In 2009, there wasn't a "Masters" division at the Games.
In 2010, they were a bit of an afterthought, away from the 'main show' in the arena across the street.
Last year, the Masters area was JAMMED for nearly every event at every age category. Masters were given the same treatment from Reebok as everyone else, and Johnny Mac's crew ran an exciting, professional-level event.
In 2012, Masters-only events are cropping up in most Regions to keep mature athletes in a 'ready state' before the Games. Their numbers still don't necessitate a Regionals playoff, but we're getting closer.
Niche: CrossFit Masters specialization.
In 2010, there wasn't a "Youth" division at the Games.
In 2011, the CrossFit Kids event was well-planned, but never hyped, and attendance was disappointing (to me, at least, as I watched from the sidelines.)
In 2012, we had 14-year-olds in the Open. Still in its infancy as a sport, CrossFit doesn't yet attract the attention of parents who aren't themselves CrossFitters; that means travel for competitions hasn't yet flourished. Within three years, these competitions will feature athletes from all over the world, not just the Southeast.
Niche: CrossFit Kids Events.
The competitions are easy to set up: contact area high schools and middle schools, divide ages along the same calendar as high school sports, share expectations with coaches, and put up a prize. The novelty of CrossFit, for these young athletes, will require less creative programming: just have them climb ropes and carry logs, if you like. It's all new to them!
Have we used the Games to support our entire offering? Is every potential client served by a competitive outlet; a measuring device for worldwide comparison; an objective scale for progress? Not yet.
The Paralympics (and Special Olympics) are massive worldwide organizations with millions of followers, and thousands of athletes. Several projects in the CrossFit world are providing training and challenges for Adaptive Athletes, but there doesn't yet exist a comprehensive 'championship' for those who require WOD modification, or 'MODWOD.'
Likewise, in the early stages of CrossFit's move toward 'cognitive fitness,' there doesn't seem to be a cognitive challenge, daily COGWOD, or event on the horizon....yet. By incorporating CrossFit into cognitive processing, rehabilitation, and in-school curriculum, we're making forward progress in this area with Ignite. As our ranks swell, so will follow the brain trust.
Niche: Cognitive Fitness. Enrichment Through Exercise.
Though many of us don't miss our MobilityWOD broadcasts, few therapists are incorporating CrossFit INTO the rehabilitation process. The #1 obstacle in a rehab setting is adherence: boring leg extensions and stretchy tubing makes for patients who resent their therapies. It's equally understandable AND preventable: novelty alone makes rehabilitation much more enjoyable for the injured client.
These are coming. Two years from now, you'll look back and remember when the CrossFit Games was small, took place on a single weekend, and was only televised on ESPN2. Get in front of the train.