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Big disadvantage leading the semi WC
  2009-06-01 00:00:00    
Debate/Jens: 8a has since the Boulder World Champion in 2007, where the superior semifinal winner ended 6th and last in the final, speculated about a possible disadvantage of starting last in the finals. (It is a hard pressure listening and understanding that the other top-outs). The negative trend is getting stronger and in 2009, the semifinal leaders have ended on an average 4.3 in the final, out of six competitiors! Based on the last 19 comps, the semifinal winners have ended 2.8.
OffLine TJ
  2009-06-01 15:01:38    
Wow! Who cut them apart? Are these guys still alive?

Until now, I actually never belived that climbing is a dangerous sport! 
Thanks Jens to point this out in such a convincing way. ;-)
OffLine Graeme Alderson
  2009-06-01 16:41:59    
Statistics are generally held to prove whatever you want them to. And Jens has already demonstrated this. His choice of statistics helps his argument whereas Tim's choice of statistics doesn't (help Jens' argument).

But statistics can't take into account many things. Such as the fact that Dave Barrans was in his first final on Saturday. Maybe his nerves were really bad. Maybe he had put so much into the semi final that he was tired. Maybe he is not used to doing 2 high intensity rounds on the same day. Maybe..... Or Maybe.....

Anyway good effort Dave on getting to the final. You will know better next time and try and qualify in 4th place :-)




OffLine slopergroper
  2009-06-01 17:38:43    
What about strategy?  If I knew that as long as I qualified to climb in the finals, my place in the comp was independent from the semi results (except to break a tie), then wouldn't it make sense to barely qualify?  That way I would conserve some energy going into the final round.

While it may be true that 6. place qualifiers don't always win, it seems that they often end up placing higher than 6. place in the final ranking.  In other words, the ranking in the qualifying round is likely to be a very bad predictor of the final rankings in several aspects, which is likely due to strategic considerations.

Since this is generally known, I'm not sure it's a problem.  Furthermore, the trend that Jens purports to observe may just reflect that the more experienced competitors who are more likely to end up on the podium have figured out a better strategy than less experienced competitors who do well in the semi-final and then flounder.

For a cross-sports analogy, consider the Tour de France.  No one expected Lance Armstrong (or any other winner of the Tour) to win every leg - just the right ones!
OffLine slopergroper
  2009-06-01 17:40:21    
And by "better strategy" I mean that they are likely to more accurately gauge what it will take to qualify given who they are competing against.
OffLine Christopher Hacon
  2009-06-01 20:20:40    
My theory is simply that as there are more climbers in the semi's it is more likely that the "best" climber will not win. 
OffLine Michele Caminati
  2009-06-02 00:26:19    
every session is like a "roulette".... that's why I think previous results from qualification and semi-finals should be considered for the final classification....
OffLine Graeme Alderson
  2009-06-02 01:13:03    
Just been sat next to Dave Garrans, sorry Barrans, for the last few hours and he tells me that he injured his shoulder before the final. I wonder how the statistics take account of this sort of occurrence.

Michele - Giovanni had long argued for this cumulative score (and as I am sure you know that with Giovanni this meant a LONG discussion) but one counter argument was always if it is such a lottery how come people like Sandrinne, Jerome, Killian and Anna have been able to dominate.

Also is there any improvement from Giovanni :-(
OffLine Jean-Baptiste Jourjon
  2009-06-02 12:03:32    

Is it possible to get same stats between qualification and semi finals to see if we have the same trend ?


I was wondering about the impact of cleanliness of the grabs. I noticed that when you wash grips, at the beginning they're slippery. They have to be chalked and brushed several times to get optimal friction. With too much dirt they become once again slippery, but for sure if the grips are washed before being fixed for the final, that could be a rational explanation when we know how important this parameter is for climbing, especially boulders.

OffLine Jens Larssen
  2009-06-02 13:16:00    

@ Jean-Baptiste: I like your theory and it could marginally explain the disadvantage of being last out in the semifinal. However, I do think that the mental pressure is of a greater importance.

In the beginning of the final, the audience is making noice but in the end they tend to make noise only when the climbers make progress on the problems.


The one last out listens to the result of the others and might think that they have done it. Once they try it themselves, the risk of getting negative feedback if they fail on the first problem is huge.


Daniel Dulac was totally superior in the semifinal of the world championship in 2007, but he was dead last in the final.

OffLine Graeme Alderson
  2009-06-02 13:32:10    
Jean-Baptiste - the holds will have been chalked up and brushed by the route setters so the holds will not have that freshly washed feel.

Jens - think about this scenario

P1. First 5 climbers get nowhere so last climber knows that if he/she even gets a bonus then they are leading, even if they don't get a bonus they are leading on countback. Is that an advantage or a disadvantage. Its a BIG advantage.

P4. The commentator announces that the last climber only has to get B4 to win and the last climber realises that getting the bonus with the left hand is fairly easy even though it means they will be wrong handed but it doesn't matter as they don't need Top. Is that an advantage or a disadvantage. Its a frigging MASSIVE advantage.

And here is another advantage of going last. You have more chances of cheating by having a quick look at what the others are doing.
OffLine Jens Larssen
  2009-06-02 13:47:31    

Normally, there are not a commentary who announces the result and what is needed to win. I did not think this was allowed and I have never heard anything like it. In route climbing, it is not allowed to describe what is needed to win.


Once, I was the commentary on the Nordic Championship and i was not allowed to give any results.

I like the idea to officially stay online with the result etc and i think it would be easier done if you gave 100 points for a flash.
 

OffLine Graeme Alderson
  2009-06-02 14:01:48    
Jens - maybe you should study the rules then before you start commenting on them. The commentators have been allowed to give information about ranking since the start of the 2008 season. You are even allowed to display the rankings in the transit zone.


OffLine Jens Larssen
  2009-06-02 14:34:52    

It is a big difference to say it is allowed or to say it is mandatory? It is strange that it is up to the commentary to decide whether to give info or not.

As you said it should be a advantage to know how the others did perform. The competitors I have been talking to say, that this is not the normal case and you refer to one occasion.

OffLine Graeme Alderson
  2009-06-02 15:09:54    
Yes I only refer to one occasion because I was only at one Boulder World Cup last year.

And it is not really up to the commentator as he/she is unlikely to be keeping track of the scores. It is up to the organising/judging/results team to inform the commentator - this is what I did in Vail.

And the commentator is only really informing the audience as the majority of competitors know exactly what they have to do, they know exactly what each of the finalists have done just by listening.

There has also been incidences where the finalists shuffle seats depending upon the ranking after each problem so my example was not an isolated incidence.
OffLine Jens Larssen
  2009-06-02 21:53:45    

I think it was good that you informed the commentator but this is not normally done.


As from I have understood, I or any other coach could watch the competition and tell the climber. "If you top-out in two goes, you are in the lead. If you take the zone within 3 goes you are third."

Is this really true? Or is it only the result team that sometimes can inform the commentator who then might inform the audience?

OffLine Graeme Alderson
  2009-06-02 22:23:23    
No you could not as that would be communicating with a competitor and of course you could be passing other info such as "dont forget your toe on the grey hold around the corner". Only official communiques can be issued.
OffLine Jens Larssen
  2009-06-02 22:45:02    

So what says the rule? The organising team could if them want and do know, ask the commentary to explain the conditions for some competitiors?


For me this sounds really strange!

OffLine J.Gunn
  2009-06-03 08:48:19    
What are the 'outcomes' after the finals for competitors ranked 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th and so on leading into the finals...

I think you would find the 'findings' are not 'statistically' significant...

I hope someone else hasn't mentioned this already...
OffLine Rune Krogager Ritz
  2009-06-03 20:23:04    

"I think you would find the 'findings' are not 'statistically' significant..."

- me too!

My guess is, there is no disadvantage being 1st after the semi-final. And since such a relation has not been established, trying to find 'the reason' is nonsense!
OffLine Jens Larssen
  2009-06-03 23:20:31    

I do think we can agree that anybody who wins the semifinal, in any sport are the favorite to win the final.


We can also agree that it is normal that the semifinal winner does not win always.


However, over the last 19 competitions the semifinal winner has ended, on an average, at the 2.8 position. For me, compared to other sports or lead climbing competitions, the estimated result for the semifinal winner is rather poor, making it a big disadvantage to be #1 in the sport of Bouldering.


If you think I am wrong, please describe why, giving some examples like I have done.

OffLine Jean-Baptiste Jourjon
  2009-06-04 10:33:48    

I already attented comps where the speaker could not comment the performance, it was ridiculous. Nevertheless, it's hard to tell which limit is acceptable.


A solution would be not to be onsight anymore, especially for boulders. For lead comps, you have only one route at a time. With boulders, at least during the several minutes of your climbs, you can't be isolated from the other climbers and from speaker comments.

Last comment : the difficulty (and climbing style) is not the same between each round. You can be very strong onsight and have a good ranking during one round. At the next round, if strenght level required is above your limit, you can loose many places.

OffLine p3
  2009-06-05 00:08:19    
Does a person ending up in 2:nd place or third place etc in semis have a higher chance of winning than a person that wins the semi? You cannot compare winning the semi against not winning since "not winning" includes many more classes i.e. coming 2:nd, 3:rd 4:th etc.

I bet that if you look at similar statistics for each place in the semi separately, you would en upp with even lower numbers than 2.8. If this is the case this would indicate (but not proove, since noone has calculated the standard errors of these numbers) that indeed you have a higher chanse of winning the comp if you win the semis compared to becoming 2:nd, 3:rd or 4:th etc...




OffLine J.Gunn
  2009-06-05 02:26:32    
@ p3 - Totally agree - that was what I was saying as-well.

@ Jens - On average - there are like what 5 or 10? competitors who 'compete' in the finals?

So your calculation of 2.8th position on average is actually pretty high considering the range can be between 1st and 10th...

I would beg you to consider calculating 'average placements' for each and every other placement leading into the finals and I think you would find that on average, the correlation between qualifying first to 5th leading into the finals would be negative... (ie competitors qualifiying 5th would have a lower 'average placement' than competitors qualifying 2nd, 3rd 4th and obviously 1st)
OffLine J.Gunn
  2009-06-05 02:30:44    
FYI: not a personal dig at you Jens or whoever came up with the stats in the first place - I just don't like stuff being 'false' if that can be understood...

False information or specualtions in a news forum can only lead to negative opinions of the forum itself and can also 'spark' members to post and rant negatively... which I'm aware of your experience in! (not saying that past 'negative rants' were due to your false posts...)

Anyway... in essence it's 'hurting' your site's reputation - albeit in a minimal way...
OffLine Jens Larssen
  2009-06-05 08:16:19    

It is six persons in the final and of course the number six in the semi has a worse average than the number one.

But read my post again, since you are missing my point. Normally, as in other sport and as in route climbing, you would except to see better final result for the semifinal winner.

During the last 12 months, on an average, the winner have been placed 4th after the semifinal for the female. The trend is negative.

However, Anna Stöhr and Akiyo Noguchi have dominated, showing that the often have poor result in the semi, but winning or ending on the podium in the final. Together they have competed 14 times and in 10 cases ended Top-3.


Among the male, it is the same thing, Kilian Fischhuber and Rustam Gelmanov, have dominated and they also have worse result in the semi compared to their final result.

PS Read the other thread regarding the E-grade where actually one of the guys who have been criticising me, now have understood my point, and do agree with my opinion.

OffLine Rune Krogager Ritz
  2009-06-05 08:58:12    
@Jens:

You still haven’t posted any real support of your hypothesis.

I agree, if we have to pick a favorite, the winner of the semi-final would be the best pick. But perhaps his chance of winning is (on average) only marginally better than the other 5 participants.

In other words: An average score of 2.8 – as you have calculated – does not indicate any disadvantage being first after the semi-final (An equal chance of winning for all six finalists would translate to an average score of 3.5). Comparing with other sports would be interesting. What you will find, is that the correlation between preliminary and final results will vary. In some sports they will be in good agreement, in others not so good. (Speedway is an example of the latter.)

I think the flaw in your reasoning is your assumption that the semi-final winner should win most of the time. As you have stated in the other thread: "If you win the semifinal you have proven that you in fact are the best." In my opinion that is simply wrong. Chance plays a substantial role in a boulder competition.

That said, I will not rule out the possibility that there actually is a disadvantage in starting last in a final. But for now it is nothing but a hypothesis.
OffLine Jens Larssen
  2009-06-05 09:41:03    

If, "chance plays a substantial role in a boulder competition", we would not see Anna, Akiyo, Kilian and Rustam dominating as I have shown.

Something is wrong if the semifinal winner only has marginally better chances to win compared to the other five participants.

I do think that if the winner had started as number one, we would have seen better statistics for the semifinal winner...but of course this hypothesis is impossible to prove :-) even if I try my best.


It should also been mentioned that in lead climbing, you have some who are dominating as in bouldering. However, the semifinal winners in lead climbing do have much better result in the final, compared to semifinal winners in bouldering.

OffLine gianluca
  2009-06-05 11:06:20    
how much time between two climbers on the same problem, in finals?
Could it simply be that the last climber finds the problem in worse conditions (warmer, more humid) compared to the first one out?

as for any hypotesis on "psychological pressure" and recuperation after the semis, only competitors can tell...

anyway, one really stupid solution, taken from amateur comps : in finals, you make all climbers do their round on problem A, then the group moves to problem B, etc... And, for each problem you change the starting order. ???
OffLine TJ
  2009-06-05 12:22:56    
Jens,

you are really a unique character! On the one hand I like it, on the other hand it drives me crazy to see how stuborn you are. The donkey of my grandfather is nothing aganst you!

However, you write:
'PS
Read the other thread regarding the E-grade where actually one of the
guys who have been criticising me, now have understood my point, and do
agree with my opinion.
'

And yes, I must say this is indeed a very strong argument to support your point in this thread. It also includes a lot of mathematical knowledge and is very onvincing to belive you. Is this a method you learned when doing your masters in statistics?

OffLine Graeme Alderson
  2009-06-05 15:29:02    
Jens - I'd say the only thing that you are proving is that NOT being called Anna, Akiyo, Kilian or Rustam is a disadvantage in Bouldering World Cups :-)

Gianluca - "
how much time between two climbers on the same problem, in finals?" Virtually no time at all, just enough time to brush the holds, so conditions are unlikely to change.

"one solution, you
make all climbers do their round on problem A, then the group moves to
problem B, etc" This was adopted about 3 or 4 years ago.

"And, for each problem you change the starting order.
?" Climbing last has advantages, despite what Jens tries to say, so is the reward for finishing first in the semi final
OffLine gianluca
  2009-06-05 16:23:29    
@graeme.

my guess on conditions was that if you come right after a sweaty and messy competitor who managed to heat up and grease some important hold, you are disadvantaged even if judges brush as well as they can.

In outdoor bouldering, on some boulders, it is important, expecially when you suck too much for the thing you are trying and consequently need perfection to succeed.
There is this boulder in bleau that involves a complex move holding this slopey pinch for a very long time (the other hand slaps higher and higher).
It is extremely conditions-dependent.
Me and a friend try it every time we are there...we both had a few "almost done" tries and worse ones...
We find that after 3-4 tries, that particular hold needs at least 2 or 3 minutes to get back to optimal conditions. If not, you really need another level (of course strong climbers climb it casually in bad conditions)
And this is not due to muscular recuperation : if i rest 10 minutes, and i try just after my friend finished a run of close attempts, i know i am not going high.

now, imagine someone cloned that slopey pinch, the move, and put it in a competition between me and my friend.I climb first, and i am really really sweaty you know. I really trash holds. I make repeated tries, failing, and manage to make the pinch something warm and moist, almost alive.
He climbs right after me, with not much time for the ugly pinch to cool off. Still sure it would be an advantage, even with the best possible brushing?

:D
OffLine Rune Krogager Ritz
  2009-06-06 22:07:17    
Here's an idea , Jens:

Extract data from qualification and semi-final (make sure all climbers have climbed the same blocs in qual). That will give you data sets of 10 or 20 participants. Calculate frequency distributions (ranking after qualification and probability of placing 1st in the semi-final) in subsets of six participants (#1-#6, #2-#7 etc.). See if there is a consistant scaling btwn '#1' and '#6'.(If not choose the mean of a few sets from the the upper end of the qualification ranking.) The starting order should not influence these results.

This frequency distribution can then be compared to those frequencies you have already found. They should scale similarly, otherwise something peculiar (and perhaps undesirable) is at play in the WC finals.


OffLine Herman
  2009-06-07 09:34:32    
Oh Oh, It seems that Jens Was right after all.

Alex Puccio was 6th after the semi final and WON the final in VAIL.
The fact that Anna stohr dropped from 1st to 4th clearly strengthens this argument.

It is clear that this single instance is statistically relevant AND proves Causality.

The fact that that Number 2 from the sem'is is 2 in the final, and the same for numbers 3 does not matter.
The fact that maybe Alex was super motivated to win her home world cup doesn't matter either.

OffLine Jens Larssen
  2009-06-07 10:18:14    

If you check the result in the semifinal during 2007 - 2009, based on the starting order from the qualification, it only confirms what 8a has been saying since 2007.

In 2007, the ones with best results started first in the semifinal and in 6 out of 16 cases they won the semi. Since 2008, the ones with best result start last and over 24 cases only two who won the qualification also won the semi.

The reasons are that the friction of the holds get worse of humidity, chalk and skin. Further more, the mental pressure is enormous, as you have to listen to the others doing the problems. Then it is easy to get negative feedback if you miss your first try. 

OffLine Graeme Alderson
  2009-06-07 12:49:46    
"The fact that that Number 2 from the sem'is is 2 in the final, and the same for numbers 3 does not matter.
The fact that maybe Alex was super motivated to win her home world cup doesn't matter either."

The fact that Dave Barrans was injured after the Vienna semi final (see here) also does not matter.
The fact that the 2 Alex's did not have to travel from Europe after competing last weekend also does not matter.
The fact that Vail is at altitude and Alex Puccio lives at altitude also does not matter.
OffLine Jens Larssen
  2009-06-07 12:56:50    
Please Graeme, if you study the big picture included the result from the qualification, it seems very strange if you do not understand. It is a big disadvantage to be last out in the finals.
OffLine p3
  2009-06-07 13:03:30    
That's better Jens, comparing the two formats directly makes a much stronger point!

If you'd present proper data from the beginning we wouldn't have to spend so much time arguing against you :). But then again by doing this you'd probably loose some traffic on you site...

You probaly are right about the causes in many cases but it wouldn't hurt to use tha frase: "most likely" a bit more often, when you don't have a porperly designed test and a P value (although the discussions would become more dull :).
OffLine Graeme Alderson
  2009-06-07 13:28:41    
Jens - the members of the IFSC Athletes Commission and other competitors are not normally shy about telling me their views on formats and rules yet they have been strangely quiet on this issue. I wonder why.
OffLine Tim Hatch
  2009-06-08 17:04:15    
@Herman. No proof of causality is evident.
@Jens. You have an interesting point in relation to the results after Qualification and those after the Semi-Final. This bears looking at, though I will need to examine the data and is a different point to the issue of the relationship between Final and Semi-Final results.
The #1 ranked semi-finalist has always started last in the final.

More generally. (1) I have seen much comment on the IFSC results but none relating to other competitions. For me this is important, because it pertains as to whether any issue is tied to the specific format of the final. Though Jens assertion in relation to the semi-final suggests a more general bias. (2) Michele (Caminati) made the point most pertinent to causality of any that I have seen - with both semi-final and final decided on 4 blocs, it only takes one mistake to drop 1/2 places
OffLine Jens Larssen
  2009-06-08 18:40:58    

Maybe it is about time to state what kind of final result would show no disadvantage. Here is what I suggest, based on percentage.


The winner of the semifinal should in 40 % of the cases win the final and furher more. #2 in 25 %, #3 in 15 %, #4 in 10 %, #5 in 6 % and #6 in 4 %.

Any distribution with higher percentage for #2 - #6 would suggest a disadvantage. We are discussing whether it is a big disadvantage or not starting last out in the finals.

OffLine Tim Hatch
  2009-06-08 19:40:20    
@Jens - Can you indicate your assumptions?
It looks as though the core assumption is that the climber placed first after the semi-final is intrinsically the best climber and that therefore they should have the greatest likelihood of being the winner of the final.
OffLine Herman
  2009-06-08 21:53:47    

@ Tim. Either you missed my sarcasm or I am missing something here. But we'll discuss it Thursday.


@Jens, Good to hear that you have a masters in statistics. About time you put that knowledge to use and write an convincing article by showing with statistics that you are right.

But as it stands, i am not convinced

OffLine Graeme Alderson
  2009-06-09 20:36:18    
"The
winner of the semifinal should in 40 % of the cases win the final and
furher more. #2 in 25 %, #3 in 15 %, #4 in 10 %, #5 in 6 % and #6 in 4
%."

Why?
OffLine Jens Larssen
  2009-06-09 21:35:16    
Take any sport and you will see that the winner of the semi, most likely will win the final. If this is not the case, and allhave almost the same chance of winning,  like in Boulder WC, it can be stated that the format effects the result for the semi winner negatively.

It is the same as to use the World Cup ranking. The leader, Akiyo Noguchi, should have greater chances of winning than the rest, according to betting company.

You can argue that my 40 % for the first position is to low or to high, but it must be a big difference between the #6 and the #1 in the semi. 
OffLine Rune Krogager Ritz
  2009-06-09 23:05:15    
how about a few percent?
OffLine Graeme Alderson
  2009-06-09 23:12:02    
"Take any sport and you will see that the winner of the semi, most likely will win the final."

Which sports?
OffLine Jens Larssen
  2009-06-09 23:46:02    
Lead climbing, Gymnastics, 100 - 400 meters, Swimming, Canoing etc

In some of the sports you can be tactical, like 10 000 meters running, as you know what is needed to qualify. But a semifinal in bouldering will tell you who is the best in the semifinal as you can not be tactical.
OffLine Graeme Alderson
  2009-06-10 00:07:39    
Ah you mean like Asafa Powell, winner of semi final 2 in the men's 100m Beijing or do you mean like Usain Bolt, winner of semi final 1 in Beijing. So eliminate all sports with more than one semi final as both semi finalists can't win

So next question. Which sports where the actual course changes completely between rounds?

And don't say lead climbing because as you well know there are often multiple ties after the 1/4 and 1/2 final so the majority of winning semi finalists can't win as 'there can be only one'
OffLine Jens Larssen
  2009-06-10 10:31:10    
We are discussing the disadvantage of starting last in the final or the semifinal and I try to give examples. Similar to running there are two qualifications in Boulder World Cup, and of course we can analyse the result of the two qualification winners as we can of the final result of Powell and Bolt. The winners of the100 meter semifinal always get tothepodium, meanwhile thewinners at the Boulder qualifications end at position 10th in semifinal.

Let us discuss how we can change the format in order to reduce the disadvantage. 
OffLine louis de cornulier
  2009-06-10 11:44:46    
Jens

what if it is your fundamental assumption that is wrong?
You declare as a universal truth that the climber who performed best in the semi is the absolute best climber.
If that assumption is wrong, then it's perfectly normal if the semifinal leader doesn't win the final most of the time...

The style of the boulder problems in the finals being different from the ones in the semi and less fitting the ability of the semifinals leader, can greatly modify the ranking...

Just as a 2-cent example, I was at a boulder comp last saturday. The male winner started first in the finals; the female winner started... last. And she had maximum pressure and all, having heard all the progress made by the 5 other finalists just behind her back...

Focusing only on the average final ranking of the semifinals winner tells us nothing. Give us the average final ranking for every other starting rank in the finals and maybe we'll get to something!

I am not hostile to your theory Jens, it's just that at the moment, there is just not enough facts to back it up!
OffLine p3
  2009-06-10 15:11:47    
There is also the "precationary principle".

Obviously before the format was changed 37% (n=16) of the times the winner of the semi also won the finals while only 8% (n=24) have won when the winner starts last.

Most likely this would not be statistically significant (would someone come up with a test that could actually be used here; I run fisher’s exact test with similar numbers [1 and 16 vs. 6 and 16] and I came up with one-tailed P=0.09).

But what Jens is trying to tell us is that (as it is now) everyone competes on equal terms (with respect to mental pressure and all) in the semis. He further implies that since it is difficult to be tactical, due to the fact that you cannot know exactly how good your competitors have performed, everyone are inclined to do their very best. Therefore the winner of the semis is likely to give a fair indication of who actually is the best (at that moment at least). However, according to Jens, in the semis the competitors are not competing on fair terms (with respect to grip of the holds, mental preassure etc.) as the winner of the semi starts last and will therefore suffer a disadvantage compared to the others.

Now back to the precationary principle: instad of wating for the numbers to be statistically significant or actually designing a test (which is not practially managable) why not take the numbers Jens is presenting as an indication that something is wrong and ask the question; should it be like this or can we do even better???

So what is the alternative? For the sake of excitement for the public I'm guessing everyone would still vote for the winner of the semis to compete last. What about changing the format in the finals to flash instead (as Jens has suggested many times). This would mean (I suggest): 1) that the last person entering the finals would suffer a great disadvantage in the finals. 2) the winner would get the best advantage since he gets most information of all the competitors. 3) this would mean that the semis would become more important and everyone would really try to do their best to get a good position in the finals.

Are these three things desirable and would this make competitions potentially more fair (compared to the current format)? Here, instead of having a negative relation between position in semi vs advantage in final (which may could be real, but we don’t have time to wait for the numbers!) we would give the winner the advantage instead, without loosing the excitement of seeing the winner competing last. For me this sounds more fair. Do we want competitions to be fair? Jens believes this and so do I!.

What would the downsides of this flash format in the finals be (in relation to the current format)? And what keeps us from changing the format? Laziness? I would really like to hear the arguments for this!

/Petri
OffLine louis de cornulier
  2009-06-10 15:34:10    

As for changing the competition format and having flash finals instead of onsight, I am very strongly against.


Why? Because climbing is not only about strength, but also about intelligence. Reading a boulder problem or a route is sometimes the key to onsight success, rather than superior power.


Therefore, I believe all finalists should be faced with a similar challenge.


As for the order in which they try the problem, I can understand how it puts more pressure on the last climber. Therefore, why not change the order of passage and have a pure random order rather than systematically have the semifinal leader going last?


However, I also believe that having the supposed best climber last is great for the show, since they are likely to go further on the boulder problem than the others. And I also believe that any competitor worthy of that name is strong enough mentally to ignore the pressure Jens is pointing out as the main cause for their seemingly unevitable failure in the finals after dominating the semifinals.

OffLine p3
  2009-06-10 15:56:39    
Fair enough!

Then I think this argument boils down to different beliefs and perhaps not so much facts – which we don’t have. Argumenting about beliefs tends to be less constructive…

But as I mentioned, having flash in finals would put more pressure on the semis which everyone climbs onsight. Being able to read problems would therefore still be a very a important and determining feature of the competitions. Nevertheless I agree, having onsight in the finals would of course be desirable.

/Petri
OffLine louis de cornulier
  2009-06-10 16:47:28    

I see where you are trying to get, but I can't follow you there :-)


Onsight semifinals allowing the semfinal leader to flash the finals after watching the 5 or more other finalists prior to his attempt is too much of an advantage in climbing. We're not talking about being on the first line like in a F1 race.


With your system, I'm afraid the semifinals would become the actual final round.


And suppose that despite the disadvantage of starting first in flash finals, the first to go tops out every problem, and so have one or more of the other finalists who have all reaped the benefits of watching his failed and successful attempts. You can't have ex aequo, so how do you rank them, since they have not climbed in the same conditions?

Also, the first to go is more likely to make more tries on each boulder, so he might be more tired than the others on the last problem(s). And that  would also be a problem if a superfinal was required like in lead competition.

I definitely think that onsight finals is the only way to make all climbers equal.
In some junior lead competition though, there is a demo of the route prior to the finals. Why not, at least all competitors would have an equal advantage.
On the other hand, watching the climbers fall after seeing another guy sending the problem with relative ease might be puzzling for the spectators.

OffLine Jens Larssen
  2009-06-10 17:21:11    

@ Luis & p3: What can of distribution for the semifinal winner would you consider normal, i.e. no disadvantage or advantage of starting last.


I try to exemplify with numbers all the time but Louis just keep saying I am wrong. I mean, you can not consider 16 % each for the position from 1 - 6 as normal? Give me some numbers and do not just complain. What kind of figurs do you need to be convinced? Give examples?

OffLine Denis Mimeault
  2009-06-10 19:27:37    
If Jens is right, (and i still doubt), it could be a disavantage to start last in the final. I think what is happening between qualification and final is that it is two format different to rank the comprtitors. The qualif is random and the finals is ordered. Whitch means that some competitor during the finals don't deal with the pressure (climbing last by example). This small difference between the format of the qual and the final could probably explain what is happening.

It could be interesting to see if there is competitor who can win the qualification and still deal with the pressure during the final and win too. For me those are the best and they exist.

For the flash format....it's just not working at all. Good explanations by Louis d c.

So, it could be a disavantage to start last in final, but it is a disavantage for competitors who can't deal with the pressure of starting last and this is their problems.

If they can't deal with it, they are not the best.

To avoid this, we can just do a qualification and that will be the ranking.

(sorry for my bad english)
OffLine Jens Larssen
  2009-06-11 10:16:51    
This is a picture from the Natalijagros.sl blog.
I think this is the normal preperation for a boulder. To the right the #6th placed in the semi and winner of the final.

She will try each boulder first and the other will listen to her result and then it is the second person to climb and the others will listen again.

In the semifinal, there is action on the six problems simultanously. I would like to ask Graeme, is there any rule for looking at the others during the semifinal?
OffLine Rune Krogager Ritz
  2009-06-11 10:46:32    
Alex and Alex is obviously conspiring in that pic!
OffLine louis de cornulier
  2009-06-11 11:02:09    

Jens,


I never said: you are wrong.


I said: statistics only about the semifinal leader give no information. You say the semi final winner ends 2.8 on average. OK.


What I want is to know the average final rank for the other finalists! Only a comparison of such figures can show a statistical abnormality.

Last question: if the last to climb suffers from a higher pressure which harms his results, how about the first to climb? Does the first to climb in the finals ends up a a significantly higher rank than the others?

Once more, I like your theory... Just waiting for more facts!

OffLine Jens Larssen
  2009-06-11 11:30:46    
@ Rune: I do think they can co-operate before they have climbed but it should not be allowed to discuss with the ones that have climbed.

However, from what i have understood, they are allowed to know the result from the others if somebody informs them. Overall, I do think there are a lot of communication errors and I have heard about coaches giving tips on their local language.

I do think that a flash would be much more fun and there would not be anyway you could cheat as it is now.

@ Louis: I am sure the sixth person in the semifinal will have a worse score than 2.8. It is natural that the person with the worst result in the semi, would be last in the final. If it is not, there is, comparatively, a big advantage of being sixth.
OffLine Wigar'n
  2009-06-11 11:45:22    
Clean(or even exchange...)the f-ing holds, crank up the music in isolation - preferably Pearl Jam - to not let audience reactions through, and watch all the happy contestants pull down as hard as humanly possible! Call a winner if you have to...
OffLine Jens Larssen
  2009-06-11 12:59:04    
We will soon publish an interview with the winner of the last World Cup in Vail, Alex Puccio who started first out in the final.

She confirms what 8a have been saying for a long time regarding starting last out in the final.

"Trying not to think about how the other girls before you did," is the biggest mental challenge for a competition climber, she said to Climbing, in an interview in their latest magazine.

When she won, she did not have to think about that since she started first!

Voila, I think Graeme and the others of IFSC should start to think about changing the format. :-)
OffLine Graeme Alderson
  2009-06-11 15:35:33    
I will soon publish the transcript of a conversation I recently had with Dave Barrans, winner of the semi final in Vienna but last in the final.

Actually I might as well publish it now as it was not very long

Me: Dave, what do you think of Jens assertion that starting first in the final is a big disadvantage?

Dave: Its a load of bollocks.

Voila, I think and 8a.nu should start to think about changing the record. :-)
OffLine louis de cornulier
  2009-06-11 15:37:14    












































































































































































































































































 Semifinal ranking 
 123456  
Final ranking352461MKAZO 2009
435216FKAZO 2009
514632MHALL 2009
5474,511FHALL 2009
615234MWIEN 2009
341526FWIEN 2009
452136MVAIL 2009
423561FVAIL 2009
214563MMOSCOW 2008
614225FMOSCOW 2008
142536MPARIS 2008
621534FPARIS 2008
253461MMONTAUBAN 2008
352146FMONTAUBAN 2008
123564MFIRMA DI PRIMIERO 2008
342165FFIRMA DI PRIMIERO 2008
126345MVAIL 2008
362145FVAIL 2008
431265MGRINDELWALD 2008
346215FGRINDELWALD 2008
 214653MREUNION 2008
 423651FREUNION 2008
 564123MHALL 2008
 124356FHALL 2008
average final ranking3,383,133,333,403,883,92 
average final ranking M3,063,253,313,384,313,69
average final ranking F3,563,193,443,093,564,19


Out of this figures, I find it difficult to say that winning the semifinals and therefore starting last in the final is a definitive disadvantage. All these guys are almost as strong as the other, so starting first or second (and then not suffering from the pressure from hearing the other climber's success beforehand) should be a significant advantage, which is definitely not, according to these figures.

Keep in mind that the one who qualified first can only do worse if not equally well, so it's normal that the average final ranking for the first is not closer to 1. Same goes for the one who qualified 6th, they can only do better or equally well...

Figures haven't convinced me. Maybe several testimonies from competition climbers will. But I will take into consideration their experience. I believe someone who has been competing at the highest level for 3 years or more is less likely to suffer from that pressure than someone like Alex Puccio who is barely 20, and new to the senior competition.

OffLine Jens Larssen
  2009-06-11 15:58:02    

Wow! The analyses done by Louis are more convincing than I thought. On an average, the climber who won the semifinal will end up at fourth position in the final.

If they would have the same starting order as their ranking we would have seen other results. This have been confirmed from the semifinal results in 2007, where the #1 in the qually also started first with very good result, winning some 38 % of the semifinals. In 2008, they changed the rules and since then only 8 % of the semifinal winners have won.

@ Graeme: The fact that Dave won the semifinal and than was last in the semifinal is just another confirmation of the big disadvantage.


Personally I vote for flash where the finalists can change the starting order over the six problems and for the last problem, the winner of the semifinal will start last.

OffLine Graeme Alderson
  2009-06-11 19:40:29    
Jens - it does not prove anything apart from the Dave disagrees with your theory. He says starting last was not a disadvantage, being injured was the disadvantage. You gave an example of a climber who agreed with you (and Alex was presumably very nervous in her 1st ever WC and her home WC) and I gave you an example of an experienced competitor (it was Dave's 1st WC final but he has been in a good few semi's) who disagrees with your theory.

Denis has got it right. Some climbers might suffer from the nerves caused by knowing what they have to do but this means they are a worse competiton climber than someone who doesn't suffer from the same nerves. In fact some climbers might benefit from knowing what they have to do.



So your new system is that Climber 1 starts 1st on P1, C2 first on P2 etc and all climbers can watch each. Am I right?

Well this system DOES NOT WORK. It was tried at the British Bouldering Championships in 1998. The flaw in the system is that you must have the exact same number of climbers as problems otherwise not every climber goes first on a problem. Currently we have 6 climbers but only 4 problems so there is an obvious issue. So ok knock down the number of climbers or have 6 problems. Fine (but remember that you have advocated shorter finals with a max of 90 mins so you can't expand the number of problems) but what happens when you get ties for last qualifying place, you can't suddenly increase the problems and you can't suddenly knock down the number of climbers because worst case is 9 climbers are tied in 1st.

Or what happens when someone who has qualified is injured and can't climb. You can't promote someone from 7th place because then the injured climber is demoted to 7th when they should be 6th.

This last sceanario was what happened at the 1998 British competition and it was then that we realised that the round robin system was WRONG.

Your statistical analysis, or Louis' analysis, does not prove causality. It only demonstrates that the winner of the semi final only wins x% of the time. The cause of success or failure are much more complex.

And one final thing. Canoeing (at least the slalom in the Olympics in 2008) uses combined times from the semi and the final so of course the winner of the semi has a big advantage. So you can't use that as example when comparing it with a system where the results from the semi are not combined with the result of the final (except as a tie breaker). And don't even go down the route of combing the results from the semi (and qualifier?) with the results of the final because you could get the situation where a climber has T9B9 from the semi and qualifier and the next best has T5B6 meaning that the first climber has already won before the final starts.
OffLine gianluca
  2009-06-11 20:28:29    
@graeme

as for flash competitions formats. not necessairily for serious competitions.

what about

climbers rotating at every attempt (c1 misses his flash attempt, goes to the end of the queue and c2 makes his/her flash attempt, etc..)
AND
a fixed number of attempts (say 10 attempts. attempt starts when you leave the ground and finishes when you touch it again. Attempt+brushing+observation can't last more than a given time)
AND
Flashing does not matter, but there can be other kind of bonuses (eg if you are the only one to top out a given problem)

I repeat, not necessairily "serious", but to me it looks cool. It somehow imitates what happens when you are outdoor bouldering with a group of really competitive maniacs :)


edit: if you want to sell it as "serious"...well...isn't it the way they compete in athletics (throws, jumps, etc..) ?

It would also introduce interesting psychological elements, because competitors could then appreciate other's body language, power screaming, etc..
OffLine Jens Larssen
  2009-06-11 21:36:02    
@ Graeme: Everything is explained in the new article :-)
OffLine Graeme Alderson
  2009-06-12 01:38:41    
No Jens, nothing is explained in the new article :-)
OffLine louis de cornulier
  2009-06-12 10:17:11    

@Jens


Where the hell do you see the semifinal leader ends up in fourth position??


For someone with a master degree in statistics, you seem to handle numbers very casually.3.40 = 4 in your world?


I have no problem with round numbers, but at least do it properly and make it 3, not 4!!


And I agree with Graeme. My analysis doesn't prove causality. No significant difference shows off, and most of all, the cause factor has not been isolated...

OffLine Jens Larssen
  2009-06-12 10:50:51    
@ Louis: I have said that the winners of the semifinal in Vail did end at fourth position, nothing else.
OffLine louis de cornulier
  2009-06-12 11:46:20    

Jens. you didn't just say "that the winners of the semifinal in Vail did end at fourth position, nothing else".

You said: "Wow! The analyses done by Louis are more convincing than I thought. On an average, the climber who won the semifinal will end up at fourth position in the final."

I'm pleased you like my analysis, but I beg you not to bend figures to your will.

Rather than focusing on the comparison between average ranking in semi and final (if the 6 climbers are about as strong, you won't be able to detect a significant difference), you should show the changing of competition format affected the average ranking in the finals...

So far you have been comparing a difference qually/semi to a difference semi/final. Comapring the same things might be somehow more relevant, don't you think?

OffLine Graeme Alderson
  2009-06-12 11:56:54    
Louis - I don't think Jens has rounded 3.4 to 4. 3.4 is the raw score, 4th is the rank






























Raw score 3.4 3.2 3.25 3.28 3.8 4.05







Rank 4 1 2 3 5 6

But that doesn't change my opinion that Jens is barking up the wrong tree.

Interestingly if you take Vienna Males out of the table (because Dave Barrans was injured so his starting position is irrelevant) this mini table changes to






























Raw
score 
3.26 3.32 3.16 3.34 3.84 4.05







Rank 2 3 1 4 5 6

Which I think further weakens Jens' argument as 4th suddenly becomes 2nd.

Just goes to show that you can demonstrate (but not prove) anything you want if you choose the right set of stats :-)
OffLine Jens Larssen
  2009-06-12 12:05:47    

@ Graeme. thanks for covering up on the critics Louis gave me :-)


It is totally nonsense to say that I know one guy who was injured and therefore we have to change the statistics. Based on one full year, you will have as many guys being injured placed from 1 - 6.

Barans did the last problem in the semifinal, first go. Did he injured himself going to the toilett in between the semifinal and the final. ;-) Anyhow it is nonsens to base statistics on one person saying he was injured. I know for a fact the same story with Angelica Lind, which improves my stats...but i did not use it to prove my case.

OffLine Graeme Alderson
  2009-06-12 12:20:13    
Dave had injured his shoulder meaning certain moves were harder for him to do. Do you know the exact moves of all the problems and how an injured shoulder might affect someone's performance on the problems. No, of course not.

It is a total nonsense to say that final ranking for all winners of the semi final is determined by how well you cope with pressure.

BTW it Barrans, not Garrans or Barans :-)
OffLine Jens Larssen
  2009-06-12 12:41:22    

I agree that, "It is a total nonsense to say that final ranking for all winners of the semi final is determined by how well you cope with pressure."

How did you come up with that?

I have said that the results show that there is a big disadvantage to start last out in the final. I am convinced that the result would have been much more in favour of the winners from the semifinal if they would have started first in the final.

The result from the semifinal in 2007, clearly indicates this...and then you reversed the starting order.

It is of no interest to hear that Barrans had hard time to do certain moves.

OffLine louis de cornulier
  2009-06-12 14:36:02    
Jens
you say: "I agree that, "It is a total nonsense to say that final ranking for all winners of the semi final is determined by how well you cope with pressure.""

Yet, have you not written the following sentence (which is the starting point of this passionate debate, by the way...:

"8a has since the Boulder World Champion in 2007, where the superior semifinal winner ended 6th and last in the final, speculated about a possible disadvantage of starting last in the finals. (It is a hard pressure listening and understanding that the other top-outs)"

You also wrote:

"I like your theory and it could marginally explain the disadvantage of being last out in the semifinal. However, I do think that the mental pressure is of a greater importance."

And also:

"We will soon publish an interview with the winner of the last World Cup in Vail, Alex Puccio who started first out in the final. She confirms what 8a have been saying for a long time regarding starting last out in the final.
"Trying not to think about how the other girls before you did," is the biggest mental challenge for a competition climber, she said to Climbing, in an interview in their latest magazine.
When she won, she did not have to think about that since she started first!"


Considering this, I am a little puzzled when you say now that "It is a total nonsense to say that final ranking for all winners of the semi final is determined by how well you cope with pressure."

Which side are you on???
OffLine Jens Larssen
  2009-06-12 15:08:32    
The ranking is not determined by how they cope with pressure but the pressure seems to be giving a disadvantage in the same way as the condition of the holds get worse.

I have only been talking about the "possible" disadvantage. I explain the disadvantage by refeering to pressure etc.

And now you and Graeme say that I have been talking about determination.
OffLine Graeme Alderson
  2009-06-12 23:30:18    
And can I ask everyone that is responding to these multiple threads
about the same thing to please, please, please only use this thread as
it is getting hard to keep track of what is being said!!



Jens, no more new threads please on this subject (or subjects), no matter what happens in Eindhoven.



Thanks

Graeme
OffLine TJ
  2009-06-14 17:34:09    


I posted part of
this in the 'WC results up-side down' thread. Maybe it is better placed here.




@ Jens



Generally I think it is good to raise the question
how to make climbing comps more attractive for the audience. However, I find
the way that you do this rather a little bit hilarious. Congrats to your
masters degree.
Such a
degree neither does tell anything about your intelligence nor makes it your
statement truer. Thus, it is completely irrelevant in this discussion. In fact,
I think it is funny that you then come up with nothing more than calculated
averages. This has nothing to do with statistics at all and certainly does not
allow any conclusion.




A competition can be seen as a measurement of the
performance of the individual athletes. Each measurement has an uncertainty (i.e.
precision) which can be evaluated by the standard deviation (sigma). In a competition,
this uncertainty is dependent on various factors such as the performance of the
day, metal strength, conditions (e.g. slippery holds, cheering of the public
etc. etc...find more of these factors in various posts before. Mental strength
and peak performance for example is an
important factor and individual for each athlete. Especially in BOULDERING this will
have a very strong influence (few very hard moves at the very limit possible
even for these guys), less in routs climbing (more moves which are not at the
very limit...still way too hard for me though..) and even less in a 100m race
(see post just above) where conditions are more or less the same all the time
(make it a 100 m race through a labyrinth and you will find that the fastest
guy will not win each time...).
In addition, every single one of the
participating athletes is damn strong and once in a while one of them has an
exploit allowing him to climb a little above his average performance (maybe and
luckily for him this is in a final). In climbing this can make the difference
(maybe the strongest athlete was also just not that good that very moment)
BESIDES the other factors mentioned before which might not have to do with
performance (e.g. injury....ok, indirectly this one does :-) ).


Would
you say there is something wrong with the format of the first half in football
(soccer) based on the fact that often the team leading after the first half
does not win in the end? Certainly not.


A better example is maybe skiing (another more
complex discipline with many unknowns/factors affecting the final result).
There too, the athlete winning the fist run does not win in the end, even so he
has an advantage as he takes the time he was ahead in the first run to the
second. Here, having 2 measurements (measurement = competition; n=2) one can
decrease the influence of the unknowns (in skiing this could be e.g. weather/snow
conditions) --> Find more about that below.


However, even in that case, the daily performance (and the performance per run) still plays an important role as
this can not be influenced this way, you will need several competitions over
the season to fin the best. Anyhow, obviously this is a different approach
since it is a combined ranking based on 2 runs and not a semi-final/final
competition format. Problems occurring from this approach in a bouldering comp
were pointed out by someone else above.   




Did you ever think about the reason
why the champion is found by the end of the season based on the results he
achieved in several independent competitions over the year? This might have a
reason or what do you think?




The answer is, yes it does. And surprise, it has to
do with statistics a lot:


The precision of a measurement
increases with the number of how many times (n) the measurement is repeated (n
= the number of comps over the year)
by 1/squareroot of n. This has the effect that you
decreases the uncertainties (in this case the various factors mentioned above)
and allows to be more certain to have really found the strongest guy by the end
of the season (the champion).


 


Where I am going with this?



Statistically
this is a very simple problem. The question is does the statistical result
allow a concussion? Which by the way is kind of an important part of
statistical analysis as you should know...




1)
Take the numbers Louis presented in his table above and calculate the standard
deviation (1 sigma). You get this:



















3.40±1.60



3.20±1.61



3.25±1.80



3.21±1.75



3.80±1.88



4.05±1.88




 -->
You see that the numbers are not significantly different from each other (this
would be the case when the 2 sigma ranges of two numbers are different from
each other. For example the 2 sigma range here for 3.40±1.60 would be 6.6-0.2
which is not significantly different from the value 2: 3.20±1.61 with a 2 sigma
range of  6.41-(-0.02). The two ranges overlap.)



2) Point 1 shows you that these numbers are just random. They do not tell you
shit and there is now way you can draw any conclusion from that --> instead
it should make you think that maybe your approach is wrong.



3) a different approach makes much more sense since there are so many factors
to consider, one of them being the fact that individuals are competing and each
of them has its own strength (e.g. mental etc...). In the approach of Loius you
do not distinguish between them. To consider that your approach has to be based
on individuals. Therefore do the same again but this time calculate an average
over all competitions for each athlete (maybe just take the top 10). Then see
point 4 on how to interpret the results.

Find the table at the bottom of the post (I used random numbers)


4)  Now you will have more profound numbers to discuss. If in the
table under point 3 the average ± 2 sigma for final and semi-final over the entire
season turns out to be significantly different from each other for more than
50% of the athletes, then your statement (disadvantage bla bla bla) is in fact
maybe right. But even then, I think it is more likely that they might just tell
something about the tactics of the various athletes. In any case, these results
will be much more interesting since they at least tell you something and are
not just random bullshit.



Cheers,

Theo

PS.
there might be mistakes and unlike Jens, I will admit so...
OffLine Stanley Yeo
  2009-06-15 06:06:36    

Winning the semis only gives the leader a higher probability of winning the finals and this higher probability is not a certainty.


 


Based on Jen’s statistics, I could say that Akiyo and Anna will have a higher probability of winning a boulder WC regardless of their semis results/starting order in the finals.

OffLine John Meget
  2009-06-15 08:34:45    
Jens, the 2009 WC Boulder champions won last week.  Doesn't this suggest the best climbers came on top, regardless of their start order? 
OffLine Jens Larssen
  2009-06-15 08:51:06    

@ John: The result of Akiyo suggest that she only climb at her best when she starts in the beginning. When she starts last her result is always worse.

@ Stanley: I also think that winning the semi should give a higher probability to win the final, but this is not the case.

OffLine TJ
  2009-06-15 11:14:14    
Now I to some extent agree with you Jens.

Winning the semi does not give higher probability to win the final. In fact the statistics show that everyone of the semi finalists making it in the final has exactly the same chance to win (in contradiction to your statement not up-side down but the SAME).
--> This is what I call a fair competition and I do not see what is wrong with that (and I think it is nice that you actually can show that with the statistics --> in that sense the current format seems to be very good since it is fair). 

Just to repeat again: A semi-final and a final are two different things. Why the hell should there be a connection between them unless you somehow combine the results (but then you can not call it semi and final anymore). I really do not see your point. You seem to completely missunderstand the concept of semi-finals and finals. Maybe you just do not like that. Fair enough but then do not try to critisize it by wrong facts such as your poor statistics. 

Besides, if Akiyo is 6th in the semi, then maybe she is more focused/motivated in the final. She knows she has nothing to loose. I think this is a very reasonable explanation why she is better if starting in the beginning. Do the statistics as I suggested above for each athlete and you will learn something about their performance under pressure.

Above, I showed you that statistically your assumption/statement is false. Can you comment on that? If you want to make a point, then you need some solid arguments. Otherwise this is just bullshitting... 

PS. I made a mistake in my post above. The mean of the mean is of course a more solid value with a smaller uncertainty (smaller std.dev.) The numbers under point 1 should be (divide the std.dev. by squareroot of n, in this case 20).
3.40+/-0.36; 3.20+/-0.36; 3.25+/-0.40; 3.21+/-0.39; 3.80+/-0.42; 4.05+/-0.42
  
OffLine Jens Larssen
  2009-06-15 11:53:43    

I am glad to see that you have started to agree on my thoughts.

The last WC clearly confirms my thought of the disadvantage of startling last out in the final.

I have only said that there should be a correlation between the result in the semi and the final. Statistics show that there is no correlation. If the starting order would have been changed, we would have got different results in the final.  

OffLine louis de cornulier
  2009-06-15 15:57:39    

Jens,


I have added two more sets of results to my chart. Go and look for yourself... The average final result, based on the semifinal ranking, comes as follow: 3-1-2-4-5-6.


That MIGHT indicate that starting last is a bit of a disadvantage, but if you look at the male or female result seperately, this is not true anymore: Male semifinal leader is clearly the average final winner, whereas the female isn't.

Last point: you have been talking a lot about upside down results... Yet the semifinalist qualified 5th and 6th are consistently ending up 5th and 6th. Not very surprising after all, isn't it?


Last question: what is the first competition when the new format was implemented? If I have it, I would be able to make a statistics based on larger number of results and therefore more likely to be statistically relevant...

OffLine TJ
  2009-06-15 16:28:58    
@ Jens
>> I am glad to see that you have started to agree on my thoughts.

What are you talking about? Are you that dislectic that you are not able to read properly?

The only thing I agree with you is that winning the semi final does not increase your chances to win the final. All the rest of the crap you are talking about like disadvantage,
up-side down results your poor statistics etc. etc. is just wrong and missleading and I
100% do not agree with you!

 I ask you again, why the hell should there be a correlation between the semifinal and the final? This does not make any sense at all. If that would be the case, then one could just skip the final. Or why would you want to have a final then? That would be so boring.

>>The last WC clearly confirms my thought of the disadvantage of startling last out in the final.

Why do you say that again. No, it is obviously not the case.
If you look at Akiyos result only, then you can come to your conclusion. But you with your master thesis in statistics should know that this is not a valid view. Did you ever hear anything about significance in statistical analysis during your studies? I hope so because this is 1st year.

@ Louis

>>...That MIGHT indicate that starting last is a bit of a disadvantage, ....

No, it does not even indicate that. Not even this is significant.

Jens:
The statistics show that each of the 6 finalists have exactly the same chance to win the final. Thus, the way the comp is done is absolutely correct in terms of fairness (same chance for everyone). 
-->
No up-side down results, no disadvantage for the winner of the
semi-final. Statistics do prove your theory wrong.

OffLine Jens Larssen
  2009-06-15 16:52:36    
@ TJ: I have only been talking about "winning the semi final does not increase your chances to win the final" as it is a disadvantage starting last.

Up-side results happends from time to time and then we report this.

For me this is shown as "each of the 6 finalists have exactely the same chance to win the final". For me this is unfair and shows the disadvantage. If we have used a reversed starting order, we would have seen ther results.
OffLine Tim Hatch
  2009-06-15 18:21:48    
@Jens

Where did you get your Masters of Statistics - I have a few minutes to spare.

As for "For me this is shown as "each of the 6 finalists have exactely the same chance to win the final". For me this is unfair and shows the disadvantage." I am sure that we can change the rules so that we pick the winner before the competition starts based on their previous ranking. That would save all the hassle of creating boulders, having isolation etc and would obviously be fairer...
OffLine John Meget
  2009-06-15 18:41:47    
I'd like to hear what the top competitors -- who regularly make the finals in the WC events -- think about Jens' idea. 
OffLine TJ
  2009-06-15 20:31:11    
@ Jens

Try to think about Tim's post above. At least try it, maybe you get it.
 
>> .....If we have used a reversed starting order, we would have seen (o)ther results.

Here you go again. I am sorry to say but this gets close to complete stupidity. Don't you see it, there is absolutely no solid indication for that. This is what you want to believe nothing more. It is just your opinion. Either this exeeds your inteligence by far or you are just so damn stuborn and childish that you refuse to see the facts.

I spent way too much time on this. It was obviously uesless since you are not able to understand or willing to listen to other arguments. I am out of this...  


OffLine Jens Larssen
  2009-06-15 20:59:54    
If there is no correlation between the result in the semifinal and the final, I think, this indicates that the reversed starting order is not fair.

IFSC should change the rules in order to guarantee some kind of correlation between the semi and the final result.
OffLine Graeme Alderson
  2009-06-15 21:01:12    
Last
question: what is the first competition when the new format was
implemented? If I have it, I would be able to make a statistics based
on larger number of results and therefore more likely to be
statistically relevant...

Louis - by new format do you mean where all climbers climb P1 before moving on to P2. If so then it was one of the Birmingham BWC's, 2006 I think.

If you mean reverse starting order of the semi then it was Benasque BWC 1999 ie it's always been reverse order, even back to my Sheffield Open (FIBO as it was called) in 1994 and the Open des Ecrins whenever that started (very early 1990's I think). The last out has always known what has happened to other climbers although the change in 2006 (6 climbers in the final and all do P1 first) meant that the finalists knew exactly what everyone else was doing. Prior to that (12 climbers in the final and the Classic Format) meant that they knew when people were topping out (after all they were sat in front of the problems facing the audience) but maybe had less detailed info as many people would be climbing at once eg Mark Croxall at Birmingham 2005 knew that he had to get top everything but probably didin't know he had to beat T17 which is what I remember the 2nd place guy getting
OffLine Graeme Alderson
  2009-06-15 21:03:04    
Last
question: what is the first competition when the new format was
implemented? If I have it, I would be able to make a statistics based
on larger number of results and therefore more likely to be
statistically relevant...

Louis - by new format do you mean where all climbers climb P1 before moving on to P2. If so then it was one of the Birmingham BWC's, 2006 I think.

If you mean reverse starting order of the semi then it was Benasque BWC 1999 ie it's always been reverse order, even back to my Sheffield Open (FIBO as it was called) in 1994 and the Open des Ecrins whenever that started (very early 1990's I think). The last out has always known what has happened to other climbers although the change in 2006 (6 climbers in the final and all do P1 first) meant that the finalists knew exactly what everyone else was doing. Prior to that (12 climbers in the final and the Classic Format) meant that they knew when people were topping out (after all they were sat in front of the problems facing the audience) but maybe had less detailed info as many people would be climbing at once eg Mark Croxall at Birmingham 2005 knew that he had to get top everything but probably didin't know he had to beat 6T17 which is what I remember the 2nd place guy getting (mark got 6T16 I think and a big sloppy kiss from me).

Oh and BTW Jens Mark started last (ie qualified first from the semi) and won!!!
OffLine Jens Larssen
  2009-06-15 21:28:44    

In the World champion in 2007, the finalists competed at all five or six problems at the same time. Daniel Dulac was the superior winner of the semifinal but he was dead last in the final without doing any problem.

OffLine Graeme Alderson
  2009-06-15 21:45:43    
I can't be bothered with this anymore. The brick wall is starting to hurt my head.
OffLine Graeme Alderson
  2009-06-15 22:08:22    
Jens - is it any wonder that people sometimes call you things like "muppet" when you make posts like this "In the World champion in 2007, the finalists competed at all five or six problems at the same time."

You are wrong. Just plain WRONG!! The 2007 World Championships in Aviles used the everyone finishes P1 before anyone started P2, just like every BWC that year and since. FFS Jens. I was the judge who was coordinating when each climber was to go to the problems (and of course ensuring they didn't have a sneaky look at what was going on), I was less than a metre away from all of the finalists sitting on the chairs, all 6 of them in a nice neat little row. In the Classic format they sit on chairs in front of the next problem not all together. Get your bloody facts right
OffLine TJ
  2009-06-15 23:12:46    
Ok, a last one - I just have to :-)

@ Jens

In my previous post I sugested to you that you should try to think.

Your response:
>> If
there is no correlation between the result in the semifinal and the
final, I think, this indicates that the reversed starting order is not
fair.

I regret my suggestion already. JENS, PLEASE STOP THINKING! :-)

>>IFSC should change the rules in order to guarantee some kind of correlation between the semi and the final result.

This is your opinion. Fair enough, feel free to express yourself and to bring things up. I am sure that there are people around who are willing to discuss 'a change of the rules' in a constructive way but they will probably not care about your 'correlation obsession'.  
OffLine Graeme Alderson
  2009-06-16 00:13:53    
Hey TJ

No you are wrong to say that. Jens saying "I think, this indicates" is way better than "this proves" don't you think :-)

Cheers
Graeme

Ps don't go too far :-)
OffLine louis de cornulier
  2009-06-16 11:17:58    

I'm out. Bored and tired.


I wonder if there is a correlation between the unlikeliness of certain theories and the number of comments to their related thread. Anyone willing to prove me right or wrong?

OffLine Tim Hatch
  2009-06-17 14:39:23    
@Louis

I did a quick analysis and there is a clear correlation between the number of comments posted in favour of Jen's theory and the number of comments posted by Jens.

But I don't have it in me to analyse the results in more detail...
OffLine User Deactivated
  2014-03-10 00:25:51    
I THINK this an good example of what is called the regression fallacy in statistics (i.e. 8a.nu doesn't consider regression to the mean). What he is arguing sounds like a statstical phenomenom, rather than a something unfair in WC-bouldering comps. Maybe 8a.nu should hire a statistician, seems like they need one?