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Forum: GLOBAL / Editorial / IFSC need to give route setters guidelines Login in to contribute
IFSC need to give route setters guidelines
OffLine 8a.nu
  2018-09-14 00:00:00    
The route setters job to find the right level is super difficult, especially for the female as there are no official IFSC female route setters. However, quite often in Bouldering, the problems are too hard meanwhile almost never too easy. In other words, in general the boulders should be easier and it is not a problem if several tops all boulders. On the contrary, this is in general more fun both for the spectators as well as for the climbers.

Further more, once they set parkour style starts, the route setters must make sure that they are not too hard.

It would be better for everyone if IFSC increased to two zones. This would mean that everyone would get some score and then you could make the cruxes gradually harder.

Imagine all the non-climbers watching the female boulder final on Eurosport. IFSC need to give the route setters guidelines so we can guarantee that the broad audience in Tokyo would not just leave the screen and the journalist writing critical reports.

I would opt for telling the route setters that in a final, you get the highest score if 3 or 4 guys topping every boulder.
If we just see five tops and another six zones, the route setters should fail. With the sae thinking, if we get more than 20 tops, they fail.
OnLine Martin G
  2018-09-14 22:30:07    
who would win, if three to four athletes top every boulder?

do you want to make time the deciding factor in boulder as well?!
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2018-09-14 23:03:27    
What I mean is that each boulder is topped by by three or four athletes. Then it is most likely that the winner does three or possibly four tops. If two tops all four boulders, which is not ideal, then they will be separated based on number of tries. I certainly prefer such a situation in comparison to that we only saw a total of five tops in the female final.

The final lasted almost 2.5 hours. With more tops the time would have been reduced. IFSC has said that the climbing time in Tokyo should not be longer than 75 minutes.
OffLine Bojan
  2018-09-15 08:34:15    
>What I mean is that each boulder is topped by by three or four athletes

Haven't you watched the 2018 world cup season? In fact it usually happened every boulder was topped by three athletes... Miho, Akiyo and Janja. With four tops, no. of attempts decided the podium rankings (or even countback--Moscow). Do you really like this?!

The ideal situation is the number of tops decides and if not the number of zones. You should avoid no. of attempts, just as you should avoid time in lead.

So I think the setters did their job almost perfectly, at least for the most important part, the world champion and the podium separation.
OffLine J. Smith
  2018-09-15 08:59:55    
Majority of spectators in sport climbing are people who like sport climbing. People like sport climbing because it's a relaxing sport. Anyone can have a goal to reach a top no mater to the time and number of tries involved.
Competition climbing is interesting if we see the best possible climbing of the best climbers. No climber and very few spectators like decisions based on time or number of trials (except the winner and her/his supporters). Such competition isn't sport climbing competition - it's more some sort of jeopardize. The luckiest climber wins - not the best.
All IFSC and obviously also your ideas are destroying the basic idea of sport climbing. Tenis match can take much more time and it's length is totally unpredictable, but we can see a lot of tenis on TV, because some people (obviously a lot of them) like to watch it. Tenis is boring for me, and climbing is boring for many tenis spectators. Shorter tenis event wouldn't attract me and shorter climbing event wouldn't attract people without interest for sport climbing. Less and worse climbing would anyhow reduce the interest of climbers to watch such event. Olympics momentum can hide some problems but it'll pass and then the reality will strike.
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2018-09-15 09:25:08    
What do you think the three girls not getting any tops did like the final? I am also sure that if you ask Janja if she prefers a final where she does two tops or a final with four tops, she would answer the latter.

If you ask the spectators I a sure they would also in general prefer more tops.

Finally, do you think that the route setters were pleased with the out come?

I am not saying that several climbers topping all four boulders is ideal. I am talking about giving guidelines so we can avoid situations like in this final.

The simple solution is to increase to two zones meaning that the boulders still can be hard but at the same time we can almost guarantee that the world champion Petra Klingler can at least get one zone in the final.
OffLine J. Smith
  2018-09-15 10:24:14    
I have had many discussions with competitors and also some route setters. The worse nightmare is if decision is made by time or by number of tries.
Everybody like to rich the top or to see the top being reached. But this is secondary goal. If only one climber reaches the top it means that the route setting was optimal.
We all know that optimal route setting is not possible on each route. The competition is dense and the route setters are only human.
All the finalists have made a lot of tops and zones to get in the finals. Complaining about absence of any points in the finals is stupid. The finals shall show us who the best climber is. In ideal scenario each route or problem should be successfully climbed. In real world good separation is much more important than several tops.
I believe that your ideas about more zones and split times in lead are just destroying the sport climbing. Instead of concentrating on good climbing, the concentration is moving to these stupidities which actually have nothing to do with the basics of sport climbing. The rules are becoming complicated, equipment expensive and events aren't enjoyable any more because we all know that frauds are possible when unprofessional timing sistem are used. Less music for more money shouldn't be the goal.
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2018-09-15 10:56:31    
I agree that the worse nightmare in Lead is when the time separates the winner.

When it comes to Bouldering, the worst nightmare is when almost nobody do any boulders. Several tops are good for the athletes as well as for the spectators.

The semifinal was good but both the qualifications were too hard I think.
OffLine Bojan
  2018-09-15 11:41:04    
@J.: agree with most, but "...like decisions based on time or number of trials (except the winner and her/his supporters)". I'm sure also winners like to win after fair fight and true supporters are willing to admit a fair defeat...

>What do you think the three girls not getting any tops did like the final?
Hm, probably Janja, Akiyo and Staša climbed better that evening and they deserve their medals.

>I am also sure that if you ask Janja if she prefers a final where she does two tops or a final with four tops, she would answer the latter.
If you saw her reaction after she couldn't make the last problem, it seems she didn't have a problem becoming a world champion with two tops.
Edit: here is what exactely Janja thinks.

>If you ask the spectators I a sure they would also in general prefer more tops.
Some probably do. But probably *all* of them prefer a fair fight and a fair winner. And that's exactly what they've got.

>The simple solution is to increase to two zones meaning that the boulders still can be hard but at the same time we can almost guarantee that the world champion Petra Klingler can at least get one zone in the final.
I agree Petra did more in W2 than others and "after(!) the battle" it seems more 'fair' the zone be placed one hold lower. But setting is a hard job, and so is 'right' placement of the zones. On the other hand, placing the zone one hold lower would be unfair compared to Janja...
But you keep trying to convenience everyone two (or more?) zones are better then just one. The fact is it really depend on the situation, and as one zone may be placed wrong, so may be two, three or any number.

The most fair scoring system IMO is when no. of zones equals no holds. Exactly the same as in lead climbing. And then you combine the rankings of the four boulders in exactly the same way as in Olympic format or in lead qualifications (i.e. by multiplying them).
For this comp (there are probably several mistakes!, take it just as example) the scores would look like that:
	W1	W2	W3	W4	Product	Rank

Janja 1 1 3 4 12 1
Akiyo 4.5 4 2 1 18 2
Staša 2 6 1 5.5 60 3
Jessica 4.5 4 4 3 108 5
Miho 4.5 4 5 2 90 4
Petra 4.5 2 6 5.5 180 6


Note:
--the only difference with official ranking is on place 4 and 5, where Jessica won against Miho on countback(!)
--Petra is rewarded for W2, but still a long way to place #5
--Janja won with a small margin, the same as officially and Staša is securely on #3.
OffLine Alan Little
  2018-09-15 17:06:55    
> If you ask the spectators I a sure they would also in general prefer more tops.

Nah. I've seen plenty of comps where Janja/Akiyo/Shauna/Miho just come out and flash everything. Seeing Janja & Akiyo actually having to struggle was far more interesting (Miho injured so doesn't count)
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2018-09-15 17:24:00    
@ Alan: I agree flash on everything is not good at all. But it would be better if we did some more scoring in the female finals.

@ Bojan: I agree that mathematically your system is interesting but on the other hand, it is bad that we need a calculator to analyse the results. As it is already, the commentators have hard tie following who is in the lead etc.
OffLine Bojan
  2018-09-15 18:55:28    
As much as you need a calculator for combined ranking.
But why should this be a problem?
OffLine Herman
  2018-09-16 00:02:12    
@ Bojan,

nice response to jens. ;)
The system you propose has been used in the USA for two years. I think it is quite fair but it is very, very complicated (except for computers) to calculate. That is a BIG drawback.

If the Public can't calculate the winners -at least in most cases- it's a definitive no-no.

Scoring by hold number is just not possible considering how often holds are skipped or used in a different order. It's not lead...
The problem with all these interesting and "fairer" scoring systems (products, calculations, hold numbering, extra zones) is that they -by large- don't produce a different result. so they are not really fairer. Just more complicated. Therefore we don't need them.
OffLine Bojan
  2018-09-16 08:27:54    
Herman, yes, a know (USA variation, hold skipping may be the 'problem' more often than in lead...) and agree it's not ideal. I'm also aware of some other drawbacks (complicated scoring, but this may be compensated by live scoring graphics; but, also in combined you need computers, exactly the same as here). I'm also realistic about using it in the (near) future. I just express my opinion I think it's more fair than the existing one in several situations like:
-- Petra's case (see above)
-- Puccio semi's W3 (the only one who reach the zone and this achievement was 'better' than reaching top in other boulders, but not rewarded as such)
-- the score is the same if you are the only one to reach the top of a super hard problem as it is if all topped an easy problem (except maybe you if this problem is not your style or body height dependent)
-- several cases Jens complain before (a climber who reach the top hold with just one hand scores the same as the one who barely reaches the zone).
OffLine Herman
  2018-09-16 20:19:16    
-Petra's case proves that with a different scoring systems she would still be 6th.
Same for puccio. She would still be way outside finals
If you have the same ranking at the end, then there is only one conclusion: they are both AS FAIR
so what you perceive as more fair might is not backed by the calculations



As for the holds numbering. It's not only hard. It's just impossible.
Example boulder M2 pf the combined final. For the last moves there were 4 different method, almost all holds were skipped and holds were used in different order.

There is no way to reach a fair result for climbers that fall halfway through these sequences.

And that is also a good reason against extra zone holds
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2018-09-16 20:35:41    
An extra zone hold would force the route setters to make better boulders. Now there were sometimes just two moves out of the first or second super easy.

With two zones, the ones that make progress on the boulder is also awarded accordingly.
OnLine John Render
  2018-09-17 01:21:47    
I'm not sure why skipping holds is a problem for counting. Routesetters set up the sequence: if you successfully skip part of it, by controlling a hold further along the sequence, you get credit for every hold you passed over.

World Cup bouldering already does this in a smaller way. Suppose you top a problem, but skip the bonus hold. You still get credit for the bonus.

It even happens at times in lead, so long as you don't miss a clip. Pretty sure I saw Jan Hojer do this in a WC lead event several years ago. Around half way up, the route traversed right, moved up a bit, and then traversed back left. Jan skipped both traverses, and went straight up, passing over 4 or so holds IIRC.

btw the US no longer counts tops per se. It uses a point system, based on the top plus three zones. You get 5 points if you flash the first zone, 10 if you flash the second zone, 15 points for the third, and 25 points for the top. Deduct 0.1 points for each attempt needed after the flash. Add up your points for each boulder: whoever gets the most points, wins.
OffLine Bojan
  2018-09-17 09:51:14    
>-Petra's case proves that with a different scoring systems she would still be 6th.

You missed the point. Of course, the one who flashed all four boulders is better than the one, who could not take the staring positions in any, no matter of the system. But if both are equal in three of them, the one who gets 'higher' or 'do more' in the fourth, it *is* the matter of the system, if this is recognized. And in cases *like* Petra's, IMO it's fair to be recognized.