For the wall-ball, the athlete must start with the ball at a dead stop on the ground. The athlete may then pick up the ball and stand tall before beginning a set, or squat clean the ball, before beginning their first repetition of any set. An athlete may not start in a squat, pick up the ball from this position, and toss the ball to the target. A repetition consists of an athlete holding the ball in the “front rack,” and performing a full squat, hip-crease passing below the top of the knee, and when vertically extending throwing the ball to a specific target height. If the athlete’s hip does not break parallel, or the target does not touch the wall, that rep will not be counted. The athlete may then catch the ball and perform multiple reps if they so choose. Finally, athletes may not catch the ball on the bounce, and head right into a wall-ball repetition. The ball must be settled on the floor before picking it up to begin another set.
This 2003 CrossFit Journal article captures an early conception of a universal, multi-event test of fitness that laid the foundation for CrossFit competition, including what would become the CrossFit Open and the CrossFit Games. The design requirements for such a test "included but were not limited to the following: quantifiable results; consistency with the CrossFit fitness concept; raising our commitment to improving absolute strength, relative strength, and gymnastic foundations; balancing intrinsic abilities of smaller and larger athletes; emphasizing exercises critical to and foundational to advanced training; mixing training demands within each test and, of course, over the total competition; a design that would identify an athlete’s weaknesses and possibly stand as a workout plan for improving overall fitness; and, finally, we wanted to design a competition that would be 'hard as hell.'"
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