/ NEWS - RAB CWIF Finals Report

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UKC News - on 20 Mar 2017
Mélissa takes the win with problem 4, 4 kbThe Rab CWIF 2017 is over and it certainly didn't disappoint. With a long list of seasoned IFSC World Cup competitors as well as some seriously strong outdoor boulderers, there was talk of this year's event being a 'World Cup plus'. German star Alex Megos became the first male to regain a CWIF Champion title and Mélissa le Nevé of France broke Shauna Coxsey's 5-time winning streak in her absence. Michaela Tracy and Matt Cousins did their home crowd proud, finishing in 3rd and 4th place respectively.Read more
climbnplay on 20 Mar 2017
women's final was really fun to watch, but the men's, on the other hand, was not...not sure you can claim that it was "expertly set" when there were only 2 tops altogether!
Chris the Tall - on 20 Mar 2017
In reply to UKC News:

If I'm reading the scoreboard correctly Megos won due to less attempts on the problem he climbed, even though he trailed Chon on bonus holds ?

Has this always be the case - it seems the wrong way round to me.
dr_botnik - on 20 Mar 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

didn't actually catch the final, but its always been that the most top outs in fewest goes wins. Bonus holds are just for tie breaks
Rad - on 20 Mar 2017
In reply to UKC News:
It was a strong field, but the setting in the men's finals was really awful, with uninteresting movement and single show-stopper moves that shut down the climbers. The women's problems were a little better, but not by much. At least we can look forward to World Cup season soon. Go Shauna!
Post edited at 15:45
Graeme Alderson on 20 Mar 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

It has always been like this because Tops have primacy. That is what climbing is all about, getting to the top.

BTW bonus is the term used because Tie Break Hold (which is all it is) is less easily understood across the world and it is too long to fit onto results screens etc.
Chris the Tall - on 20 Mar 2017
In reply to Graeme Alderson:
> That is what climbing is all about, getting to the top.

I thought it was about having fun

Obviously tops have primacy, but it's the second decider which I was surprised at. I didn't realise the number of failures counted against you, or rather it counts more than getting the bonus hold on another problem.

So Megos wins by virtue of getting one problem 2nd go, as opposed to Chon who got his 4th go, yet Chon got to the bonus hold on 2 other problems rather than Megos on one.

What constitutes an attempt - both feet off the floor ?
Post edited at 16:40
JamieSparkes - on 20 Mar 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

we thought the scoring was a little odd as well. What actually separates Mens 3/4/5th places, and also womens 3rd/4th?
In reply to Graeme Alderson:
Graeme, why are the climbers limited to 4 minutes precisely in this comp as opposed to '4 minutes to start the problem' system used in World Cups?

Alan
Post edited at 17:44
snoop6060 - on 20 Mar 2017
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:
Rules have changed they said.

Loved the randomly placed cans of redbull in front of Shauna. Climbing defo needs more of this. Just like that nitro circus thingy.
Post edited at 18:21
alx - on 20 Mar 2017
In reply to Rad:

It's hard to gage it, all the comp climbers will be tapering now for a performance period starting in April as such it could have gone either way. Typically it takes a few weeks of honing any new found strength from the gym into practical climbing performance. Too many tops could have been equally possible outcome.

They also had Shauna testing the problems before hand which was different, indirectly could mean she is ready to tear the IFSC circuit apart
TobyA on 20 Mar 2017
In reply to snoop6060:

> Loved the randomly placed cans of redbull in front of Shauna. Climbing defo needs more of this.

As I drove through rural Derbyshire to work this morning I watched a Red Bull can being blown along the road in front of me at some speed by the wind. My immediate thought was "hmm, scumbag - who would have chucked that out of their car window? The last time I saw that symbol was on Alex Megos's hat on the internet last night". I'm sure that's not the connection that Alex or Red Bull want but I'm afraid that's the connection I most often make.
Graeme Alderson on 20 Mar 2017
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

Alan, we are using the exact same system that World Cups will be using this year - once the buzzer sounds to turn around the climbers are limited to precisely 4 minutes. Where does your '4minutes to start the problem' quote come from.

Cheers
Graeme
Rad - on 20 Mar 2017
In reply to alx:
I'm sure setting just-right problems for comps is really hard, but this is done by pros and they saw quals and semis and had the opportunity to adjust finals routes if needed. Ideally, every problem will be topped at least once but not by all participants. Each boulder should be a puzzle to solve with a combination of technique and strength, there should be creativity in movement and beta needed to succeed, advantages and disadvantages of short and tall climbers should even out across all problems, and climbers will fall on a variety of different moves not just one on each problem, and a diversity of skills should be tested. Personally, I think the shift to 4 minutes hard stop for finals is not a good thing and wish the Olympics could be 4:30 or 5:00 for finals. That allows more time for longer, more creative problems rather than shorter ones like we saw: two moves to set up for a desperate final dyno (first men's problem) or a desperate dyno opening move to set up for more a moderate finish (last men's problem).
In reply to Graeme Alderson:

> Where does your '4minutes to start the problem' quote come from.CheersGraeme

I made it up. It was just my way of describing the old system where you were allowed to continue if you got on after the buzzer.

Seems a poor rule change to me. That old system worked fine and I don't see any need to change it. It allowed climbers to save themselves for one last attempt, and didn't penalise people who were tenaciously hanging on for a long time.

Alan
alx - on 20 Mar 2017
In reply to Graeme Alderson:

I guess it's another way of saying 4+ mins.

How come the change? Some of the most memorable moments are athletes pulling out that last ditch effort on the wall knowing if they drop then it's over.
stp - on 20 Mar 2017
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

> Seems a poor rule change to me. That old system worked fine and I don't see any need to change it.

Yeah I totally agree, as I suspect a lot of climbers do too.

The slight flaw with the 4 plus time was that occasionally climbers could pull off the ground into a rest position and hang on and shake out for a while. Obviously that's not that entertaining to watch. However it seems like firstly it didn't happen very often - just a small handful of times each season. It's simply not possible on most problems anyway. Secondly even when it did happen it was hardly a big deal.

AlanLittle - on 20 Mar 2017
In reply to stp:

> The slight flaw with the 4 plus time was that occasionally climbers could pull off the ground into a rest position and hang on and shake out for a while. Obviously that's not that entertaining to watch.

I disagree. I remember a couple of epic after-the-bell sieges, complete with improbably rest positions, that were hugely entertaining to watch. They were a Melissa speciality. I think think it's a great shame to see them sacrificed on the altar or pandering to TV schedules.

alx - on 20 Mar 2017
In reply to AlanLittle:

Remember the finger tip dive by the Japanese team one final. Or Rustam's epic battle with the giant circular orange volume?

So I guess the question is why change? What unmet need are the IFSC fulfilling?
AlanLittle - on 21 Mar 2017
In reply to alx:
> Remember the finger tip dive by the Japanese team one final.

I vividly remember one of those live in Munich in 2014 - possibly the very one you're thinking of. It was great.

Also - see ongoing BMC discussions *passim* - competition bouldering is just one part of mountaineering's gloriously diverse continuum. The ability to bivouac comfortably in unlikely locations with minimal equipment is a key mountaineering skill. Thus this change is an insult to our our core values.

> What unmet need are the IFSC fulfilling?

The "need" to fit into a predictable TV slot.
Post edited at 06:29
stp - on 21 Mar 2017
In reply to AlanLittle:

Yeah, good points. I'm definitely not in favour of the new rule either.

There's more about it here (again not favourable).

http://thecircuitclimbing.com/p/0/m/EhAKBU1pdGVtEICAgKy_9p8K/cwif-2017-competition-review
iamniccage - on 21 Mar 2017
In reply to UKC News:
I thought it was explained in the commentary. The shift is to do with the regulations for the olympics - a set equal time for each competitor.

There is the arguement that the 4 + timing allowed for the entertainment, last minute scramble for an attempt. But in the semis was always 5min fixed time. Now we will have people having to judge the time better to ensure the last attempt they have enough time to top.

Also what you saw at the weekend was climbers jumping on for a last attempt to secure a bonus in case of a tie at the end.
Post edited at 10:08
alx - on 21 Mar 2017
In reply to iamniccage:

But why have less time for a finals problem than a semi's problem? People turn up to watch the finals as it's entertaining, you only have a fraction of the competitors.

Ultimately it will impact on the setting as it returns to more basic style as the more dynamic problems cannot be learned quickly enough.
Skotch85 - on 21 Mar 2017
In reply to AlanLittle:


>The "need" to fit into a predictable TV slot.

That disgusts me. Who in the age of the internet does really need that? But yeah I can see that for Olympia in Japan (so exited... NOT) they need that.
AlistairB - on 21 Mar 2017
In reply to alx:

It's also really poor for some vertical/slab problems like W2 where one attempt left most of the climbers with less than 2 minutes left and thus little chance of topping after the first go. It's nice to see at least 3 good goes on a problem as a spectator I think.

If 4+ really can't come back, the IFSC should at least consider increasing it to 5 or even 6 minutes.
iamniccage - on 21 Mar 2017
In reply to alx:

Yeah, I was just repeating the reasoning for the change of format being an olympic requirement for equal time as it seems that from the thread most people seem to have missed this. I didnt decide on the 4 mins, and would prefer 5 minutes slots as think this would be better. Sure they will end up with that.

There is a lot of blame on tv slot, i don't really believe this is anything to do with it. there is enough time wastage at the olympics in other sports and surely going through the history of the comps could probably tell the the 4+ system generally does not relate to considerably longer time.

The olympics likes to adhere to the equality and fairness concept so rigid equal time plays to that.

i do think the system of deciding the winner does need to change though. Jongwon Chon was easily the more consistent of the climbers at CWIF across the final problems. but that topic is probably for another day!
alx - on 21 Mar 2017
In reply to iamniccage:

Good points. Perhaps a 5 or 6 min per boulder instead, then both camps can be happy.

Alternatively stick with the 4+ rule but add a 30sec limit to resting of a set of holds. The problem with this new format is quite a few of the problems are quite long or precarious needing a slow and steady approach. You get 2 tries at best with this new format.

On the flip side you set too big/complex dynamic stuff which no one learns in the short period of time and your left with what happened at the CWIF, the finest male climbers dry humping the same 2ft of ply.

With you on Jon Won Chon, and I suspect this year he may just dominate.
stp - on 21 Mar 2017
In reply to iamniccage:

> The shift is to do with the regulations for the olympics - a set equal time for each competitor.

This doesn't make any sense. If that was the reason why the time change at the CWIF or any other pre-Olympic event? The only change from 4+ would be at the Olympic event itself. It's not like the climbers need 3 years of practice to get used to the new rule. Most of them won't even be in the Olympics.


> i do think the system of deciding the winner does need to change though. Jongwon Chon was easily the more consistent of the climbers at CWIF across the final problems. but that topic is probably for another day!

I agree. I was thinking that there should be some kind of credit awarded for previous rounds. The thing with bouldering is that the skill set is so diverse to arrive at the best climber you need to get an average over a range of different kinds of problems. I actually really like the CWIF qualification round for that very reason: 30 different problems, 3 hours, more like normal bouldering as practiced outside.

Lemony - on 21 Mar 2017
In reply to stp:
> This doesn't make any sense. If that was the reason why the time change at the CWIF or any other pre-Olympic event?

Has anyone actually got a link saying that it's to do with the olympics? It seems equally plausible to me that it's just intended to make for a more consistent event. With 4+, a competitor who's later on in the draw could get several minutes more/less rest than one at the start depending on how the problems fall.

I'd add my voice to those saying that the new rules didn't seem to work as a spectacle though.

> I actually really like the CWIF qualification round for that very reason: 30 different problems, 3 hours, more like normal bouldering as practiced outside.

Bit impractical as a spectator sport though.
alexwolf47 - on 21 Mar 2017
In reply to UKC News:

Didn't really enjoy the four minute rule either, although thought the final was very entertaining even if the problems were perhaps a bit too hard! Surely the 4+ format but with an overall 5 minute limit would give you the best of both options. If someone isn't on the problem when the timer hits 4 minutes then you just wait 1 minute for the next competitor, if they are on then they know they still have time for a decent attempt. Gives you the ability to schedule it precisely, equal rests for climbers, and gives the climbers chance to jump back on for one last chance (albeit with only 60 seconds for that last attempt).
Graeme Alderson on 21 Mar 2017
In reply to iamniccage:

> I thought it was explained in the commentary. The shift is to do with the regulations for the olympics - a set equal time for each competitor.

Well if the commentators said that they are wrong. The reason for the change is to have a more predictable time for the final - it was brought in as a media (ie TV) friendly move, so yes connected to the Olympics as well but also connected to the fact that we are seeing more comps with live TV at the finals, Innsbruck has had TV for a few years, Tokyo had live TV last year and Paris was shown live in Japan.
iamniccage - on 21 Mar 2017
In reply to Graeme Alderson:

fair enough, the commentary always talked about it with reference to the olympics. Would be useful if the IFSC could publish news releases of the changes and explanation to the wider public but it isnt available on their webpage or apparently anywhere on the internet from searches, unless anyone else has managed to find them somewhere.

I notice from you profile your affiliation with the climbing works so assuming they recieved clear reasoning and notification of the rule changes.

Maybe it would be useful if this was subsequently clear disseminated to the climbing community, would stop the need for this kind of discussion.
Graeme Alderson on 21 Mar 2017
In reply to iamniccage:

I am one of the owners of the Climbing Works and I also work for the IFSC, I was at the IFSC Sport Department meeting where the decision was made to remove the '+'
planetmarshall on 21 Mar 2017
In reply to Graeme Alderson:

> The reason for the change is to have a more predictable time for the final.

I wonder how unpredictable it really was? Would be an interesting​ exercise to go over past videos and see how often it deviates from, say, about 6 minutes.
Graeme Alderson on 21 Mar 2017
In reply to planetmarshall:

Well just from memory at least 3 out of the 8 CWIF 2016 final boulders went to zero on the clock - Rustam on the triple dyno, Sean on the outward facing boulder and Mel on something that we used for promo as you can see the clock in the background.
alx - on 21 Mar 2017
In reply to Graeme Alderson:

And all three instances used extensively to promote the Works, CWIF and comp bouldering in general on social media....

This feels like too much compromise on behalf of the sport to shove it on TV.
Rad - on 21 Mar 2017
In reply to alexwolf47:

"...4+ format but with an overall 5 minute limit..."

I really like this idea and hope it gets considered. Part of the excitement of the 4+ model is that climbers shake out as the clock ticks down and hop on for their final attempt with 2-4 seconds left on the clock. It's exciting for everyone. With the 4 cap format most competitors are walking away with 10-20 seconds on the clock because they know they can't top in that time. Very anti-climactic. Having a 5 minute cap would have the same effect. A 4 minute cap, as pointed out, is likely to change route-setting for the worse. So 4+ with a 5 cap seems like a great idea that brings in the end of clock energy and excitement along with the predictability needed for TV. Win, win.
stp - on 21 Mar 2017
In reply to Graeme Alderson:

The removal of the plus seems very unpopular. Nathan Philips said 'There is not a single climber that would say they prefer it,' something I suspect most spectators would say too.

The '4+ format but with an overall 5 minute limit' seems like a better compromise. Any chance the IFSC would consider that or other alternatives before the season starts?
HansStuttgart - on 21 Mar 2017
In reply to UKC News:
and the largest variation in climbing times comes from a lot of athletes flashing an easy problem in 20 seconds.
Post edited at 22:33
Gaz Parry Climbing - on 21 Mar 2017
In reply to UKC News:

It is only Tuesday and every person i have spoken to has given negative feedback to the 4 mins.....for me personally it is a mistake resulting in so much anticlimax. As for fitting with TV, well tennis, boxing, Taekwondo......the list goes on have a variable finish time. Taking the 4+ away takes away with the excitement and those amazing last second sends miracles. In fact climbing still has a variable finish time, if all the blocs are flashed then the comp will finish earlier. At least there is plenty of time to make changes. Apologies if we stated it was on behalf of the Olympic programme. Shame there isn't more information out there. As the sport and as live feed becomes more and more popular accuracy on this sort of information is needed to be handed out at the start of the season.
Ed Douglas - on 22 Mar 2017
In reply to Gaz Parry Climbing:

Great coverage by the way Gaz, excellent viewing for those of us without deep knowledge.
deepsoup - on 22 Mar 2017
In reply to Gaz Parry Climbing:
Yep, I'd like to second what Ed said since you've popped up on here. I watched the finals online too - the coverage and the commentary was superb.

More negative vibes here for the 4 min format too btw, I agree completely - the 4+ format makes for a much more exciting spectator sport.
Tommyads on 22 Mar 2017
In reply to Gaz Parry Climbing:

It was the best live stream event I've seen. Really well done to all involved. It was very slick and I felt like I was watching TV.

4 minute rule is awful.

Hopefully the setting is a tad easier next time for the men's, women's comp was great.
JLS on 22 Mar 2017
In reply to Graeme Alderson:
> I am one of the owners of the Climbing Works and I also work for the IFSC, I was at the IFSC Sport Department meeting where the decision was made to remove the '+'

Another vote here for 4+ with 5 cap as a compromise. From a fans point of view the precise 4min didn't work. It's not long enough.
I'm even more worried about the new lead time limits having a negative impact on the female lead comps...
Post edited at 13:56
Michael Hood - on 22 Mar 2017
In reply to JLS: Why on the female lead comps and not the male?

Graeme Alderson on 22 Mar 2017
In reply to Michael Hood:

Because the men climb faster.
AlanLittle - on 22 Mar 2017
In reply to Michael Hood:

Because it basically amounts to disqualifying Jain Kim?
Michael Hood - on 22 Mar 2017
In reply to Graeme Alderson:
Why do the men climb faster - are their routes relatively easier (to climb and to see what to do) compared with their limits, or do women (or at least women competition climbers) generally climb more slowly?

If they do generally climb more slowly, it would be interesting (especially with the recent sexism threads) to know why - something inherent in the differences in physiology (do the women have more stamina so they can "afford" to climb more slowly) or psychology, social conditioning, expectations, etc.
Post edited at 14:38
JLS on 22 Mar 2017
In reply to Michael Hood:

>"Why do the men climb faster"

Typically the guys are bigger and more heavily build, the tactic of powering up the climb to beat the pump tends to work well.
The women are generally more slight which favors slow and steady while controlling the pump with shaking out.
Graeme Alderson on 22 Mar 2017
In reply to JLS:

As you say the guys are typically bigger, both height and muscularity, so are better equipped at doing longer moves, so typically a male route has less moves.
Michael Hood - on 22 Mar 2017
In reply to JLS & Graeme Alderson: Thanks guys, that all makes sense.

alx - on 22 Mar 2017
In reply to Graeme Alderson:

Graeme any chance the IFSC would reconsider the change in finals timer length back to the original 4+ mins?
stp - on 22 Mar 2017
In reply to Graeme Alderson:
So if the comps are going on TV presumably that means the end of the live stream? Am I right in assuming we will have to pay in the future to watch IFSC events?

And, if so, changing the format to make it less exciting doesn't seem like a smart move at the same time people have to start paying.
Post edited at 23:15
Graeme Alderson on 23 Mar 2017
In reply to stp:

Where did that come from? Austria broadcast the Vienna 2001 final live (or was it 2012) yet the livestream is still there and free.

Take your tinfoil hat off ;-)
stp - on 23 Mar 2017
In reply to Graeme Alderson:
I don't understand why or how one could sell the footage if it's still freely available to all on Youtube. Isn't the whole TV thing about exclusivity? After all most people have computers and broadband these days. Why would anyone bother to watch via a TV channel (that will doubtless be interrupted by ads every 15 minutes too) when they still watch via the web?
Post edited at 11:50

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