Dwyne is a competitive CrossFit Judge and a fixture at Wodapalooza and the Mid Atlantic CrossFit Championship (MACC). He holds athletes to the highest standard, ensuring fair competition.
In CrossFit, standards can vary from competition to competition. There is also the Uncommon Movement Clause which states that if an athlete's movement does not look normal or right, it is a no rep. Factors such as lighting, capacity of the event and the distance between the athlete and the judge can also affect the standards. Transcript: "So, really good question. With a lot of sports, you know, take basketball, it travels or travel, a walk is a walk, a double dribble is a double dribble, football, a hold is a hold, no matter where you are, no matter what stadium. In CrossFit, it can vary because the standards can change from competition to competition. A lot of times what you see is the standard was written a specific way and the spectators might not be aware of it or they're not really understanding that the judge has to judge a certain aspect of it and not with the general assumption might be that potentially a squat might be or hand-release push-up or anything like that. So, the standards, because it varies so much, a push-up is not always a push-up. A squat is not always a squat. It might call for a squat, but the athlete does a full squat versus a power, right, or not a squat necessarily. So, the standards essentially come down to it. There's also, in CrossFit, the uncommon movement clause. So, if there's a question, there is no question. Essentially, what that means is if it doesn't look normal, if it doesn't look right, then it's a no rep, plain and simple. So, with the capacity of the event, with the size, the lighting, if you go to a place like Guadalupalooza and it's like a nightclub, you go to some events where you're 25 feet away from the athlete, the most important thing to remember is the standard. That's what changes most in CrossFit."
When judging any high-level athlete, it is important to remain impartial and not let any biases influence your judgement. Focus on the movement itself, and make sure to clearly explain to the athlete any expectations you may have so that they know what is expected of them. Transcript: "My advice when judging any high level athlete, you treat them the same as you would anybody else. It sounds really simple. One, don't be a fan. You are not on the floor to be a fan by any means and that gets misconstrued a lot. Sometimes people have grudges against certain athletes and because of that they judge them more harshly. But you stick to the real simple things. You stick to judging the movement. You're only judging the movement, not your opinions of the movement or anything like that. The athletes are supposed to move better at that level. You kind of find out that they don't always move better. Sometimes they just move faster. With that said, you just make sure you stay calm. You stay present. Don't worry about their fans, their Instagram following, their Facebook following, their Twitter, whatever. You can't worry about that. Again, they either hit the depth or they didn't. They either hit full extension or they didn't. At that pace, they're going to move fast. Just make sure they move right. What I typically tell athletes when I was judging directly and even backstage before the event, move as fast as you feel like you need to. If anything needs to change, I'll let you know. And make sure to let them know because their job is to move fast. They're trying to win prizes and money and things so they're going to see what they can get away with. If you do not let them get away with it from the very beginning, you won't have that issue moving throughout the rest of the event."
I have been a CrossFit judge for 10 years, and I have experience judging in North America, Canada, Mexico, and the United States. I am looking forward to going to Ireland soon to spread the joy of CrossFit judging. I am able to answer any questions people may have regarding judging or competing. Transcript: "Hi, I'm DeJuan Shoemaker and I'm a CrossFit judge. I've been a judge for the past 10 years and in doing so I've been able to learn from some of the very best in this industry. That's other judges, that's competitors, event promoters, all the same. With that capability, what I've learned how to do is just be able to make sure that athletes have the very best experience on the floor, make sure also that other judges are equipped with the knowledge of the standards, with how to enforce those standards, and again how to make sure that the story is not only being told to the spectators in the crowd, but to make sure that the athletes have the very best experience, but also the very best capability of completing those workouts the way they need to. I've been able to do so abroad, I've been able to do so in North America, Canada, Mexico, and the United States. I'm looking forward to going to Ireland in a couple of months here, and just being able to spread the joy of the CrossFit judging. So any of your judging questions, competition questions, I look forward to speaking to you soon."
The key to balancing accuracy and speed when judging is repetition. By going to competitions, taking judge certs, and staying up to date on the rules and standards you can become accurate and fast. Transcript: "How do you balance accuracy and speed when judging? It's like being a crossfitter, right? How do you get fast? How do you become accurate? It's repetition. It's about doing it over and over again. It's about seeing the events. Friday Night Lights helps a lot during the Open because you get to judge all the members in your gym. Going to lots of competitions. When I first started, I was one of, I think, the original people to just start going everywhere, right? And I started pulling friends in and they started pulling friends in. That's how this community has grown. I'm not saying I'm responsible. What I'm saying is the weirdness in all of us allowed us to pull a lot of people in. But just do it. And do it again. And do it again. I tell judges, you're going to mess up. You're going to do something wrong. I've forgotten to start my stopwatch at regionals. Stuff like that. I've forgotten to stop it. Things like that. And they cross the line. I'm like, oh, damn. Sure, athletes like hearing that. But no one's perfect. No one's perfect. And no judge is perfect. So just do it over and over again. And once you get good at it, do it some more. And then keep doing it. Take those judges' certs. Make sure you stay up on the changes and rules and standards. But that's how you stay accurate and fast. Just by making sure that you always are on top of it so that when athletes bounce right out of the bottom of a squat or go from a squat right into an overhead or whatever, you know exactly what you're doing and you've seen it and it won't catch you off guard."
The most difficult part of judging CrossFit is maintaining your focus and composure in a fast-paced and often loud environment, while upholding the standards, remembering that you are not the show and keeping the athlete's safety in check. Transcript: "So the question is what's the most difficult part of judging CrossFit? You liken it to officiating for any sporting event. You see official on TV getting blasted all the time. So spectators and fans and coaches and such. With CrossFit, because it's such a fast paced, heightened, adrenaline heightened environment, it's important to be mindful of your own emotions, keep those in check, but also make sure the standards are upheld. Talk about standards a lot because it's all about the standards. Also making sure you keep the athlete in check. Sometimes the athletes forget what's happening. They go brain dumb, right? WOD dumb we call it, WOD drunk. But the point is making sure that you can stay focused and stay centered in an environment where it might be loud music, it might be moving fast. Remembering that you yourself the judge are not the show, right? You're not the show. You have to keep yourself calm and keep yourself centered. So maintaining that, moving at that pace and at that speed, and then make sure you do know the standards yourself. Being a CrossFit student, right, being a member at a gym helps because you know the movements what they're supposed to look like. But making sure that the hype and the speed of the event don't get to you. Remember only three things count when you're a CrossFit judge, you, the athlete, and the standards."