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Forum: GLOBAL / Editorial / IFSC need to clarify the bouldering "onsight" rule Login in to contribute
IFSC need to clarify the bouldering "onsight" rule
OffLine 8a.nu
  2019-01-15 00:00:00    
Almost everyone knows that you are not allowed to look at the next boulder during comps although it is called flash. However, sometimes it is almost impossible to not have a glance of your next boulder once checking your personal boulder.

The big problem is that in the rules, there is no paragraph, saying that you are not allowed to look at other climbers trying your upcoming boulders. Most probably, a climber checking the other boulders, will be told to not do so by the judges but nevertheless, the important beta might just have been found.

What will happen if a climber neglects what the judge say and go around checking the other boulders during the Olympic qualifications? Based on the rules, it seems very hard for the judge to disqualify that person as he/she is not breaking any rules, beside fair play.

IFSC need to add a paragraph saying that bouldering is an onsight competition, as in Lead, where you are not allowed to see the other climbers trying your upcoming boulders.
OnLine Geo Bush
  2019-01-14 23:02:18    
My favorite trick I noticed Jernej Kruder doing is using the stick brush to basically preview the upper holds - he'll take brush from the people who brush the holds between attempts, and brush the upper holds to get a feel for them. Smart!
OnLine Geo Bush
  2019-01-14 23:03:16    
1
OffLine Herman
  2019-01-15 11:56:19    
Jens, you are making it more complicated then needed. And there is no need for the IFSC to change anything.

On sight.
This is not in the rules as such. There is no need for that as the rules are clear (see my next point)
It is only the commentators that call it flash (or onsight of flapperdeflop). So not the IFSC. only the commentators that "translate" what is happening to something that is understandable to most of the public. Nothing to get your panties up in a bunch for.

Observation of the next boulders.
It is not allowed and it is in the rules.
7.7.5 Competitors shall have no knowledge of the boulders other than that obtained during the official observation period or that communicated to them by the Jury President or the judges.
7.8.3 In the Qualification and Semi-Final rounds, the observation period is part of the Rotation Period.

So that covers it. You can't look at the next boulder. better read the rules more carefully next time before you make a post.

What we all fully understand is that with the way the semi final works is that it is impossible to not see something of the next boulder(s). I think it's up to the judges to judge this and tell the climber to stop watching. Failure to do so may result in a red or yellow card.
4.2.3 A Yellow Card warning may be issued for [...] Failure to obey any instruction by the Jury President or the IFSC Judge,
4.2.8 The following infringements of the rules shall result in the issuing of a Red Card and the immediate disqualification [...] Gathering information regarding a route which the competitor is to attempt beyond that which is permitted by the competition rules.
OffLine Herman
  2019-01-15 12:01:26    
oh and if your argument is that the observation period can also be used for the other boulders? No it can't article 7.7.13 covers that.
And there is a good reason why the IFSC does not use the term "on sight". If that term would be used then it would also need a definition. And the definition would be longer then just mentioning the relevant points in the articles themselves.
OffLine Philippe Vaucher
  2019-01-15 13:27:46    
@Herman:

7.8.3 In the Qualification and Semi-Final rounds, the observation period is part of the Rotation Period.

Doesn't that mean that looking at the other boulders in the semis is OK? I think it depends what is meant by "rotation period", can you define this?
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2019-01-15 13:39:34    
@ Herman: As you can see by Philippe's answer, the rule should be better clarified.

Do you not think that the most important thing in regards to getting info is not specified at the same time that other things of less importance have been added in detail.
"Competitors who have completed their attempt(s) on a boulder and who for any reason remain in the Competition Area must not pass any information concerning that boulder to any competitor who has not yet attempted that route/boulder."
OffLine Jon Megent
  2019-01-15 15:17:34    
Rule 7.8.3 seems to say you're allowed to observe other boulders while you're climbing. Herman or anyone, can you comment?
OffLine Philippe Vaucher
  2019-01-16 15:50:01    
Okay so this is what a rotation period is:

In the Qualification and Semi-Final rounds, each competitor participating in the round:
i. Shall attempt each boulder of the relevant course in the prescribed order, with a fixed time period (the “Rotation Period”) of five (5) minutes for each boulder;


For me, this means that because of 7.8.3 you can observe other boulders while you are climbing.

Make your own mind at https://www.ifsc-climbing.org/images/World_competitions/Event_regulations/IFSC-Rules_2018_V1.5.pdf

Also I don't see anything preventing the competitors from talking together, so even if looking is forbidden you could theorically still talk, all that to me points toward a flash and not an onsight.

Anyway, nowhere in the rules the concept of "flash" or "onsight" is relevant for anything, so we are just discussing how the commentators/public/ourselves would like to call that.
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2019-01-16 18:05:30    
Please check the last paragraph in my latest post and you will see that they are not allowed to talk to each other.

However, I do agree that it is not clear by the rules if you are allowed to look at the following boulders or not.

It would be so simple for IFSC to add this to avoid any confusion and also add that the format is onsight beacuse then everyone knows what that means :)
OffLine Herman
  2019-01-17 13:02:09    
As is proven by the previous posts the IFSC Rules are hard to understand and interpret correctly.

This is -to a degree- almost inherent given the fact that they are a legal document. I'm not to alarmed that some layman can't understand the full rules at first glance. How many of you can actually read and comprehend a law book? I can't.

But I still think there could be made different choices. To write it in a more understandable way and avoid obvious misinterpretations, and avoid "you have to interpret this article in such and such way"

However definitions such as "on sight" should be avoided as explaining the definition (which must be done since it 's a legal document) is more work then just writing down the rules.
The way the current rules are / should be interpreted:
-Only look at your boulder(s) during the observation period (7.7.5)
-The observation period is part of the "rotation period" (7.8.3)
-The climbers have 5 minutes to try each boulder and this period is called the rotation period. (7.7.13)

So there is a period for each boulder, it's called the rotation period (bad name) and it is specifically for one boulder. Only during that period can you attempt the boulder. And as the observation period is part of the climbing period you can only observe that boulder.


While i feel the current rules hold up to scrutiny it would not be too difficult to change 7.8.3 to:
7.8.3 In the Qualification and Semi-Final rounds, the observation period FOR EACH BOULDER is part of the Rotation Period of THAT BOULDER.

If you need some more explaining please contact someone whose last competition as an IFSC Judge was less then 10 years ago.

Cheers!
OffLine Jon Megent
  2019-01-17 15:40:43    
@ Herman, I think I understand now. IFSC means that during qualifiers and semis, no climbers get to observe the boulders before the climbing actually starts. They only get to observe each problem during their rotation period, i.e. while they are climbing that specific problem.

That is different in finals, of course, where all the finalists get to observe each problem (and talk with each other about it) for a couple of minutes before anyone comes out to climb.
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2019-01-17 15:48:39    
@ Herman: First you say,

"Jens, you are making it more complicated then needed. And there is no need for the IFSC to change anything."

Later you have understood my point and agrees with me saying IFSC should clarify the rules just as I said originally :)

I like you suggestions for clarification :)
OffLine Herman
  2019-01-17 16:38:50    
"Later you have understood my point and agrees with me saying IFSC should clarify the rules just as I said originally :) "

No i do not agree with you, we could be hardly be further apart.

You want the words ONSIGHT in the rules. I certainly don't want them. That is as big a difference as black and white.

You said the rules were WRONG and need to be CHANGED. I say they are good but I also see some room for improvement. that is a big difference. Like black and off-white.
The only thing I do agree with you is that: in a general sense the quicker you do a route / boulder the easier it apparantly is. ;)
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2019-01-17 17:16:25    
I say IFSC need to clarify the rule. You come with a suggestion for clarification although first you said, "Jens, you are making it more complicated then needed. And there is no need for the IFSC to change anything."

Later you say...

"As is proven by the previous posts the IFSC Rules are hard to understand and interpret correctly."

It seems there is a need for improvement just as I said :)
OffLine Mike.
  2019-01-17 17:45:13    
This is the accurate answer -

"The way the current rules are / should be interpreted:
-Only look at your boulder(s) during the observation period (7.7.5)
-The observation period is part of the "rotation period" (7.8.3)
-The climbers have 5 minutes to try each boulder and this period is called the rotation period. (7.7.13)

So there is a period for each boulder, it's called the rotation period (bad name) and it is specifically for one boulder. Only during that period can you attempt the boulder. And as the observation period is part of the climbing period you can only observe that boulder."

The reality I have seen is that many comp climbers are actively watching the people climb on the next boulder, even though they should not be. Some do it slyly and act more as though they are looking into the distance, but are clearly watching the next climber.
Some are doing in blatantly. I've seen judges tell climbers not to do this, but generally the athlete denies watching and moves on. I've never seen it go to an appeal.
OffLine Zenon Marski
  2019-01-18 22:36:32    
Athletes are and will observe others attempted. That is nature. If something interesting is in Your sight, You will look at it. Or You precisely define in the rules what is "looking at" (angle of sight, for how long, etc.) and introduce other paragraphs (forcing athletes to look on their feet or to an audience when they resting) or You fence off the boulders. It would be much easier to not fight with inevitable and agree that the athletes starting later in the round (qualified higher) can look at other ones and gather the beta. This would make higher qualification desirable and leave the "flash" definition that we all agree on.
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2019-01-19 10:38:55    
Saying that you are allowed to check the others during your rotation period would be just crazy. The climbers would walk around focusing more on the other boulders. It would also be totally unfair as the first one out would be onsighting and the rest flashing. It is a lottery who decides who will start first in the qualification and you can not have luck setting the rule.

Everyone knows that it is onsight in bouldering and it would be very simple to just add this as a paragraph.