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Forum: GLOBAL / Editorial / "IFSC" onsight and flash use are contradictory Login in to contribute
"IFSC" onsight and flash use are contradictory
OffLine 8a.nu
  2019-01-13 00:00:00    
IFSC Lead semis and finals are run in onsight format. This means that the athletes are allowed to look at the routes for five minutes, even with binoculars. Further more they are allowed to cooperate and discuss and sometimes they draw sketches in the iso. In practice, also including the often straight forward route setting, most athletes share the same sequences often making the semis quite boring, like they were flashing or even redpointing big parts of the route.

In IFSC bouldering semis, the athletes get much less possibility to check the boulders and they are now allowed to cooperate. The key is often finding the right beta but nevertheless this format is considered flash.

In Lead comps, the definition of flash is totally the opposite. The athletes are provided with a beta video and they can sit and look at each other climbing. Further more, they can talk even to the guys having tried the climb.

It must be quite confusing especially for the non-climbers why IFSC commentators say bouldering semis are run in flash format as it clearly is a more pure onsight, in comparsion to the Lead onsight format.

It should be mentioned that in the IFSC rules, they never define whether bouldering is run in flash or onsight format. In other words, it is the commentators and climbers who confusingly call it flash.
OffLine JLH
  2019-01-12 10:10:27    
"Onsight bouldering" was introduced and popularised by 8a.nu. Some boulderers nibbled at the bait and some did not. For years scorecards logged 'onsight' ascents in absence of any definition what OS in bouldering means. Even the top boulderers, who decided to use this 'style' were confused. Now it seems, 8a acknowledged the problem, but refuses to facilitate an open discussion, also among the best boulderers about what OS bouldering means (or should mean) and if introducing OS in bouldering was a good idea in the first place.
So, I would say put your own house in order before you criticise others.
OffLine Henning Wang
  2019-01-12 10:42:57    
So we provide a debate around if onsight is a thing in bouldering with insight and explanations to why it is not (see the Oriane tread). I then repeatedly ask you to seek out more information and ask those who do this for a living for their opinion. What do you do? You go on a crusade to promote your own views, don´t try to get any further information and completely ignoring what has been said by myself and others... This is just sad Jens
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2019-01-12 13:30:55    
Could you please instead comment the article saying it is very confusing that IFSC boulder semis is considered flash as it is in practice is more onsight than Lead onsight.

1. In bouldering semis you look at the climb for like 30 sec in comparison with 5 min in Lead.
2. You can not cooperate with others in bouldering meanwhile you can do it in Lead.
3. The sequences in bouldering are harder to find in comparison to in Lead.

There will be million of spectators in Tokyo who will be very confused for the commentators calling it flash in bouldering and onsight in Lead, when in fact bouldering is run in a more strict onsight format in comparison to Lead onsights.
OffLine Alan Little
  2019-01-12 16:21:32    
You appear to be suggesting there will be millions of non-climbing spectators watching the Olympics who already know and understand what "onsight" and "flash" mean in normal climbing usage, and will therefore be confused if the IFSC's use of the terms is slightly different.

I strongly doubt this.
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2019-01-12 16:48:06    
The commentators will describe the lead onsight format saying no beta etc is possible. Then they will describe the bouldering format saying that no beta etc is possible but now we call it flash.
OffLine Henning Wang
  2019-01-12 20:03:13    
It is not confusing at all if you accept that there is no onsight in bouldering? never has been before 8a.nu made it up.
Why is it confusing for the people watching the olympics with first try (called flash) and multiple tries? After all, wouldn´t it be even more confusing adding more words to describe the same thing?
OffLine JLH
  2019-01-12 20:16:08    
On the contrary, onsight bouldering IS confusing. Flash is understood by climbers and 1st try by all the others. And there are no such words as onsight (or flash) in IFSC rules. IFSC rules are clear and complete, and your definition of 'OS bouldering' is not.
But anyway, even according to your 'onsight' definition you are trying to implement in bouldering, ifsc comps, at least qualis and semis, are *not* OS, as several climbers are present under the wall at the same time and they are allowed to watch others climbing in their next problems.
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2019-01-12 23:43:56    
You are dead wrong. You are not allowed to watch the orhers in bouldering.

If it would be allowed to watch others tjen we could call it flash.

Of course it would be easier for all the non-climbers if the same style would just use one name, i.e. Onsight. Now for some reason, which is confusing, the same set of rules are in bouldering called flash meanwhile in lead, it is called onsight. One Word is easier to understand instead if two names for the same thing.
OffLine JLH
  2019-01-13 07:21:57    
>You are dead wrong. You are not allowed to watch the orhers in bouldering.

According to which rule exactly?
Have you ever watched any IFSC world cup semis?
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2019-01-13 09:12:35    
I have probably seen 100+ comps and I never seen any competitor standing a looking at the next boulder. If this would be allowed, the scene would have been totally different with climbers running around checking the others. This would have been totally unfair for the guy starting #1 as he/she would be the only one receiving no beta. Further more, why do you think everyone resting are not allowed to sit and watch the others.

" At the end of each Rotation Period, the competitors that are climbing shall stop
climbing and enter a designated resting area. This area shall not allow observation of any boulder.

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. "
But thanks for bringing it up! Is it not very strange that the commentators call it flash when you are not allowed to look at the others in bouldering meanwhile in Lead, you are allowed to look at the others as much as you want :)
OffLine JLH
  2019-01-13 09:40:08    
If you've seen 100+, you probably know, competitors are not blindfolded, nor they must close their eyes or turn their backs when there is a fellow competitor in their next boulder.

>Competitors shall have no knowledge of the boulders other than that obtained during the official observation period

If you've read this (7.7.5) article in whole, you probably see what specifically is meant by 'no knowledge':
"i. Whilst in the Competition Area, competitors are not permitted to seek any information from persons outside the Competition Area, unless specifically authorised to do so by the Jury President;
ii. 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"

By common sense, "pass any information" probably mean, they are allowed to climb, while other competitors are still in the comp area ;)

For example, do you think, Jan Hojer should be disqualified from last World Champs semis, as he was looking at Schubert in M2 during first one resting between attempts in M1?
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2019-01-13 10:11:28    
They are allowed to look at their boulder meaning that sometimes get a glance of the next boulder. I am sure if somebody actively did go around checking the others during their rest, the referee would tell them it is not allowed even if it is not specifically mentioned in the rule. I guess this is more about a sportmanship tradition that you are supposed to follow. Further more, if it was allowed to look at the others why are the athletes not looking at the others while having their 5 min break?

This "onsight" rule is very clear for all competitors and commentators but nevertheless, they call it flash in spite it is not allowed to look at the others. I like that you bring it up since I think IFSC should include it in detail in their rule, so it can not be misunderstood.

Have you ever seen any competitor walking around looking at the coming boulders while they rest?
OffLine JLH
  2019-01-13 18:29:57    
No, they are not 'walking around', but they certainly look at others in their next problems. Even if it's only 'a glance' (and Jan's example was not a glance, he starred for several seconds at least), it breaks the rules of OS (as you defined it or as everyone considers it in lead).

So, once again, do you think, Jan Hojer should be disqualified from last World Champs semis, while looking at Schubert in M2 during he was resting between attempts in M1?

Please just answer YES or NO. Thanks in advance.
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2019-01-13 18:49:45    
If it was allowed to look at the other boulderers, why do you think this is not done actively by all climbers?

It would be very unfair if just the first guy climbs onsight and then the remaining 19 in flash mode.

I will write a new article saying IFSC need to add specifically that you are not allowed to look at the other climbers. We can not have rules where some understand that it is allowed to look, i.e. flash meanwhile others say you are not allowed, i.e. Onsight.
OffLine JLH
  2019-01-13 21:22:15    
Please just answer YES or NO. Thanks in advance.
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2019-01-13 22:58:44    
I am afraid I can not answer your question based on that video. It seems you have the answer.

The problem is of course that there is no specific rule against looking at another climber even if the informal rule says it is forbidden. IFSC must address this problem, meaning they have to add a rule that they are not allowed to look at the other climbers, i.e Onsight format.
OffLine Sebastian Peace
  2019-01-13 23:39:39    
I personally think he should not be disqualified because motion attracts the eyes and if the IFSC really wanted a total isolation in the qualification rounds they would put up blankets or something to block sight. Anything else is just not possible or how often do you succeed in not looking at those advertisments if you walk around Times Square. After reading the 2018 IFSC bouldering regulation I could not find any clear rules about watching others in the qualification round.
OffLine JLH
  2019-01-14 06:54:13    
Hm, you see Jan was looking at Jakob, you think this is forbidden by the rules and you STILL DON'T KNOW Jan should be disqualified?
A strange logic, if you ask me.