The Why: 23-24 Updates Edition
June 1, 2023
TYR WZA Community! You’ve probably noticed, after listening to the community, we’ve rolled out some significant updates to the competition format. Each of these changes were done with one goal in mind: to level up the WZA experience for all involved—athletes, spectators, and volunteers alike. We understand some may feel negatively impacted by the changes. We ask that you keep an open mind, as the changes are with the biggest picture and overall experience at the forefront.
To provide even more context, we’re sharing our rationale to help build out a fuller image of how this enhances the WZA experience heading into year 12!
UPDATE: INCLUSIVE LEADERBOARD
This year, the Elite, Rx, and Open Divisions of the OCQ will be on one inclusive leaderboard. Cut lines will be applied to the overall rankings to determine exact qualifying spots and the corresponding divisions for the TYR WZA Miami 2024.
As an example with individuals, the top 20 qualify for Elite, 21st-40th qualify for Rx, and 41st and beyond are eligible for Open Registration in the Open Division.
The OCQ Leaderboard will function as a single leaderboard for all the divisions, which means that everybody is doing the same workout and you will be placed depending on your performance. The only exceptions are age groups and adaptive, which are still on their own independent leaderboards.
In shifting the WZAOC to one leaderboard, we foster a more inclusive and communal OCQ experience by eliminating the need for athletes to self-assess and self-select into divisions where they don’t competitively belong. In past years, when Elite & Rx was separate from Intermediate & Scaled, Rx-level athletes would often down-register to hedge their bets on earning a spot…no more!
Now, you fall where you fall. Instead of an Rx athlete signing up in the Intermediate division to gain a competitive advantage, your final placing on the leaderboard positions you closer to your true division relative to the field.
Remember, the divisions at the TYR WZA are not based on what division you feel you are in. Instead, they are based on where you land on the leaderboard during the WZAOC.
UPDATE: SCALED = OPEN DIVISION
Introducing the individual & team Open Division. For individuals, this is a hybrid between the Intermediate & Scaled divisions and requires a higher skill and load than previously required vs. the historical scaled. On the team side, while Intermediate teams will still persist, the Open division will replace Scaled.
Also of note, this will remain an Open Registration division that requires athletes to participate in the Online Challenge & Qualifier, and securing a spot will be first come first serve during Open Registration. If you’re looking for a chance to throw down in Miami, you’ve got the same shot as everybody else in the Open division if you finish outside of the top 40 individual athletes or outside of the top 120 teams in the WZAOC.
This change creates a fairer, more exciting competition experience for athletes vying to compete at a level somewhere between intermediate and scaled caliber. The feedback we’ve analyzed to make this change is that athletes competing in the Scaled division at WZA are of a higher caliber than is embodied by the Scaled division at other events. Given our communities strength and depth of field, this has historically resulted in a reality where some athletes were performing in a division that had low-level skill, and lighter weights than what they’re capable of… and the top performers were far greater than Scaled standards.
“Open,” as the new name, represents this increased difficulty, and will properly challenge the athletes looking to showcase their ability on the competition floor. Competing in Miami already always required that Scaled up the ante, and they still can, in the new Open division.
UPDATE: LESS INDIVIDUAL SPOTS, MORE TEAM
You may have noticed fewer spots available for the Individual divisions through the TYR WZAOC, conversely, the addition of a plethora of team of 3 spots across all divisions.
Ultimately, this change creates greater opportunities for more people to compete in Miami…it adds 500+ athletes into the fold! Our goal is to give as many people as possible a chance to compete on the big stage, without jeopardizing the quality of the experience. This update allows us to do so best, considering the logistical constraints of hours in the day, and space on the stages. That’s a big win, which leads us to our next update…
UPDATE: MASTERS TEAM OF 3
You’ve spoken, and we delivered. Masters athletes now have the opportunity to throw down with a team of three. Available divisions are Rx Teams via OCQ qualification or Open Division Teams via Open Registration. Each athlete must be at least 35 years old as of 1/1/2024, or older, and the sum of the three athletes must be a minimum of 125 years. An athlete’s age on 1/1/2024 in years (not months or days) is the number of years an athlete should use to tabulate their age for the team.
Here are some examples of how to put together a team:
Athlete 1: 35 years
Athlete 2: 35 years
Athlete 3: 58 years
Age= 125 years (Permitted)
Athlete 1: 36 years
Athlete 2: 37 years
Athlete 3: 45 years
Age= 118 years (7 years too young!)
The reason to include this new division is to give the Master Athletes another unique opportunity to compete in a different environment, with athletes from their community, and the diverse range of ages plays a really important part of all.
A large number of Masters athletes have been seeking the opportunity to throw down on a team of three, and this year, the time has come. Boom.