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Route setting problems again
  2017-07-29 00:00:00    
Three current best female have topped the first three routes in Briancon meaning that who climbs faster will decide who wins if they are tied also in the final. Among the male, only one hold separated the first eleven best meaning count back deiced who made it to the final. It was obvious that the male route was way to easy in the start. Complete results The
Live-streaming starts 19.30.
OnLine Marc Giol
  2017-07-29 09:48:46    
And if we just say the routtesetting was much better than last comps? It starts to be a high pressure for who sets on a WC. Male's route wasnt that bad, and the only problem with womens route was that just the last 5-6 moves the holds where too positive that all the top girls where recovering hold by hold. At the same time i feel that the time system is not the way to untie results and we should search for another option that both climbers and viewers agree. Maybe making a superfinal in case of ties over males route wouldn't be that bad.
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2017-07-29 10:07:23    
The male qualification routes had a great separation but the semifinal was a again very bad!

I agree that time is not the best way but on the other hand, time will put a pressure on Janja, Anak and Jain. For the spectators this could increase the excitement but the problem is that there are no or poor time measuring available. In practice, this could be that we have to wait a minute or so before we will know the winner.

The best way to solve this would be to have some split times, saying that after hold 20, 30 and 40 the time is measured and if there is a tie on hold 35 you just use the time on hold 30 to decide the winner.
OffLine TJ Vrag
  2017-07-29 13:35:03    
Dear guys, it's hard to follow your logic. I believe that the reason for catastrophe in the form of 6 minutes rule was to make the competition shorter. If you add a super-finals heat, much more time would be spent than in case of 8 or even 12 minutes climbing time.
The IFSC standard to measure the time is a manual stopwatch. Split times and running time incorporated in streaming are a sort of science fiction for them and beside they cost money.
Instructing the route setters to set 7 minutes selective routes would minimize the chance of ties and probably nobody would climb it more than 8 minutes. And who cares if 2 climbers would spend 30 seconds more? It's an easy and cheap solution.
The basic question is - who want a short competition? Thousands of people are running marathons and thousands of people are watching them. The runners are coming through the finish with substantial gaps. Their position is absolutely not questionable. Even the last positioned competitors are honored.
Now imagine the IFSC version of marathon - a 6 minutes marathon. 20 people per second would run through the finish for 30 minutes. Mainly the luck of start position would decide the result and the results would be extremely unreliable.
Why would anybody practice or watch such sport?
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2017-07-29 13:49:58    
Any modern clock can give you several split-times. You just need to present such clock in the streaming and have two guys pushing the buttons and it would be much more exciting to watch.
OffLine TJ Vrag
  2017-07-29 14:37:20    
Jens, why time in Lead?
I would enjoy much more to follow the actual height of the climbing competitor compared to the final results of the climbers who have already finished their ascents, their heart pulse and the level of lactic acid. In lead we are searching for the climber who can rich the highest point? What has time to do with the highest point. IFSC already has 2 disciplines with time measurements - Lead and Boulder. Could the lovers of time measurements maybe concentrate on these two disciplines and let also lead climbers live. If people can enjoy watching marathon running or long cycling stages they can probably also enjoy 1 hour long Lead finals for each gender? This can be done also with 9 or 10 minutes per ascent and without the watch.
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2017-07-29 15:29:25    
Time is only as a tie-breaker if the result are identical.

Lead comps have problem to get media interest and because of that IFSC has tried to reduce time. In the World Championship with a maximum of 12 min, if I remember correctly, half of the spectators had left the arena before the final was over because it was just dead boring to watch.

If the routes are so long and easy, there is no excitement during the first half of the route and everyone is just doing the same moves.
OffLine J. Smith
  2017-07-29 15:55:43    
This is really sad. If people promoting climbing say that 8,10 or 12 minutes of climbing is boring, we are in real troubles. I have never heard that the first 40 kilometers of marathon running or first 170 kilometers of cycling are boring. People believe in their sport and find it interesting.
Maybe sport climbing would have more prosperous future if the decision makers would believe that it became so popular because of rock climbing and not because of IFSC system. It's easy to prove this statement. Rock climbers are more popular than the IFSC champions. Making the gap between rock climbing and IFSC climbing bigger probably won't help IFSC.
OffLine Franz the Stampede
  2017-07-29 23:03:48    
Looking at the height reached by the various competitors, it looks like the final was perfectly set, so there you go.
OnLine Bojan
  2017-07-30 10:28:50    
@Franz, maybe not perfect for females (but still very good -- 3 ties on places 5 to 7, easily broken by count-back in semis (and qualis)), but definitely so for males.
Even if there was no single top in any of the rounds for males (first time in WC history?), this is IMHO much better than several tops (cf. Chamonix) broken by time and count-back.
And even if in several rounds route-setters failed to separate climbers (qualis and semis for females, semis for males) the overall separation in both males and females was good.
So the tactics of route-setters for females finals was good (going for very hard route with probably no tops), but for males the route should be slightly easier to see the perfect outcome -- 1 top. But even if there were 2 (or 3) tops for males, it would be not a big problem, as full separation was made already in the qualis.
OffLine Jan V'
  2017-07-30 10:34:50    
@TJ Vrag "If you add a super-finals heat, much more time would be spent than in case of 8 or even 12 minutes climbing time."

I think routes mostly took less than six minutes last season anyway. That is important for you Tj Vrag and J. Smith. Nobody complained here last year, so...

@J. Smith if you want prosperose future for lead climbing, you have to consider they need to get to the TV. And that means the competiton can't take four, or five hours. Sadle it is the case. That's why there is six minutes rule IMHO.

"If people promoting climbing say that 8,10 or 12 minutes of climbing is boring, we are in real troubles." I don't think people promoting climbing said that, where do you get that from? Don't confuse it.
Problem really is in route setting. In some cases route setters try to have some tops, which is tricky. As soon as route setters set the routes to split the field, there was no problem with it. Finals were great and split was made by endurance. So there you guy with you pseudoarguments, guys.
OffLine J. Smith
  2017-07-31 08:30:32    
@Jan V In 2017 we can see significantly less climbing than in 2016. Is that your wish?
In tennis you never know how long the match will last. I see a lot of tennis on the TV. On the TV I can follow also many other sports which take a lot of time and their duration might be unpredictable. So your theory isn't plausible. TV will be interested in sport which will attract a big number of spectators.
Now imagine why would fans be interested to reserve their time to see their hero for 2 minutes or even less. Why would a fan of sport climbing reserve the time to watch 8 climbers climbing for 23 minutes together. If the best climbers in the world fall down after 10 moves, it seems like there are just 3 good climbers in the world.
If the climbing fans want to see less climbing - why TV would be interested to stream it?
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2017-07-31 09:34:47    
Why do you think the new 6 min rule had any impact on the final in Briancon? Everyone did fall before having used more than 5 minutes.
OffLine J. Smith
  2017-07-31 10:26:05    
The worst possible scenario is to stop the climber during the ascent because of exceeded time. To avoid that, route setters are forced to set shorter routes. With some reserve everyone shall climb it in 5 minutes. With the 8 minutes rule they were able to make a limit at 7 minutes. That is a simple reason why we'll see less climbing in the future.
In tennis a long game means an interesting game. The logic in sport climbing is obviously opposite. We shall watch less climbing to make it more interesting?
If the people responsible for development of sport climbing believe that it's boring and it shall be shorten, please let me explain how the non-climbers will find it attractive.
Honestly said - I'm not a fan of tennis and I don't watch it either. But sometimes I do it because i'm interested why the crowd can watch it for hours. The only reason which I can find is that more time brings more good moves which the fans can appreciate. The fans of the tennis obviously enjoy in good moves of the best tennis players. Maybe also the fans of sport climbing could enjoy in good moves of the best lead climbers if they could watch them longer than average 30 moves or less.
OffLine bmk
  2017-07-31 22:59:11    
@Jens: "Why do you think the new 6 min rule had any impact on the final in Briancon? Everyone did fall before having used more than 5 minutes."
I can't believe you're asking such a stupid question. The reason why climbers fell before 6 minutes is fairly obvious - the routesetters know that there is a 6 minute limit, therefore they set routes that have to be completed in that time, which means making routes with more cruxes and less resting points. Also the climbers themselves know that they are under a time pressure of 6 minutes, so climbers like Jain Kim, have to speed up their normal climbing pace, which leads to getting more pumped and making more mistakes. If you were to give the same climbers 8 minutes to do the same routes, the results would have been different because the climbers would have planned rests more efficiently, and not been hurried into making mistakes. If the routesetters had 8 minutes they would have set routes that factored in more rests or which tested more endurance and didn't rely on a smaller number of hard crux points. What is clear is that the 6 minute rule is changing the way the routes are set - in order to try and separate climbers they are putting in more high percentage moves, which means that you tend to get a lot of climbers falling now in the same position. I think it a very retrograde move by the ISFC. I can see that with semis, 8 minutes (or longer) means that the semis takes too long because of the number of competitors, but this is not an issue in a final where you have only 8 (or 6 in bouldering) competitors. If would make more sense to have a 6 minute limit for qualifications and semis and then extend the final to 8 minutes or more, to allow proper routesetting and proper climbing, rather than the bastardised speed/lead/bouder mess we are heading towards (with the IFSC's blessing!)
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2017-08-01 08:59:21    
As I have talked to one of the route setters who said that they have not changed the style 2017, your arguments seems not to be correct. I think the routes were hard because they were afraid of multiple tops for the female and also because previous mistakes by the route setters.

However, in general with higher walls it might have been better to have seven minutes in the finals.
OffLine TJ Vrag
  2017-08-01 12:28:21    
J.Smith, bmk - we have an obvious problem to communicate with the people who believe that sport climbing is a boring sport. They are trying to make it shorter to make it more interesting??!
They can't understand that longer route can bring more interesting moves. They can't understand that long and hard routes need also a rest point and more time to reach the top.
For these people is obviously not a problem to watch 30 instead of 50 moves (probably they would prefer 10-15). They don't like sport climbing. They only care of separation in the shortest possible time to make the suffering watching climbing as short as possible. And with such thinking they believe that this sport will become interesting for non-climbing TV audience.
The argument that the routes are set the same way as in 2016 is stupid. Everybody can compare the average number of moves and the times for 2016 and 2017. In 2017 climbers use significantly less holds and spend significantly less time in the wall.
Maybe some route setters really have the feeling that they set the same way. If this is true - it only proves how much damage the stupid 6 minutes rule has caused.
OffLine bmk
  2017-08-05 12:17:44    
@Jens: "As I have talked to one of the route setters who said that they have not changed the style 2017, your arguments seems not to be correct. I think the routes were hard because they were afraid of multiple tops for the female and also because previous mistakes by the route setters."
You really will not accept anyone's point of view if it is different to your own will you? Even if it makes you look silly, as your arguments become increasingly nonsensical. Look at what you are saying. Are you really - come on really - trying to say that the routesetters have made no changes to the style of routesetting since the 6 minute rule was brought in? That is just simply not even in the bounds of credibility as an argument. For a start if you listen to any of the broadcasts, the routesetters talk about the 6 minute rule as a factor in their setting. They specifically talk about not putting in any rests because the time is so short!! Also you only have to actually watch the climbing to see the difference - the routes are now much more about dynamic movements, high percentage moves, no resting points etc - all of which have been brought in specifically to stop climbers from staying on the route longer than the short time now allowed.
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2017-08-05 14:18:26    
I have just said what one route setter told me. Maybe he is wrong.
OffLine The Whistleblower
  2017-08-09 06:26:37    
"The style has changed quite a lot, involving athletic climbing on big holds/volumes rather than only crimps. Of course the time reduction to 6 minutes makes for shorter routes without many rests." --Jorg Verhoeven (source:
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2017-08-09 09:17:13    
When Jork talks about style changes he talks about a continues trend the last 15 years, not something that has happend in 2017.

"2013 I took a four year break in doing lead comps. Most of the times I watched the streams and slowly saw the style evolve away from the old school 15 min crimp ladders the early 2000's offered."

The #1 issue in 2017 is that the routes have been to easy, with too many tops, or the contrary, to hard with few guys coming close to the top and instead falling midways.