New Combined format to be tested in ECH Munich

EDITORIAL

8 August 2022

The European Championships, in Munich, starts on 11/8 and finishes on 17-18/8 with the Combined final events. The Combined qualification rankings are based on (World Cup) points gained in the Lead and Boulder events at the beginning of the Championships. In other words, 850 points might be needed to make the Top-8 finals.

In the final, a totally new scoring method will be used and there will also be two zones used in the Boulder round. The max score for both Boulder and Lead will be 100 points each. In short, you get 100 points topping the Lead route and then 5 points will be deducted by each hold. In Bouldering, you get 3 points getting to the first zone, 6 points for the second zone and 25 points for the top. Then the score will be reduced 0.1 point by the number of attempts used. All details explained

One risk with this scoring format is that the overall ranking could more or less be based on just one discipline if the routes and boulders turn out to be significantly too easy or too hard. Another risk is that first place can all but be decided after the boulder event, i.e. Garnbret sends two more boulders than the runner-up. Here is an article that discusses the scenario where the winners of the two disciplines end tied dead last in the overall ranking, commented by the IFSC athlete representative Staša Gejo. If the old (Olympic) ranking system were used, this scenario would result in tied winners. In the Olympics, the rankings were based on multiplication, meaning that uneven results were prefered.

Another interesting twist of the performance based scoring system, compared to the previous ranking based system, could be that the athletes will make more tries in Bouldering. Normally, the athletes often observe and wait for 30-45 seconds until the first try as number of attempts has a huge impact on the result. In the Combined format, there is instead more emphasis on getting a top. A flash gives 25 points whereas doing something on the tenth try still gives 24 points.

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