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Competition and Friction
OffLine 8a.nu
  2019-04-18 00:00:00    
Mic Rathke has published some concern in regards competition fairness in bouldering in Routesetter anonymous. 8a has talked about this issue for twelve years as it seems more favorable to be #6 in the semi, meaning that you start first with better friction in the final.

"Competitions should be fair, but we (the climbing community) face an issue with fairness. Our issue at hand mostly deals with slopers, they get full of chalk, bodily fluids, skin, and most of all the original friction wears away like sandpaper. The difficulty (grade or rating) of a climb gets harder in the matter of one session. This is an issue for the later people that climb on the same holds in the same competition.

Our current resolution is a brush and chalk, however this does not resolve the issue of replacing the original grip of a hold. With the Olympics coming up, how can we resolve this issue before 2020?"


It should be noted that in the Olympics, there will be eight to the final, meaning the friction problem will be a bigger issue in Tokyo.
OnLine JLH
  2019-04-18 23:43:53    
This is the actual link.

First you 'prove' your theory with: "... I have been talking about the problem for 12 years on 8a. Anna Stöhr is the best example."

But then: "
#1 or #2 in 26 semifinals = 34 % victories
#3 or #4 in 16 semifinals = 44 % victories
#5 or #6 in 15 semifinals = 67 % victories
What is also interesting to see is that until 2012, Anna Stöhr won only 17% of competitions where she started last but later, getting more experience to handle the pressure, she won almost half."

So, first you argued she got more wins because of better friction when starting first, but then she also won more because she is more experienced?!
The fact is your 'best example' proves nothing, especially not what you like to prove (friction is deteriorating and that's important for final's rankings).
OffLine Geo Bush
  2019-04-19 06:16:02    
"With the Olympics coming up, how can we resolve this issue before 2020?"

Improve the adhesive texture of the sloping holds so that residue from previous attempts is less of a factor
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2019-04-19 07:23:41    
JLH: It seems some route setters are concerned. It most be obvious that the friction gets worse after each try even though it is marginal. However for some kind of holds and situations it could be a factor, especially if we also include the mental pressure starting last.

I mean, you can not think that the friction is exactly the same after 20 tries on a slooper also when the temperature in the arena have increased?
OnLine JLH
  2019-04-19 08:07:56    
Nobody is questioning the temperature (one of your usual fallacies you use to 'prove' your invalid claims...) and most not mental pressure.
But many do question friction is a factor, especially after good brushing and with only 6 climbers on a problem.
Again, your argument is useless. Even if you present extensive examples like Anna's above, that of course doesn't prove bad friction is the *cause* for the effect (worse ranking).
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2019-04-19 08:12:46    
Of course, such stats do not prove anything. If we can agree that 100 climbers trying 500 times will decrease the friction, we can also say that just one attempt will decrease friction even if it is very marginal.
OffLine Mark Nauser
  2019-04-19 08:52:16    
Moot point. The holds are not new when first competitor touches them. They have been "degraded" and then brushed before competition, so to speak. After each competitor uses them, they are brushed again, so the conditions are indeed very similar for all. As we have seen times and times again, competitors and route setters both believe that beta, pressure, temperature all play much more significant role than friction.
OnLine JLH
  2019-04-19 09:08:06    
"Of course, such stats do not prove anything"

And still you are trying to prove it for the last 12 years? :P
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2019-04-19 09:19:37    
I have tried to show examples why I think the starting order have an impact on the result.
OffLine Krishna Thorburn
  2019-04-19 11:01:21    
Clean the holds with an air gun.
OffLine Jakob O
  2019-04-19 16:38:41    
If we're going to insist on climbing on clean and well-brushed boulders, it'll always be a bit unfair to later climbers. There's a real difference between fresh and thoroughly cleaned hold and one that's been used and casually brushed.

The solution is simple - 'warm up' the boulder and make it dirty before the competition. Bake it in chalk, slap it with sweaty hands, rub in some rubber. Once it's bad, brush it in haste like they do between attempts and start the comp.
OnLine Vincent Bouillot
  2019-04-19 16:55:46    
What about M3 in the semi-finals in Meiringen? https://youtu.be/-uT5_OoZ72Y (41'34 for example)

Only three climbers managed to make it. Chon Jongwon was among the first to try it, Anze Peharc was in the middle of the pack and Adam Ondra was among the last. The crux revolves around an interesting move of a bad chalked up sloper.

I let you imagine what it would have been for Adam if the friction had been better (1:57:07). Clearly, he was disadvantaged here.
OffLine Steve Zissou
  2019-04-19 17:03:28    
it is a much bigger issue in skiing and yet nobody seems to complain
OffLine Sylvester
  2019-04-19 17:23:57    
Climbing is a complex sport. I think we can live with the marginal degradation of friction during the finals. It's not a completely level field, but it is 'fair enough', especially compared with other variables such as the routesetting, which I guess has bigger impact on the outcome. It feels natural that the 'favorite' (winner of the semifinal) should start last.
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2019-04-19 21:48:32    
My suggestion is that prior to the last boulder, they start in reversed order meaning that Kruder would have started #4 and Ondra as #6. This would have meant they the conditions would have been more fair. This would also mean a similar format as in skiing.

The reason why it works in skiing is that the best from the first round face very similar conditions. It is not such a big deal that the first face better condition as that skier often is like two seconds behind.
OffLine Jan V'
  2019-04-23 12:45:57    
@Jens wow, Jens, suddenly you claim that mental pressure is bigger for the last out. Yet - not so far ago - you've been again this idea, when i've claimed that. I mean...that's bit low, isn't it?
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2019-04-23 13:06:39    
I have since 2007 in the WCH in Aviles, when Daniel Du Lac started last, said that mental pressure is bigger starting last.
OffLine Jan V'
  2019-04-23 13:23:26    
@Jens so why have you asked me this: "Why do you think Kruder talked positive about starting first?" Doesn't make any sense to ask such question knowing what you now claim to know.
OnLine Jean-Baptiste Jourjon
  2019-04-24 17:43:05    
Good idea the air gun or at least whip with towel. I never understood why they only brush, dust falls back down on holds, and also if the holds are wet due to sweat, brushing is useless.
People saying 6 climbers x numbers of tries don’t affect the friction are totally wrong, even with brushing you feel the difference, especially with shoe rubber on hand holds that don’t come off with light brushing.
OffLine Krishna Thorburn
  2019-04-25 01:50:24    
Combo air gun, brush and
Vacuum. I’ll take the genius points haha
I do think it would work though.. someone make it.

In a big comp event imo the conditions should be completely managed and controllable. Perhaps all the holds could be temperature controlled as well, maybe at 3degrees C. Might sound funny and perhaps pedantic but why not.
OffLine Jan V'
  2019-04-25 10:30:32    
Agaian Jens is not polite enough to answer question.

Same misbehaviuor again again when facing fact that you've might been wrong. Simply not reacting; playing a dead bug.