Whether it’s your grand opening throw down or a small local competition, planning and executing a competition smoothly requires a lot of planning and work. We’ve got some tips to make it a bit easier on you!

Write your workouts

You can’t just do any workout in a competition. The workout needs to be able to be completed in a small amount of space safely.  Try to write an AMRAP, a timed WOD and a max lift(s) portion, the combination of which will create a well-rounded program that is fun to participate in, watch and judge. Speaking of judges, think about them when you are writing the workouts. Does each element of your workout have easy to judge range of motion? The last thing you want is a judging issue on your hands in the middle of the event.

Find volunteers

You are going to need a crew of people helping you, try to enlist as many volunteers as you can. The number will vary with the size of the competition, but plan for at least 2 score keepers (one to collect scores and one to input/publish scores), 1 master of ceremony (this could easily be yourself), 1.2 judges per athlete in each heat (so if ten athletes are going in a heat, you’ve got 10 judges and 2 spares), 5 volunteers for setup, 5 for tear down and 2 volunteers to man the doors at the beginning and answer any questions. That means for a mid sized competition you should have close to 30 volunteers, each with their own job.

Scheduling and Logistics

Timing and communication is everything!  Keep your events simple and consistent to ensure transitions between heats and divisions are as smooth as possible.

Think about time caps for each workout, equipment transitions, and most importantly breaks for your judges and volunteers.  There are a lot of moving parts and you want to make sure you everyone knows where they need to be.

Map out your space

Before determining the cap on participants in your competition, you need to map out your space and time.

  • How many 4×6 foot rectangles can you tape down?
  • How many 3 foot chunks of bars do you have?
  • Where will the spectators stand?
  • Where will table setup be for local businesses and sponsors?
  • Is there space for tent city?

Once you have your sizing locked in, you can figure out the number of athletes per heat. Each workout will either be an AMRAP (which has an inherent time cutoff) or will be capped (i.e. 15 minute max). Think about the number of workouts you have planned, the time allotted for the competition (all day, half day), transitions, and the athletes that can be on the floor per heat. This will give you an estimate on the number of athletes that you can invite. Then, determine if you want it to be an individuals competition, paired competition or team competition.

Get the word out

Post up the details of your competition to your blog, Facebook page, Twitter, any other social media you partake in, and of course Competition Corner will also help get the word out through our optimized SEO and social media channels.  Contact local gyms to see if their members would be interested in competing. Be persistent, you need to advertise your competition a minimum of three separate occasions on your social media to get people aware and interested!

Get some prizes

Find some sponsors for prizes. Give them enough lead time to plan and allocate budget.  Many sponsors will give away discounts or merchandise if you just ask and promise some exposure, table space or ad space in return. When you are looking for businesses to provide prizes, look to small local businesses that can really benefit from your clientele and the people that will be at the event (like a local massage therapist, photographer, nutritionalist, chef, designer etc). You can also take a portion of the entry fees to provide a cash prize or to purchase prizes.

Get organized

Go shopping about a week before the event, so anything you miss the first time around you will have plenty of time to get before the event. Heres a recommended list of items you will need:

  • Snacks and drinks for judges and volunteers (keep in mind, most of these people will be zone/primal/paleo)
  • Snacks and drinks to sell to spectators and athletes (VitaCoco, Kind bars, Lara bars, Paleo crunch, beef jerky etc)
  • 2-3 rolls of duct tape – you will put this down to create your athlete rectangles
  • 2-3 rolls of caution tape – you will use this to define the spectator sections
  • Folding table and chairs for a check in station
  • Athlete releases, clipboards and extra pens for the check in station
  • Clipboards, pens and stopwatches if you don’t have enough for all the judges
  • Score sheets for the judges (what the judges will hand to you after each WOD)
  • Envelope or box to keep the prizes organized
  • Double check you have all the equipment you need for the WODs
  • Music playlist for during the WODs
  • Mic/speaker system for announcing and MC’ing as well as cranking the music up

Once you have everything you need, setup and execution should be easy, make sure to lay out your duct tape, spectator areas, check in tables and food areas the night before to ease pressure on the big day.

Good luck! We would love to hear about how you have made your competition a success!!

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