Inside the Masters Fitness Collective Championship’s Plan to Protect Athlete, Spectator Safety

When Bobby Petras decided to throw a masters-only individual fitness competition back in May, he was looking to provide an appropriate conclusion to the 2020 season for those athletes after their CrossFit Games opportunity was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. What he came up with was the Masters Fitness Collective Championship and as the competition director he knew he needed to address the concerns that led him to even consider holding the event, the ability to throw a safe competition, not only for athletes but also for volunteers and staff and hopefully spectators.

Knowing the threat: Petras knows the threat that COVID-19 presents better than most people. He and his sister Sevy own and operate Priority Life Care, an assisted and senior living company that runs and operates over 30 facilities across the country. Their facilities were at ground-zero in the early part of the pandemic and they quickly jumped into action to protect their community. They worked with local health organizations, the CDC and other health entities to establish protocols and safety measures that assured not just prevention but also the spread of the virus.

Lessons learned: Petras also runs his own affiliate Mad Apple Fitness in Fort Wayne, IN and used what he learned running his assisted care facilities to safely reopen his gym to members and used that knowledge to come up with the various safety protocols that he has put in place for the Masters Fitness Collective Championships on August 20-23 in Fort Wayne. Here are some of the measures they are taking with the athletes, volunteers, staff and spectators.

  • On Wednesday the athlete check-in will be touchless with screening overseen by nurses and health care professionals.
  • In the event of a positive test, the athletes will be retested and receive results with the IgG/IgM Rapid Test kit, one of the most accurate rapid test kits available. If positive they will then be removed from competition.
  • These test kits were recently used to test the attendees of the most recent “Train With Rich” seminar in Cookeville, TN.
  • The organizers have reserved three hotels with direct access to the venue for the athletes. This allows limited contact to people outside the competition.
  • They have enlisted a group of volunteers whose sole responsibility is cleaning and disinfecting athlete areas and equipment between each heat.
  • During the competition the athletes will receive their own bag of chalk that they will carry with them during the events.
  • For everyone present at the competition there will be hand sanitation stations available throughout the entire venue.
  • All athletes and spectators will have to pass through state-of-the-art temperature kiosks in order to get into the venue.
  • The capacity for the venue will be limited to 250 people.
  • Each athlete, volunteer and spectator not competing will be required to wear a mask
  • The organizers will also test the athletes at the conclusion of the competition so they will have a negative result before heading home.

The bottom line: Petras and his staff have used their expertise and connections to the health industry to put together what he believes is a new standard for hosting a safe, high-level competition.

  • “We are committed to putting on the safest possible competition during this time,” said Petras. “I feel my years in the senior housing industry and experience with COVID-19 this year will lend well to the MFC Championships. We will surely make mistakes but hope this can help the CrossFit community get back to what we all love, competing.”

More on safety protocols in competition:

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