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Forum: GLOBAL / Editorial / Split times the only way to deal with ties Login in to contribute
Split times the only way to deal with ties
OffLine 8a.nu
  2018-09-10 00:00:00    
During the World Championship in Innsbruck we have seen a record number of ties. As climbing progress it is just natural that the best climbers even out, increasing the route setters delicate job. Ondra and Schubert did get the same score and there is no way to separate them but to go for count back or time.

Pilz did finish the female route 10 seconds faster than Garnbret. The problem was that during Janja's climbing there were no official split times making it very hard to build up the excitement understanding who is in the lead, i.e. who is climbing faster. Luckily they both topped making it easier to get the winner.

Let us say they both finished with a score of 42, then the judges might have had to watch the videos and see that Pilz got it 2.42 seconds meanwhile Garnbret was 0.5 seconds slower. Such an analyses would probably have taken several minutes to do.

One solution for this could be to use split times for every ten moves which can be used to separate identical scoring until they reach the next split time. This would guarantee that for example during the Olympics we do not need to wait five minutes before the winner in Lead can be announced.
OffLine John Render
  2018-09-10 23:50:25    
We keep adding more synthetic layers to a discipline that tests difficulty.

Want it simple? Whoever climbs highest wins. In case of a tie for first, go to superfinal. No spectators can get confused that way.

Superfinals also create an air of excitement that timing - split or otherwise - can't come close to matching.
OffLine Philippe Vaucher
  2018-09-11 09:13:25    
I agree superfinals or shared first/second/third is the way to go. Other sports have it too (e.g shared firsts).
OffLine Christoph Barthel
  2018-09-11 09:14:16    
Using time to determine the winner is a meander!
There are only two possible solutions:
- Superfinal (great show, harder for the organizers)
- Countback (easy to organize, but less satisfying)

Moreover some easy measures can be implemented to ensure minimal ties:

- Longer timelimit (back to 8 minutes for example)
- Longer, little bit less bouldery routes, that are continously hard (at least for the semis, if you want to rely on countback)
- Goal for Semis should be seperation not tops!
--> Really hard power endurance that CONTINUOUSLY gets more difficult all the way but NO bouldercruxes / do-or-die-moves here, so we do not get ties!
OffLine Bojan
  2018-09-11 09:48:46    
Jens, you seem to be one more guy who thinks time is the solution in difficulty climbing. I think it's natural that height (no of holds) decides the rankings in lead.
Yes, it's true top climbers have similar abilities and it's hard to separate them -- with only one route (as we seen in women final after setters intentionally made too easy semi route).
Superfinal seems a fair solution, at least to untie the top two (or more) climbers, but other ties still remain and there is no guarantee even the superfinal will untie first from the second. Also it takes extra time and effort to set the superfinal route and it may be a problem for live broadcasting (TV).
But why do we need superfinals in the first place?! Each finalist has to climb four(!) routes and if you have good rules and setters I'm sure you will be able to break the ties not only for the first place but also for the most of others.
We discuss how to achieve this in the other thread (include qualis in a countback, avoid too easy routes...) and this simple changes will probably split the ties for great majority (99%?) of competitions. For the rest 1%, you may still use one of the other solutions: superfinal, two gold medals or even fu*** time.
But if you choose the last one (time), I disagree to show time live onscreen. OK, maybe just as indication how much time have passed (...6 min) but not how much time remains for the climber to 'beat' another one who have reached the top before.
Edit: haven't seen Christoph's post before I posted mine, but I totally agree.
OffLine Jens Larssen
  2018-09-11 10:26:15    
Super finals would mean either a three hour break or one more route to be built on the side. Alternatively, the route setters would spend like 30 minutes to modificate the existing route and then there would be a new observation etc. Clearly any such solution would not be possible.

Going back to 8 minutes is by no means a guarantee that there will not be any ties.

The route setters of course, already today, try to avoid ties. This is their highest priority.

It does not exist any sport where they hand out two Olympic golds.

Surely, I do not like ties but there is no way we can avoid them so we have to opt for a best tie solution.
OffLine Krzysztof Krzyzanowski
  2018-09-11 10:59:18    
Jens, you've just stated:
"It does not exist any sport where they hand out two Olympic golds".
Sorry, but you're wrong.


So far we've had something like 27 gold medal ties at Summer Olympic Games…
OffLine Jens Larssen
  2018-09-11 11:09:48    
Thanks... in any case, it seems super rare and every Sport tries to avoid ties and so does IFSC.

We have to find a solution how to split ties :)
OffLine John Render
  2018-09-11 12:24:31    
@ Jens, superfinals were not only possible, they were the rule until not so long ago. They produced some very exciting finishes to WC comps. They did not add 3 hours or anything close to that.

As for routesetters trying to avoid separation: Charlie Bosco told us they intentionally set the women's semi for MULTIPLE tops. That doesn't avoid ties. It pretty much guarantees them.
OffLine Jens Larssen
  2018-09-11 13:12:37    
@ John: So how would you arrange an onsight final for Janja and Jessica that could be covered in the same TV slot?

I guess IFSC took out super finals like ten years ago as it was not logistically possible.

If the route setter actually did set for multiple tops, there need to be some IFSC demands that especially in the World Championships, this should not be the case.
OffLine Christoph Barthel
  2018-09-11 13:57:46    
As I said before (and Bojan for example) - there is no need for superfinals in most cases if you follow the others step we indicated (and you chose to ignore here).
I am not relisting them here, just read the above...

However, if you wanted to implement superfinals, here are two simple solutions:

- if no one topped: no onsight, it's just 2nd go, see what they can do now!
- if both (or more topped): adjust a few holds, to make it more difficult. This can easily be pre-arragend beforehand. Resetting will probably take way less than 30 minutes.
OffLine Jens Larssen
  2018-09-11 14:32:05    
Obviously, IFSC do not want ties and of course they try to avoid them. The problem is that whatever ideas, there are no guarantee to separate the best climbers. In 100 meters running, it is possible as we have split seconds but reaching the same hold you can obtain for climbers that are just similar in strength, i.e. 10.00 and 9.90 in 100 meters.

It would not be possible to let the spectators or the TV wait for 30 minutes until the super final could be started.
OffLine John Render
  2018-09-11 14:51:28    
Superfinals are logistically possible. IFSC did them for years. I still remember the superfinal between Ernst, Vidmar and Kim Jain in 2009. It was thrilling.

All it requires is that the setters set another route, ahead of time, in case two or more climbers tie. Whoever climbed first in finals climbs first in the superfinal.

Over the years I saw lots of superfinals, at the youth, national and world levels. They were exciting, and let the climbers decide who comes out on top, not a clock.

Using time is bizarre IMO. I mean, why is faster better? Why not give the gold to the slower climber, i.e. the one who comes closest to using the full time allotment?

Giving joint medals for first sounds ok, though I prefer an out-and-out winner.

ETA: in the Olympics it absolutely is possible to wait a half hour or so. TV coverage constantly jumps back and forth between events. Superfinal would fit right in.
OffLine J. Smith
  2018-09-14 22:18:26    
Do you know the definition of the word "idiot"?
That's a man repeating the same mistake again and again and expects different result.
Lead was and should remain endurance climbing. "On rope boulder" isn't endurance discipline. That's the reason for more ties.
The boulder finals take 2 hours. The "on rope boulder" finals are finished in a little more than half an hour. Even with each finalist climbing 12 minutes, it would't take more than 90 minutes.
Beside the time measurement in lead is unreliable anyway. There is no start switch, no end switch and adding manually controlled intermediates is another idiotic idea which could lead to more frauds.
Why should we watch each boulder finalist for 16 minutes and lead finalist 2, 3 or maximum 6 minutes?