Return to site

What Sanctional Should you Compete at Next Year? 

The sanctionals are coming to a close, and with it, the close of the first new, experimental format of the competitive fitness season. This season brought about a lot of change, and an interesting qualification process providing opportunity for many more individuals to compete at the Games this year than previously expected. With the sanctional season now lasting from August to July, the season spans almost year round, and if you qualify for the Games (pending on the timing of your qualification) the season is a full year. This means you have some choices to make. Do you choose to compete at as many of these events as possible and try to sneak into the Games by finishing top 10 in a competition? Do you risk your qualifying spot on a single competition? Do you do the Open? All of these are good questions to ask your coach, but we find that there is a happy medium between competing all year long, and spinning the roulette wheel hoping you land on black. There are going to be several different variations of this, and for each individual it’s going to look different depending on when your season ended and the specific qualification process for each event. With that said, we recommend that you are competing at THREE sanctioned events throughout the year. One in November or December, one in March or April, and then one last ditch effort [if needed] at the end of June or July. 

Along with this, we recommend that you do your research on these competitions as well. Look at the programming of these competitions and decide which competition’s programming is most appealing to you. Most competitions will have one individual programming for them, which usually means a heavy bias. Keep in mind there are a couple competitions that have a committee programming for them, so make sure you know beforehand whether it is one individual or a committee. This first competition should be your main focus, and what you are relatively peaking for throughout the year. 

The second competition you should look at doing is a new sanctioned event. Currently, to our knowledge, there is no plan to cap the number of sanctionals being created, or affiliating. The total number of sanctioned events will increase from 20 to 26 from the 2019 season to the 2020 season. More than likely, similar to the CF business model, the “cream of the crop will rise to the top,” and at some point we will see the number of competitions balance out. While these events are popping up all over the place, take the opportunity to compete at some of the less established events. These will likely be smaller events and the talent level won’t be as high. If possible, it would be good to make this event international, specifically for guys. Ladies…. stay in the states as we still haven’t figured out what’s in the water overseas yet. 

The third competition should be considered a last ditch effort, in the mid/end of June/July time-frame. According to the current schedule viewed here (, this leaves five possible events, with more probably to come in the upcoming years. We saw that the talent level at these events this year was much lower and the winners for these events had already qualified for the games, meaning invites were sent to previous bubble games/regional athletes. 

Pending on qualifier dates, this should leave you with some room for training throughout the year and allow you to stave off the exhaustion that follows competing year round. We are still in the dark with a lot of this new format, and how it is going to benefit and/or potentially harm athletes in the long run. However, one thing we certainly do know is that you can “compete yourself out of shape.” Competition is stressful; not just on the tissues, but on the hormonal system. Following this competition strategy should allow for enough space between competitions, and for those with financial troubles, enough time to save and fundraise between competitions to fund their way to the events. We will be posting next week about another potential way you can begin to structure your season as well, but currently, this is what we are recommending to our athletes!