#797 – Is there a way to the CrossFit games? Exemptions and Explanations w/ Brian Friend & Mike Halpin

Sevan Matossian (00:00):

Mountain time. Bam. We’re live.

Speaker 2 (00:01):

You’re ready to go.

Brian Friend (00:03):

You’re a monitor, man. Now,

Sevan Matossian (00:05):

I, uh, uh, Brian, friend, um, uh, uh, Mr. Um, LAN, uh, Halpin. Halpin. It’s hap line’s, not,

Brian Friend (00:13):

It’s not Henry,

Sevan Matossian (00:15):

Uh, Mr. Halpin. And, uh, we have lost, um, a, a couple things. I want to, um, start. Boy, there’s a lot. I wanna start with intro, but first I wanna say this. Um, I have been doing my research and I think I solved, oh my goodness. Let’s see how this is gonna work. I think I’ve solved the problem with understanding, um,


If you got it, the strength of strength of field worldwide rankings. Now you have to understand something. This is playing at 1.5 speed, what I’m about to show you. And because the CrossFit games truly does not want to share any of this information, and they don’t care, because if they did someone, I would have some liaison with the biggest podcast and the biggest voice in this space, bar none. And I don’t, and instead, when I show their video clips, I get reported and it, it, it doesn’t play well for me. So I have to just show this to you in small clips because they don’t really care about you guys knowing you have to know that that is a fact. And so, I’m gonna show this to you in small clips, and by the end of this, you’ll see why we’re not gonna do a podcast tonight. And we’re just gonna do whiskey shots, because after you watch this, you are gonna have a complete understanding and it’s gonna be pointless. Um, here it is. Uh, Mr. Uh, Bob Eubanks is going, uh, to explain. Dave, Dave Eubanks. Sorry.

Speaker 2 (01:35):

Bob Eubanks. Different guy.

Sevan Matossian (01:37):

Uh, thank you. Uh, Mr. Uh, Halpin, uh, is going to explain to you how the worldwide strength, uh,

Speaker 4 (01:44):

Just sit back and relax or

Brian Friend (01:46):

Strength. Is Haley supposed to be standing there with this sign? Strength

Sevan Matossian (01:48):

Of field? What does it say? Strength the field. Damnit. I’m gonna write it down big here. Strength the field. Okay. I’ve tried so hard, oh, no, no, no. Sorry. This isn’t strength of, this is sort of strength of field worldwide rankings all summed up into how each semi-final is allocated. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, how many people from each semi-final gets to go to the games?

Brian Friend (02:05):

Mm-hmm. <affirmative>,

Sevan Matossian (02:09):

Here we go.

Speaker 2 (02:10):

Hit one additional spot on the first round. That’s, it’s that simple. From there, we move forward. And the way the calculation works is we take the number here.

Sevan Matossian (02:19):

Okay? So here we go. You guys pay attention. I can only show you in seven second increments. Ralph’s CrossFit will, uh, bust me. Yes, this is, yes, Judy, this is the, uh, woke, uh, guy. Yep,

Speaker 2 (02:29):

That’s correct. Divided by the number of spots already allocated plus one. So in the first round, we just divided six by one, three by one, and one by one, which is that number. But now the EU has been allocated one additional spot.

Sevan Matossian (02:40):

You guys following? It’s pretty, pretty simple, right?

Speaker 2 (02:43):

We divide six by one plus one, which is two, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, which makes their new number three.

Sevan Matossian (02:52):

Okay? You guys, guys getting this, this is how it’s, it’s allocated. I wish I could tell you I was taking this outta context. I’ve watched this three times,

Brian Friend (03:00):


Speaker 2 (03:01):

Since no additional spots were allocated for o Oceania or Asia, they maintain their first round numbers. Okay? That’s

Sevan Matossian (03:06):

It. Oh, shut up, chase. You don’t know what the fuck he’s saying. What do you mean? Okay.

Speaker 2 (03:11):

Now we look at this based on the rules that we’re applying to this, we say that O Oceania is gonna get the next spot, because if there’s any ties on our

Sevan Matossian (03:17):

Board. Now, here’s the thing. This goes on for four or five minutes, thank God. At 1250, Adrian comes on and says, okay, I’m gonna take a shot at this. And he does take a shot at it. And, um,


It’s, it’s the kind of thing that when Adrian says it, you can understand it. But the second he’s done talking about it, you forget. You’re like, wait, wait a second. How exactly does it work? And then I wanna say, and then Adrian sums it up and kind of like mellows out your fears because you can’t, you’re not able to hold the quadratic equation. Uh, the de haunt, what do they call it? The de haunt method in your head. You’re not able to hold that de haunt method in your head that all the great governments are using. Um, so Adrian makes you feel better, that at the end of the day, don’t worry, the best athletes are gonna go, just put your head down and work. And so, uh, that’s on the CrossFit podcast, uh, 277 view. I don’t think

Brian Friend (04:13):

That’s exactly what he says to the athletes. He says, pull up your bootstraps and get to work. Grab your friends and get inside the top 100, and then you’ll get the most spots to go to semi-finals.

Sevan Matossian (04:22):


Brian Friend (04:23):

You can do it.

Sevan Matossian (04:25):

I, I want

Brian Friend (04:26):

You, you can do it if you live in certain places.

Sevan Matossian (04:30):

I wanna preface one more thing too. Uh, I, and I, and they didn’t say this specifically, but very close, and I think I’m getting the spirit of it a hundred percent accurate. CrossFit is trying to do three things. And I mean this with all sincerity and no hate. They’re trying to present to you the strongest field

Brian Friend (04:49):


Sevan Matossian (04:50):

Uh, at the CrossFit games, no, they’re not. Okay. But, but okay, fine. Uh, they’re trying to get good global representation,

Brian Friend (04:59):

One agree.

Sevan Matossian (05:00):

And three, they’re trying to, uh, have a slight bias towards the redundancy of athletes coming back so that the narrative will have people in it, uh, a, a thread and a narrative from year to year with people we can recognize. I think those are the three things, whether it’s true or not, that they claim that they’re trying to present. And I like that. And I, and that’s one of the few big picture things that I was able to take away after watching, uh, two, uh, three podcasts where Chase at Adrian, uh, uh, Eubanks and, uh, uh, Becky,

Brian Friend (05:32):


Sevan Matossian (05:33):

Harsh on, which was, uh, just released. Um, but, but there are some, definitely some huge red, red flags.

Brian Friend (05:40):

And I do think that that’s fair to identify those three things as things that they are attempting to do. And then to find the balance between those three things is I think, where the challenge comes.

Sevan Matossian (05:52):

Um, oh, another, another thing that Adrian really wants to drive home is that there is consistency from year to year. Like there has been almost every year, um, basically where there’s steps to get to the CrossFit games, and those steps necessarily have not changed to any dramatic amount, meaning you do the open, then you go to stage two, stage three, and then the games. Yeah. And, and those stages, those names of those stages have changed, you know, sectionals, regional sanctional, semi-finals. But it’s basically that same, uh, no,

Brian Friend (06:16):

This is the third. This will be the third season in a row that it’s gone open quarterfinals, semi-finals game. So there is consistency there.

Sevan Matossian (06:23):

Okay, good. Uh, oh, Annie Thor’s daughter posted, uh, she is going indie, uh, this afternoon. I, I, I do also, I, I would like to say that, that being said, I would like to jump forward. The most interesting thing for me, if you guys don’t mind, would you guys like to talk about the exemption thing? Because that mm-hmm. <affirmative>,

Brian Friend (06:39):

Can we start? You, you lead us. We’ll, we’ll follow, we’re ready for all of it.

Sevan Matossian (06:42):


Mike Halpin (06:42):

That’s gonna,

Sevan Matossian (06:43):

Anything, so, we’ll, we’ll come back to the, uh, math class, uh, in a minute. Uh, but first there are, there were exemptions that athletes could file, um, in order to switch, which, uh, semi-final they

Brian Friend (06:57):

Would be. Do you have, do you have the rule book there? It’s section 1.09 of the rule book.

Mike Halpin (07:02):

I can forget it

Brian Friend (07:04):

Because it’s,

Sevan Matossian (07:05):

It’s, uh, Mr. Halpin pulling more than his weight this evening,

Brian Friend (07:08):

You know, a, a few

Mike Halpin (07:08):

Things. Well, it does enough,

Sevan Matossian (07:11):

Le let me set up the three things that she said, and then I’ll give the floor to you, Brian. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, the, the four things. Uh, Becky said there are four things, uh, because I watched, uh, you had to show three years of residency, which is basically, I think she even gives a date February 16th, 2020 moving forward. Number two, that could be one reason that you change. Number two could be, uh, a political situation. And that was a little weird. She gave a couple different reasons. She talked about it visas, whether you could get visas. Another thing she talked about is whether you could even return back to your own country. And then the third thing they brought up was, uh, financial hardship. And the fourth category is the other category. Whereas if you didn’t, if your reason for wanting to switch semi-finals didn’t fall into the three years of sustained residency, uh, political issues or financial hardship, you could do a fourth category, which was other, like, um, you had a venereal disease flare up, but only when you returned to that particular country. You know, like some, something like that.

Brian Friend (08:04):

Very straightforward to document that one

Sevan Matossian (08:06):

<laugh>. Thanks. I need, I want to give an example. That’s the problems

Mike Halpin (08:09):


Sevan Matossian (08:09):

All these videos, by the way. That’s the problem with all of these videos. There is so much vagueness and so few examples given, and I will give an example. For instance, they tell you that a lot of people did not, um, uh, try to get exemptions to switch semi-finals. I, I have no idea what that means. Not a lot, not a lot relative to the 280,000 people who, uh, try to do the open every year. Like, I, I don’t, I don’t, there’s a lot of stuff like that where we just have to sort of take their word on it.

Mike Halpin (08:39):

Yeah. So they only limited it by saying that they were reviewing athletes that they believed had a chance or did not have a chance of making the semi-finals. But if you look at that list, and I think Brian Spin pulled in their rankings next to his article, uh, there’s athletes that, sure, I guess nobody wants to tell them they couldn’t, but I wouldn’t put them in a top 100

Sevan Matossian (09:04):

<laugh>. I, I’m not, I’m not a, okay, okay, I see what you’re saying. I see what you’re saying there. I I, but I’m not in favor. I, I’m not a, a believer in the narrative of the popularity contest. I, I, I did not witness that when I was at CrossFit. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I, I just want you to know that.

Brian Friend (09:18):

No, and we’re gonna end up in this agreeing

Sevan Matossian (09:20):

Out. I mean, look, I brought Brian to work on the CrossFit podcast. He wasn’t winning shit for a popular, he brought

Mike Halpin (09:24):


Sevan Matossian (09:25):

There you go. Another person has no chance of winning popularity contest. So <laugh>, they’re all good example.

Mike Halpin (09:29):

If you check my Instagram there, it’s not happening anytime soon. Yeah, there you go. Me and you both.

Brian Friend (09:35):

Um, so it’s, I’m, I’m glad that you watched that Savana and that you brought that up. You know, and relative to what’s in the rule book, and usually in the rule book, they have a, a clause that they like to include in various sections. It says at CrossFit, sold discretion, right? In this particular section of the rule book 1.09 in the bottom half where they intro this idea of potentially, um, applying for an exemption, they do have four bullet points. The four bullet points. There are basically, uh, residency, it’s, uh, below this Caleb residency Extreme financial hardship, no, above that.

Mike Halpin (10:12):

Oh, what one do you have?

Brian Friend (10:15):

Tell me this

Mike Halpin (10:17):


Brian Friend (10:17):

This in 2022 rule book.

Mike Halpin (10:19):

I, I have it, Caleb. I’ll grab it.

Brian Friend (10:22):

It’s worth these things happening, by the way. It’s worth, by the way, it’s worth noting that the rule book regularly updates. So this is the one that, uh, Mike’s gonna pull up now is version five of the 2023 rule book. CrossFit announces when the rule book is written, this case it was in the fall. But unless you’re checking regularly the rule book, uh, you might not know that there’s additions and subtraction from the rule book as the season goes on. And I’m not sure if there’s actually our subtraction or not, but there’s definitely things that are added. In some cases it might be related to prize per, so they really rarely announce the semi-final prize purse ahead of time. They will have it at some point, and it will be added. And then this one, which is 2 20 23 version five will be updated. So when we, when I saw that at first, I thought they’d updated it and taken that stuff out, but they have not.


It’s still right there. Those are the four bullets. So residency, uh, which we, we wanna talk a little bit about these in a second. Financial hardship, political hardship, and then visa issues. So those are the four things that they list. There’s nothing here that says in other category. There’s nothing here that says at CrossFit, soul, uh, discretion. We might give grant, you know, grant things for other cases. And when I think that one of them misunderstandings that some people had, when Mike and I were kind of bringing attention to the, this, this conversation by highlighting the specific cases of Katherine, David Sutter and Ali Turner is, is two things. One, we don’t think the athletes are doing anything wrong. The athletes got the rules. Read the, you know, you can click on here and go to a form, uh, where it says this and read there, they went through the form, they submitted, they talked to their teams, they came up with what they thought was the, the case they had to, to get an exemption to compete where they live basically. And they submitted it. And that’s all that the athletes can do. And it is not Katherine’s responsibility, whatever Cross’s decision is or what it is for any other athlete. And I completely, we all agree about that.


We also aren’t asking CrossFit to release intimate details about any athletes. We don’t, I don’t need to know anything about the catch situation except for she was granted exemption and the reason residency or Visa.

Sevan Matossian (12:28):

Well, but we don’t even know what it is, right? We don’t know if it’s financial hardship, residency or the other because, uh, Becky does say that there’s another category, right? What if, what if it said better boyfriend is suicidal, and that if she leaves him, he’ll kill himself? What if it’s that? Like, we don’t know.

Brian Friend (12:42):

And I think it would be great to have a fifth bullet on here that says they’re

Mike Halpin (12:45):

Not listening in other category. Is Brian’s

Brian Friend (12:47):

Point, other or extraneous reasons, and then all that I’m asking,

Sevan Matossian (12:50):

But there is on the application, I guess, can we click the this button? According to her?

Brian Friend (12:55):


Mike Halpin (12:56):

I try to bring it up and it’s no longer, okay.

Sevan Matossian (12:57):

Okay. Okay. Sorry Brian, go on.

Brian Friend (12:59):

Because it was expired February 1st. I brought it there. It had to be submitted by February 1st. Um mm-hmm. <affirmative>, if you never clicked on the form, then you wouldn’t know that there was the other category, because it’s not listed in the rule book. The rule book is public forum. I guess that link also was, and maybe we should have done that to find out, but you, I would wanna have consistency if it’s in the form. I would think it should also be an option that’s listed there. Because otherwise someone might say, well, I don’t meet any of those four requirements, even though I’m taking care of my mother this year and she has cancer. And, and if I don’t, and if I leave, then she has, I have to get a personal, you know, whatever the example

Sevan Matossian (13:31):

Is, right? Right. I have a dog and i’s

Brian Friend (13:33):

The other, then they might have clicked on the form and had a chance to pursue that. So I think it would be very simple to just put the other as an option there, right? Either way, you were talking about their vagueness. So I don’t, you know, I don’t see it’s past February 1st. I don’t see why they couldn’t put out a little report that says, uh, in year one we got, uh, 98 submissions for exemptions. We dismissed 50 of them as not being competitive. As it says in the bold, they’re at the top that they are relevant for a semi-final advancement potentially. And of the other, uh, 50 that, you know, that we, that we looked at, um, or 48 that we looked at, uh, we denied, uh, 25 of them and of the remaining, we, we awarded this many for visa, this many for residency, this many for political hardship and this many for financial hardship. And that’s it. And then I could look it and I could say, okay, they approved Katherine for residency, which is what we’re assuming they’re approving her for. And as she said, she’s been living in the United States since 2015. The rule as it’s written since,

Sevan Matossian (14:33):

By the way, it’s fair for us to assume this, if you don’t give us the facts, it’s okay that we assume stuff. And anyone’s like, oh, why are you guys talking about this? You guys worried about such little details? There’s so few athletes that care. Hey, listen, there’s only 40 men and 40 women who go to the games. You have one of the biggest female names who just got an exemption. And you have this other girl who comes from one of the most interesting regions where the greatest CrossFitter who ever lived Oceana, Ellie Turner’s coming from that region, and she happens to be mating with the, potentially gonna be one of the greatest CrossFitters who ever lived already is one of the greatest CrossFitters who ever lived and training with them. And if that’s not an exception in the other category, I happen to be training with the greatest CrossFitter alive, competing today, Justin Maderas. I mean, so, so don’t I, I know that there’s some smug motherfuckers over at Cross right now be like, oh, these guys are dragging this out again. Hey, you’re lucky. We’re dragging it out. You’re lucky. The most popular podcast in the, in the group is, uh, talking about you. Okay, sorry, Brian. I, I, I, I, I,

Brian Friend (15:28):

Well, and, and we can, in the case of catching, we can make the assumption because we can look at the other three. We know she’s not in an extreme financial hardship. We know that there’s no political hardships preventing her from traveling to and from Europe because she’s been regularly doing it with no problems. We could, but there is a lot of gray area with the Visa. Visas are always a little bit touchy. Sometimes they change, maybe in the process of trying to get citizenship or something in the us there’s something going on. And you know, what if, if it just said, Katherine, David’s daughter approved Visa, I would’ve no, no questions. I would say, oh, she must have something going on with her visa.

Sevan Matossian (16:02):

Why doesn’t she share it? Who cares? What, how personal could it be? I mean, she

Brian Friend (16:05):

Basically did, she said she’s been living here since 2015, and we know that the problem is last year she was in Iceland for half the year, and it says in their rule, sustained residency in a single country outside of the athlete’s country of citizenship. If they’re saying that, if that’s the, if that’s the clause that they’re saying, because it says outside of the athlete’s country of citizenship, then she can get away with living in Iceland. Cuz that is a country of citizenship. Then explain that to us. Maybe because Ellie Turner had to spend some time in Canada because of, you know, visas are complicated. So she spent some time in Canada, spent some time in the US and maybe that counts as two countries. And uh, if that’s the case, okay, then tell us. But as it is on paper, it’s confusing why she could live in Iceland for half the year last year and still be counted as sustained residency to the point where I think it’s more of a, where’s your, where’s your mail going? And it doesn’t matter if you’re there or not.

Sevan Matossian (16:57):

Uh, I would also like to say that re uh, sorry, Halpin, uh, what, uh, when Ellie was in Canada, if I remember when we had her on the show, that wasn’t by choice, that was for political reasons slash visa reasons. Those she was, she was dealing with red tapes. She wanted to be in the states in training. Okay, sorry Mike, go ahead.

Mike Halpin (17:16):

Just to add for Katherine, there’s, do you recall that at the game she was possibly gonna be the alternate alternate if Lauren couldn’t compete?

Sevan Matossian (17:25):


Mike Halpin (17:25):

She was. So with that, as far

Sevan Matossian (17:28):

As I read, talking about on the team, you’re talking about on the team, yeah. So yeah. Wow. If you look at, here comes the nail in the coffin, people brace yourself.

Mike Halpin (17:35):

If you look at last year, there was a team that was not allowed to compete because an athlete lived more than a hundred miles away from his affiliate. Now there’s an athlete that’s claiming that she was an alternate on the team. And as far as the rules go, they’re a little muddy as most of them are. There isn’t rules that say something for an alternate, but it basically says if you are to use an alternate, that they were at the open at the same affiliate and followed all the same instructions. So with that, we are stating that Katherine is at, for that process was capable of at least attempting to say, because she never actually was an alternate of attempting to say that she had the capability of being an alternate for Team Revi. So that would mean that she followed all the rules to a t she was at that affiliate training primarily, and she had mailing addresses same as con, same as Tola, who we all remember had to move there on very specific days, be there on very specific days. And because of that other team, we got a very clear picture that they were even having to keep tracking of journal entries and timecards and whatever else. So we’re to say that the same athlete can say that she did all of that for six months for that team, and then also somehow lived in the United States for three sustained years, since 2020.

Sevan Matossian (19:03):

So, uh, hold on a second. Let’s, let’s let this one breathe. Look, Brian, did you know he is gonna come on here and drop that bomb?

Brian Friend (19:11):

I knew it was possible.

Sevan Matossian (19:13):

Holy shit. Does everyone here get what he’s saying? How is she gonna be on the Iceland team when one of the rules is that you had to live in Iceland and now she has an exemption for being lived in the United States for three sustained years? This is, uh, well, it’s not impossible in this era. Anything’s possible in the woke era, but, uh, this is, this is weird.

Mike Halpin (19:35):

And, and just to be clear on this,

Sevan Matossian (19:36):

Do you have any explanation for it? Mike? Can you give him any wiggle room if you were CrossFit? Could, is there anything you could throw out there and be like, well, actually

Mike Halpin (19:42):

I don’t know that they didn’t go and ask if Katherine Cokie and then they found out that she didn’t actually live there, or that she wasn’t following the standard rules and therefore that was why Lauren had to compete.

Sevan Matossian (19:50):

But we did. Oh, I’m just saying she, but we did see the videos of her competing in Iceland, you know, under, uh, Yi’s, uh, uh, tutelage. And we’ve seen on the dors podcast that her and Karin are in the same room.

Mike Halpin (20:02):

Now, I wanna caveat about this whole thing because I obviously responded on Friday to her and we had a bit of back and forth. I’m using Karin as a athlete in a sport, and that’s the only tense that I’m using when speaking about her. I’m not saying her personally. I’m not saying I should get to know where she lives just because she is an athlete. I’m saying if, uh, if a sport puts out a rule and an athlete is following that rule or not following it, commentators should be allowed to talk about it. If there was a hold last night in the Super Bowl and it was a bit of a ticky tack hold as far as I would say I’m allowed to talk about that athlete, I’m allowed to talk about what they did, and I’m allowed to talk about what I think about it.


That’s all I’m talking about. I’m saying how do these rules compute with the athletes that are, that are having to follow them on the field and, and, and these cases off the field, and obviously off the field touches on a lot of personal information, a lot of heartache. We, we have the Roman stories, we have the Dennis Sampson off stories, we have a lot of different stories of athletes that may have actual political hardship, may even just be in the process of residency. But to be clear, CrossFit even talks about if you are applying for new citizenship and how that’s supposed to work. And then the exemption process is you have to show reside news. So I’m saying Katherine’s followed the rules, but, but here’s the other bomb that I’d like to drop. She is the best game player at this. She moved in what, 2016 to the United States, competed in North America with a US flag next to her name, which Boz said might make athletes feel weird if they have a Japanese flag next to their name or something like that,

Sevan Matossian (21:49):

By the way. I think that’s bullshit that they have. You switch your flag. You know what that, that’s like some vindictive shit. That’s bullshit. And, and, and you know what, go Yeah, go ahead Michael.

Mike Halpin (21:57):

Go ahead. There’s zero reason they have to change the flag. They, the fields, they’re actually two different fields. If you break it down, there’s a, there’s a country field and there’s a region field. The country field controls the flags. But don’t ask me why I, and it

Sevan Matossian (22:08):

Goes against the whole re it goes against their whole premise that they keep reiterating over and over that we want to, we wanna show greater global representation. Like, like stop it, stop with the flag stuff.

Mike Halpin (22:19):

They don’t show shirt, they don’t show shirt and flags for whole other reasons. But in the cases of a flag FCA and FLA ray raises the ice Icelandic flag when she walks into this in the stadium,

Brian Friend (22:33):

I think they will change the flag for the games. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I think that they will have the flag of their citizenship at the games, but not,

Sevan Matossian (22:40):

I don’t know. I don’t know. It didn’t, didn’t seem like that with what Adrian said. I also want to, uh, no, no, no.

Brian Friend (22:44):

It specifically says this though. And this is what you know, and if that’s what he said, that’s great. And this is one of the problems with, with CrossFit recently, is that there’s not consistency across divisions or across, um, platforms that are disseminating information. But this is what it says on the article, which is called Athletes Granted Competition Region Exemptions due to limitations of our leaderboard platform, which is what Mike was alluding to. Athletes who have choose chosen to accept the approved exemption from their original region will be referred to as from the new region during the open quarterfinals and semi-finals. That the flag that will appear on the leaderboard will be the ad of the new region open quarterfinals and semi-finals. I’m as, again, I am assuming because they don’t mention the games that, that for the games, it will revert to their country of citizenship.

Mike Halpin (23:26):

Such a website issue. Yeah.

Sevan Matossian (23:28):

Okay. Well I’m reading into it and I’m, I, the way I felt it, um, he did not say it was be, at least I didn’t hear Adrian say it was because of a, um, you know, a technical horsepower issue. And it, it seems like there was almost like a vindictive component to it. Like it was like, uh, do are you sure you know what you’re doing? Because we’re, once you do that, there’ll be no exceptions.

Mike Halpin (23:48):

Yeah. So I thought that was the three things that you were coming up with earlier. So in those cases, the three things that they’re saying, they’re saying back to athletes after they go through the exemption process, and it is a great podcast with the three of ’em. So feel free to listen to that and, and mute me. But with it, it’s three things. It is, what are you doing to your region that you’re leaving, which is the be all end all that. I think most of our conversation would likely be about whatever this is with the flags and that it’s permanent or it’s least it’s semi-permanent because they s they said it was permanent and then they also said that they would be re-validating it with the athlete as the years went on.

Sevan Matossian (24:24):

So what happens if they just let people compete where they want? I mean, I, I want to echo what Mike said. Like I don’t have an issue with Karin in regards to the fact that, um, uh, I think she should be allowed to compete wherever you want. I think anyone should be allowed to compete wherever they

Brian Friend (24:37):

Want. Here’s,

Sevan Matossian (24:37):

I mean, to be honest

Brian Friend (24:38):

Here, here’s the thing part, you know, some people have speculated that in the case of Ellie Turner, maybe they didn’t want to grant her that exemption because if she doesn’t go back and compete in Oceania, that, and Tia’s not there this year, and now we know that car is not here this year and they’re guaranteeing them three qualifying spots that they’re like, oh my God, if we take away their three best women and then they still get three spots like that, that’s not looking great.

Sevan Matossian (25:02):

I hope they didn’t say that. Cuz that’s pretty damning. No one pretty

Brian Friend (25:05):

Damning, no, no one,

Mike Halpin (25:06):


Brian Friend (25:07):

Speculated no one from CrossFit said that. People have speculated it. I’ve gotten some dms asking, do you think this is possible? So that’s out there. One of the issues is how does the, the, the moving of regions affect qualifying spots? And that’s where the, these conversations all kind of come together, is that in the current model, we have every athlete in the top 100 counting is one. So it doesn’t matter if it’s Tia or if it’s Marni Sykes or if it’s Gracie Walton, three people, different people from Australia that could, you know, be, be whatever. Uh, they’re all one. It also has been said by the person who spent the entire off season creating this system that one person in your semi-final could make the difference. One person from your semi-final or competitive region in the top 100 more or less could make the difference between you getting an extra spot or not. Therefore, losing someone from that competitive region can be, uh, detrimental. And that’s where, um, what Mike’s alluding to from the podcast is that they’re asking the athletes, are you aware of the fact that if you leave that region, you could be, could be potentially affecting the number of game spots allocated

Sevan Matossian (26:16):

In their Yeah. What do they care? What is that? Some sort of like, uh, people are gonna think less of you because your countrymen are gonna shit on you and you’re gonna sell less toast. Babysits, I didn’t understand that either. Why the fuck would the athlete care?

Brian Friend (26:27):

So, but here, this is

Mike Halpin (26:29):

Not, not a single one backed out. Yeah.

Brian Friend (26:32):

And this is something a few people have been, um, messaging me or commenting and even publicly saying, stop complaining, Brian, give us some answers. Give us some solutions. What’s your, what, what are you, what would you like to see? And I took a little bit of exception to that because I feel like I’ve been doing that. And what I’ve been basically trying to reiterate is keep it simple. Make it simple to understand. Make it simple an application. And, and the simple, the simple way when it comes to this competing where you live is what I’ve been saying. Give every spot, give every place one, always have one. You get your global representation. And as athletes move around, you have to have a worldwide ranking system that affects the strength of field allocation system that actually rewards regions that are truly strength strong. Not that they have the most people, but they have the most competitive people there. And there are systems that you can do this with. And some of them, I think Mike has actually done this before.

Sevan Matossian (27:28):

Hey, why even do that? Why not let people compete wherever they fucking want? And then clearly strong athletes will go down to these other regions and hammer people. But I know what you’re gonna say. They want global representation. They want someone,

Brian Friend (27:40):

Well, don’t say that at all. I’m saying that at the start of the season. I think it makes sense when you register, when I register for the open as nobody who has any intention of, of advancing in the season, definitely not competing for semi-finals or money. I, I write where I live, I write my affiliate and I’m assigned a competitive region. And I think it can be that simple. Where are you living? Okay, you’re living there. Good. That’s where you’re compete this year. Great. Now we have the list of the people that are competing there at the start of the season. And we can say, oh wow, there’s a man, a lot of, uh, the top women are in North America west this year. Even though they’re from different parts of the world, we know that’s gonna be a strong region. And because they’ve relocated there, it’s gonna have an effect on the strength of field allocations and that region’s gonna get more representation.


Not because necessarily all the best women in the world are inherently from North America West. They just happen to be there right now. And that’s why I gave some examples on my Instagram of things from the past where someone pops up in a region, Matt Fraser had and immediately impacts the competitive landscape of that field. But the system back then didn’t allow for more spots. They just got three spots and then they got three spots, then they consolidated regions and they got five spots. It had nothing to do with competition. But if you looked at the people missing out, sometimes Spencer Heda would miss for two years and then make the games and get fifth place at the games. I wanted to see him at the games the previous two years and he would’ve made it if Matt Frazier handed entered there. Well, in this new system, the whole idea is that when someone enters that competitive field that’s as good as Matt Frazier or Katherine David or, or Tia Clai or Ellie Turner or whomever, that it would actually have an impact on their, on their semi-final field to the point where there would be an extra person if, and by the same token, if Romans competing in North America, take a spot away from Asia, I have those guys great.


The the guys from Asia, I would love for them to be flooding the top of the leaderboard. Every other person from man from Asia who’s competed at the games in the last four years has gotten last or not showed up to compete. Roman’s not there this year and they’re giving them two spots. So we’re basically just saying, well, there’s actually 38 guys competing in the games this year until someone from Asia does something different. And once they do, then we will reward that.

Sevan Matossian (29:45):

Uh, let me stop here. Uh, some people have, uh, uh, uh, uh, Jetro, Cardona bring back, uh, regionals. Uh, problem solved. There was another question here. Can teams, uh, apply, uh, can teams apply for, um, exemptions for semi-finals?

The above transcript is generated using AI technology and therefore may contain errors.

Check out our other posts.