run your event, gather your team and delegate responsibilities: social media, WOD creation, standards videos, staff coordination, vendor reservations, etc.

For even more help, find an event planning service to do the work for you. Rookie Rumble Competitions handles marketing and ads, ticketing, apparel ordering, staff coordination, and event day logistics for Beginner Level competitions. We’ll even send a rep to your event to make sure the competition is flawless. You host and help with some social media and local marketing, they plan the whole thing, and you split the revenue.

3. Choose a niche

The CrossFit community is inundated with competitions – Rx, partner, beginner, sanctionals, etc. Find a niche that will work nicely in your community and will best appeal to athletes from local gyms. Niche events might be based on gender, age, or athletic level (ie: Masters, Beginners, Teens, Elite, etc.) or a fun theme like costumes, movies (think Harry Potter or Hunger Games), concepts like WWE Wrestling duos, or another interesting, trendy topic. People love novelty - be different and your event will get attention!

4. Sell, sell, sell

In order to have a successful event, you must sell as many tickets as you can, given your space. Do the math to figure out how many athletes can work out at a time (taking into account things like square footage, equipment needs, judges, etc.) and figure out how many heats of each workout you can reasonably run without the event taking too long. Use that number as your sales goal.

Remember two things:

1) Additional revenue is one of the reasons you are putting on your event. Make sure you make enough money (ie: sell enough tickets!) to cover expenses and pay yourself for your extra work.

2) Know that it takes almost the same amount of effort and time to plan an event for 200 athletes as it does for 40 athletes. Every ticket counts!

5. Preparation is everything

Over-plan, over-prepare, over-organize. There’s never a competition that goes off without at least one issue, so the best thing you can do for your own sanity and the reputation of your event is to plan for any and all potential snags.

For example, gather more volunteers than you think you’ll need: extra judges, an extra Registration table person and another at the scorer’s table. Nominate a head judge to monitor the rest of the judges, and an equipment director to oversee how equipment is set up. You’ll also want a staff member to clean the bathrooms and take out the garbage.

Speaking from experience, you’ll want to buy more of everything you think you could possibly need: 100 pens (you’d be surprised at how many walk off!), power strips, extension cords, batteries, and a back-up plan in case your music or internet goes down.

If reading this blog post was overwhelming enough, leave it to the professionals! With a shared event planning program like Rookie Rumble Competitions and Wodify Arena for ticketing and scoring, you work with them as they plan your event, handle most of the logistics and communication, and monitor ticket sales. For more information, or to host an event at your gym, go to www.rookierumblecompetitions.com.

Ready to start planning a competition?
Download our CrossFit competition checklist.

Ready to put what you’ve learned into practice?
Download a free PDF handbook with many of NCFIT’s gym management procedures and philosophies that you can implement in your gym today.
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