Stasa Gejo comments problematic Olympic IFSC point scoring scenarios

EDITORIAL

9 January 2022

IFSC has presented a new Combined scoring format by points. The max score is 100 points in each discipline. Here is one example of how the winner in Boulder actually could end up tied dead last overall with the Lead winner! If IFSC would have used the old multiplication system they have instead been tied winners!

The example is based on that the boulders are too easy and all make at least three Tops. This means that the winner will get close to 100 points and then most of the guys will get just above 99 points and the others 75 - 81 points. If then the Boulder winner gets to hold 40, out of 45, on the lead route and all others make it at least one hold further, he/she could be dead last overall. Here is a fictive result board where also the Lead and Boulder winners becomes dead last overall.

1. 99.5 + 85 = 184.5
2. 99.4 + 85 = 184.4
3. 99.6 + 80 = 179.6
4. 99.3 + 80 = 179.3
5. 99.2 + 80 = 179.2
6. 80.9 + 95 = 175.9
7. 74.7 + 100 = 174.7 (Lead winner: with multiplication #1)
7. 99.7 + 75 = 174.7 (Boulder winner: with multiplication #1)

Another scenario that would not please the spectators could be if Janja Garnbret tops out all four boulders at the same time the runner up just makes two tops. This would mean that Janja has almost secured the combined victory as she is like 40-45 points ahead before Lead. Another not so good scenario is that the Lead route is too hard and the max points received is 25 as the winner just make it to hold 30 out of 45. In practice, this would mean that the overall ranking will simply be based on who made more Tops in Boulder and again that the Lead winner could be dead last overall.

I have discussed this with Stasa Gejo who has taken part in an IFSC meeting as she is in the athlete's commission. "The biggest flaw is that IFSC wants to equalize boulder and lead, which is impossible. The Athletes' Commission representatives, were fighting to implement a performance model, where everyone's score would depend on the leader's, but the authorities didn't want to hear about it. We'll see what happens on the first implementation. It is hard to have a clear opinion now, without a test. Also, the setting will play the biggest role. My proposal is to have an athlete-testing group, some non-qualified athletes for the olympics."

The easiest way to have a performance model like what the Athletes Commission representative want, is simply, to sum up the ranking in each discipline. This is what I suggested before the Tokyo Olympics. If so, both the Lead and the Boulder winners would end midways in the result list, based on the example above. It seems IFSC goes from one extreme ranking model in Tokyo to the opposite extreme for Paris at the same time the athletes want something in the middle.

Remember that if not Colin Duffy had made a false start of 0.005 seconds in his first Speed run in Tokyo against Alberto Gines Lopez, they would probably have changed their results overall. Colin had won the gold and Alberto had become dead last in the final.

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