note: some readers noticed that I had fewer athletes in my data than CrossFit was reporting. I originally collected the scores after score submissions closed on March 2, but apparently they need more time to settle, so I scraped again on March 6 and got about 40k more athletes. The numbers and plots have been updated. The biggest difference was that the Open has grown 27% since last year (previously I reported 7%).
15.1 is in the books which means everyone is done with their toes-to-bar, but I’m just getting started with my scraping and plotting. Just like last year, I’ve collected scores to make it easier to see what’s really going on. I’ve got my act together this year (2.5 million data points to work with already), so expect a post after each wod (follow me, @swiftsam for updates).
First, how big is the Open these days? As of March 6, there were 261,832 athletes listed on the leaderboard under Individual Men and Individual Women. I stuck to those categories since they are the majority of the story, and most consistent across years. That 261k is 27% larger than last year but 4.1rx as big as the 2012 Open which had 63k athletes. Pretty awesome, but plenty of room to grow.
We do have some slackers who ponied up the $20, but couldn’t get out of bed this weekend. About 15% of all registered athletes were no-shows on the big day, slightly more so for men (17%) than women (14%). 41.5% of athletes this year are women, up from 38.6% last year and 36.1% in 2012.
One of the new features of the 2015 Open is the officially scored Scaled division. It could make the whole event less intimidating and increase signups, but given 27% growth is similar to previous years, it doesn’t seem like it had a huge effect. More likely it will address the awkward part of the Open where significant portions of people who can’t yet do a chest to bar pull up or muscle up end up standing around bored. On 15.1 we saw 27% of athletes opt for the scaled version, but there was a huge gender difference: 46% of women vs 19% of men. CrossFit ladies, I’d love to hear how you decided between scaled and Rx.
And finally, to the workouts. Wait, the workouts? Yep, we’ve got 15.1 and 15.1A. They happened back to back, but it appears they’re being scored as if they were totally independent. Don’t ask me, I just handle the numbers.
(M 115 lb. / F 75 lb.)
Well, it looks like everybody agrees that banging out 10 deadlifts at a snatch weight isn’t the time to take a break and run out of time. Both genders saw the end of round 4 as a fine accomplishment and 6715 athletes stopped at exactly 120 reps. Similar peaks at 150 and 180 continue the round-rounds fetish. The Rx weights were scaled remarkably well across genders, with peaks and distributions almost exactly the same in the pink and blue. The exception was the cluster of 750 women who got stuck on the first snatch. Tough skill to pick up on the spot.
1-rep-max clean and jerk
6-minute time cap
A 1RM WOD doesn’t leave much room for behavioral quirks in the scores, both genders have pretty nice normal distributions. If I were coaching (and there are plenty of reasons I’m not), I might suggest that people throw some 1lb plates on with each lift. The Open is scored by the sum of ranks, meaning that men who got 185 overhead accumulated an average of 81150 (bad) rank points, but with just two more pounds, they move ahead of the huge tie, and get only 74683 rank points on average (rank for each score varied by body weight). 6466 points for lifting an extra 2 pounds 1 time is probably the best deal you’re going to get in this Open.
“Full Effort Expected”
That was the guideline announced by CrossFit on Sunday night after it became apparent that some athletes (especially those working for a team score) may have “sandbagged” 15.1 to save energy for big 1RM on 15.1A.
This plot shows each athlete’s score on 15.1 across the bottom, and 15.1A on the y-axis. The cloud of athletes clusters from the bottom left to top right because, for the most part, the stronger people are stronger. If the ‘sandbagging’ problem was widespread, we would see a cluster in the upper left: people who completed few reps on 15.1, but then threw up a monster clean and jerk. Of course, it’s also possible that someone towards that corner is just a beast who trains to go heavy and can’t lift his or her tree trunk legs up to the bar. It doesn’t look like a big problem to me, but there are more men drifting off the top left edge than women. Don’t hate the player, hate the gameable scoring system.
Note that CrossFit presumably removed the scores of the ~20 athletes who were judged to be in violation of this spirit-of-the-rules situation, so those are not included here.
I plan to do something like this for each of the Open WODs as well as some breakdowns using height, weight, and PRs in the profiles. Leave a comment or a tweet with any ideas for interesting things to look into. Until then, rest up. For all we know, 15.2 might have three workouts.
– Sam Swift. I’m a data-scientist at Betterment, and 3 years into CrossFit, now at CrossFit Prospect Heights (previously CrossFit Carrboro). I’ve got more posts in the works, follow me @swiftsam. Scraping and visualization code available here on github. Data available here on Google Drive.