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Olympic combined calculated format
  2017-03-12 00:00:00    
IFSC has published the Olympic format and it is more or less a copy of the format 8a suggested last year. Already in November, IFSC said that they will take, "note of your proposal and will consider it while preparing the format proposal for the Executive Board."

"Rules perspective:
a. The Combined Event consists of 2 rounds (Qualifications and Finals), both comprising all the disciplines.
b. All Athletes (20 men and 20 women) participate in the first round.
c. The Athlete’s score is given by multiplying the Athlete’s ranking (place) in each discipline. The lower the score the better. (Principles to be confirmed)

A ranking is produced after each round (Qualifications and the Finals).
a. The six best Athletes qualify for the Finals.
Note: For the Speed Final the concept of “Lucky loser” (7° and 8° ranked Athletes in the 1/8th finals) applies, as a quota of 6 does not allow the duel system.

The 8a suggested format differs as we included 8 guys in the final in order to have a fair Speed Climbing Final. How IFSC plan to let only the Top-6 climbers compete in Speed with two "Lucky loser" have not been explained. It should be mentioned that previously IFSC had suggested a totally different format which was heavily criticized by the coaches.

The qualification system will follow the IOC principles which will be set in July. However, it will be based on Athletes and not countries but only two athletes male + female will be allowed.

In regards, which type of Speed route will be used in the Olympics, no news have been forwarded but we have been informed that it was up to discussion and IFSC said that there is not enough time to change it.
OffLine Kuba Główka
  2017-03-13 11:48:12    
The rules for the OG event seems reasonable. One thing I am not sure about is how the place multiplier works in practice. Hope to check it in earlier events. I assume this is kind of original information/material: Interesting to see that the proposition is to have a Athlete based Qualification System for Tokyo2020 with limit of 2 persons per gender per NOC (country). The process might be quite complicated. I imagine in the additional qualification event there might be only participant from countries not yet qualified - f.e. without major athletes from most powerful teams (since they quota will be full at this time). Having 2019 IFSC WCh combined event as a qualification event is quite clear, but the thing about qualification based on 2019 World Cup (overall) results seems quite strange ... Will be interesting to see what will be the rules for that ranking. LAst but not least -> there is no a single word about the specific discipline champions, but there might be something added during negotiations with IOC.
OffLine George Kahn
  2017-03-15 23:50:18    
Here's an example of how using ranking in each event can lead to a terrible outcome. It's the finals. Adam Ondra demolished the other finalists in lead and boulder: he flashed all four boulders, where 2nd place only finished one; and he topped the finals lead route, where 2nd place was 15 holds lower. In speed Adam finished 6th, even though 1st place was only 0.1 seconds faster. The winner of the speed event finished 2nd (a distant second) in lead and boulder. So Adam gets 6 points, but the speed winner gets 4. Even though Adam thoroughly destroyed all other climbers -- even though he won two of the events, and finished just 0.1 seconds behind in the third -- he does not get the gold. As long as IFSC uses placement, an outcome similar to this can occur. The answer is to NOT use ranking, but award points that get higher, the better the achievement.
OffLine Jens Larssen
  2017-03-16 08:20:56    
Please suggest a calculation system instead of just complaining. I do not think such calculation system is possible in order to guarantee better fairness. 
OffLine George Kahn
  2017-03-16 12:25:37    
Please read more carefully, Jens. I DID suggest a calculation system. It goes along the same lines as the decathlon in athletics. e.g., set the men's finals route at, say, 9a. Anyone who tops it gets 1000 points. Lower achievements get less points, depending on the specifics of the route and its cruxes. In last year's world championship final, e.g., if we assume the route was 9a (it probably wasn't) Adam would have gotten 1000 points... 2nd might have gotten 875 points... 3rd, 850... and so forth. I don't know speed times well, but to earn 1000 points in speed you need a time of, say, 6 seconds (using speed routes similar to today's). If your time is slower, you get fewer points. In boulder, to get 1000 points you must flash all four boulders. If you don't, you get fewer points, depending on flashes, tops and maybe bonuses. Final placement comes by adding up each athlete's score in the three events. This makes achievement king: if a climber does way better than others, he/she gets rewarded more. It lets IFSC put less emphasis on speed: even not-so-great speed times could get relatively more points (or instead of 1000 points, speed could be worth 500 points). And this system is simple for fans to follow. IFSC seems wed to using ranking, but I think the decathlon system works far better.  Edit: another advantage is that the climbers and everyone else know exactly where everyone stands after each event.  They will know how much they have to make up in the events to come.  Decathlon has perfected this for over 100 years.  IFSC does not have to reinvent the wheel.  Just use the overall system, set the point totals (mine were just examples to illustrate how it works), and make outcome more fair and simple to follow. 
OffLine Jens Larssen
  2017-03-16 13:12:02    
The route setters can not guarantee that the climbers is spread evenly. It might be that the best guy just make it 2/3 and all the others are just a couple of holds below. In bouldering it might be that the best guy tops one boulder. Please explain exactly how the scoring in Bouldering would be and you will understand that it is impossible to make it fair. 
OffLine Nikolina Marinova
  2017-03-16 21:24:42    
@ George Kahn , it is not a good idea to compare Decathlon with climbing. The disciplines in decathlon are standard - 100 m. is always 100 m. long, with same width of the lines, long jump is always a long jump - in standard line, sand and so on, the discuss is always same weight, 1500 m. is always 3 and 3/4 rounds of the stadium, therefore you can compare the results at any time. In the competition climbing you can use this system only for the speed and only if it is on certified wall.  But how imagine yourself to compare different climbing routes in Lead - where the difficulty, length, number of holds vary each time? Or in Bouldering, where the results could be with many combinations?  If your idea is to use the point-system only for a combined rank in a single competition, this mean that you give points according the rank of a competitor. Which means same system, only different numbers.
OnLine Bojan Leskošek
  2017-03-18 08:19:02    
The format suggested
by IFSC (@Jens, your link is wrong, the right one is )
is bad. The 3 main reasons for this are:


----[1] the
best climbers in EACH discipline (NOT all 3 disciplines combined) of qualis
should appear in the finals . Each discipline should have it's own day in olympic
schedule with qualis and finals on the same day. This way there will be enough
time for non-climbing spectators to explain the rules of each discipline and
everybody would have the chance to see the best climbers of the world. Instead
we will see mediocre "speed" climbers in speed finals and best speed
climbers (as though I doubt anyone would succeed to qualify in combined finals)
struggling in boulder problems and routes. Also, we won't see normal speed finals
starting with 16 climbers (1/8 finals)


----[2] the
discipline sequence (First Speed, then Bouldering, then Lead) is wrong. Bouldering
is more popular (number of competitors, number of visitors of IFSC YouTube channel,
...) than lead and probably more interesting to watch than lead. So bouldering
should be last, decisive discipline.


----[3] "multiplying
the Athlete’s ranking (place) in each discipline" is bad, as it may
produce "unfair, contra-intuitive" results, as many of you have
already noticed. There is no other sport (Olympics incl.) with this system, all
of them ADD time (e.g. triathlon) or scores (track and field decathlon) or some
combination of them (Nordic combined). And there is no need of inventing the
wheel. Simply use the actual world cup system of points (100 for 1 st
place, ... 1 pt. for last) and ADD points to get the ranking list.

@Jens: could you PLEASE finally solve the problem with lost formating
(paragraphs, fonts, links etc.) after submitting post in forums?
OnLine Bojan Leskošek
  2017-03-18 09:18:48    

@George and
Nikolina: I thing George's idea isn't so bad after all (I think of it since a
long time ago). Especially in bouldering it seems fair if e.g. the winner
flashes all 4 problems gets much more points than the 2nd best, who only
flashes/tops 1 or 2 of the problems.


In Lead it
is more problematic. One simple solution is the routesetters divide the route
in zones, e.g. lower zone graded 8a, next one 8b, than 8c, 8c+ and the last one
9b and if the climber reaches the top of the zone it gets the points according
to e.g.  the system (1000 pts for
8a, 1100 for 8b etc., rescaled to 1000 pts. maximum). Of course, this may
produce many tied ranks, but this is probably OK in combined ranking or the
ties can be broken somehow (e.g. by climbing 2 routes instead of 1, by climbing
the same route on-sight and then red point or by counting holds within the zone).
Maybe this "zoned" route would be also more interesting to watch
(zones should be marked on the wall or in a TV graphics/live results).


it's probably too late to implement such ideas for 2020 Olympics. Maybe with
the exception of speed, where the climbers would get points relative to winner,
e.g. if the winner gets 1.000 pts. for his time of 5 seconds, the last one with
the time of 10 seconds would get 500 pts (i.e. if you are 2 times faster, you
get 2 times more points). I think this solution is also more fair as it implements
importance of disciplines, i.e. lead and boulder much more important (popular)
than speed.