AMA: Scoring the Rogue Invitational

A BTS look at what it's like to be the Official Competition Scoring Partner of the Rogue Inv

Live scoring timing loop at the Rogue Invitational

The Rogue Invitational 2022 has come and gone, and what an awesome event it was. We’ve received a lot of questions from you guys about the event, so we thought we’d give you a behind-the-scenes look at what it’s like to be the Official Competition Scoring Partner of the Rogue Invitational 2021 and 2022.

Table of Contents

What did Strongest do at the Rogue Invitational?

Strongest was the Official Competition Scoring Partner of the Rogue Invitational for the second consecutive year. This meant that we managed touched almost everything scoring-related, including (but certainly not limited to):

  • Scoring
  • Scheduling
  • Leaderboards
  • Timing
  • Connected equipment
  • Reseeding
  • Broadcast graphics

This included the software and hardware – and, of course, the intelligence. We like to think of it all as a “system of systems,” a data system that captures every repetition of every athlete in every lane for every heat and every finish time. Then, it takes that info and outputs it in meaningful ways, like broadcast graphics, live streams, leaderboards on the app and website, schedules, etc.


How did you get involved with Rogue?

As our CEO Matthew Russell said during our interview with The Barbell Spin, “I think it’s one of those ‘you don’t call them, they call you kind of situations.”

“When Rogue does something, they don’t just do it. They want to set a new standard, raise the bar, bring a lot of innovation, and to be a part of that is incredibly exciting…At the end of the day, you just have to be good at what you do – arguably, you have to be the best at what you do,” Matthew said.

Essentially: you don’t talk your way into that relationship. It’s not about telling them what you can do – it’s about showing up and proving what you can do.

Do you know the workouts in advance?

Sorry, that’s classified information. Joking aside, only our CEO had full visibility into the workouts before the event. Like any competition, the workout and scoring policy needed to be built into the system in advance, so he had to know what they were to complete the task.

What was it like scoring three competitions simultaneously (Individual CrossFit, Strongman and Legends)?

It was pretty epic. To be asked to score three different competitions in one was a great challenge – and one we feel we met pretty darn well. As you know,  Individual/Legends CrossFit and Strongman workouts are scored quite differently, but the Strongest platform allowed for easy management of all three competitions’ unique scoring and leaderboard needs.

What’s new in live scoring technology?

We’re proud of the new technology we created for The Rogue Invitational 2022:

  • Connected Equipment: The Rogue Echo Bikes and Concept2 SkiErgs were all integrated into the live scoring system. This meant all the calorie counts you were seeing were in real-time, driven by the athletes pedalling. The Rogue Invitational 2022 was a great “maiden voyage” for connected equipment scoring. 
  • Improvements to the on-screen leaderboards (animation, look and feel).
  • More dynamic graphics/videos and isolated shorts as part of the run of show.
  • The addition of a ticker to the Desk Show to help the announcers tell a better story.

What was the energy like?

As any sports fan will tell you, there is nothing like everyone in an entire stadium on its feet. It’s pretty electric hearing everyone get behind someone attempting a max lift or the roar in the crowd when athletes are neck-and-neck. We were lucky to be right in the middle of the action, in the dugouts and on the field, so that energy (along with a lot of coffee) kept us going throughout the long days. The fans of this sport are truly the best.

Do you get to meet any athletes?

We definitely saw the athletes, but meeting and greeting them? Not so much. We’re there, working – and so are the athletes. Whether you’re in the broadcast truck or managing the actual scoring devices on the field, there’s little-to-no opportunity to talk to them. Sure, you see them and score them. Sometimes you’re just feet away from them (one of the coolest experiences was scoring Dani Speegle, Roman Khrenikov and Chandler Smith’s final lifts during this year’s log lift), but that’s about it. Actually meeting them and grabbing a selfie would most likely happen after the event, like at the airport.

How long does it take to set up?

It takes nearly a week to set up just the hardware in the stadium. This includes setting up and testing all the timing equipment like the timing loop and timing chips, ensuring the graphics and scoring tickers are working properly for broadcast and on the stadium screens, and coordinating all the handheld devices, clocks and network. It’s a big job that involves a lot of logistics, onsite considerations, testing and dress rehearsals, and we’re happy to do it.

How far out did you plan for the event?

Planning starts pretty much the minute after the current competition ends. As Matthew says, “If the team at Rogue is already thinking about the next event, then so am I.”

Sure, you take a breath here and there, but we also recognize that some of the best ideas come as soon as the current event ends. Innovation never stops.

What happens when there’s a dispute or scoring error?

We generally don’t get involved in appeals and disputes. Our role is to provide the tech and the data. The team at Rogue has a whole layer that is dedicated to verification, reviews, and scoring protocols that include:

  • High-speed cameras
  • QA and re-verification of scorecards and leaderboard updates
  • On-field judges and scoring managers
  • A thorough review process

How can I get involved?

Major events like the Rogue Invitational always look for dependable, passionate, motivated volunteers. Watch the Rogue Invitational Instagram and website to know when the 2023 Volunteer Registration Opens, and make sure to apply early!