Sunday, February 8, 2015

Daniel Woods Wins 1st Place at ABS 16...If it Were the 2013 Rules Though

(Screen grab from video on LT11 YouTube channel)

This post is not meant to take any glory away from the champions at ABS 16 National Championships.  It is only an observation made of the scoring rule changes for this year's event.

If anyone was watching the ABS 16 National Championships last night, they might have noticed the rather displeased Daniel Woods.  Yes he was National Champion for the 9th time, but with that designation comes a caveat.  He was the National Champion because Mohammad Jafari Mahmodabadi, who came in first, could not be crowned due to the rules that don't allow foreign nationals to hold the ABS title.

This, however was not what left Mr. Woods peeved.  It was the change in the scoring system.  If this competition had occurred under the USA Climbing Rule Book from 2013 the order of the top three male finishers would look much different (women's podium did not change for either scoring system).  It would have been Woods for 1st place, O'Rourke for 2nd place, and Mahmodabadi coming in 3rd place.  How did I come to this completely different outcome?  Let me break it down for you according to the 2013 rule book.

First you rank by highest number of tops (finishes), in which there was a 3 way tie among Mahmodabadi, O'Rourke, and Woods.  The rule book states that with a tie at total tops then you rank by total number of controlled holds (1.0 point/hold).  According to the chart below: Woods-41 points, O'Rourke-33 points, and Mahmodabadi-31 points.  So, there you have it!  The final order would have been Woods, O'Rourke, then Mahmodabadi....if it were last year of course!  This is not meant to take anything away from Mohammad though, he was absolutely spectacular while competing and it would be great to see more of him in upcoming competitions.  It all comes down to the new scoring system being complex and not easily determined in real time by the competitors or spectators.  Below is the final score determined by the new scoring system:

I can assume that everyone who looked at the final scores couldn't make heads or tails of it without looking at how they calculated it in the rule book.  Here is the link to how it was scored according to the new scoring rules (ABS 16 Scoring Explained).  Get your calculator ready and make sure it has a square root button, you'll be hitting that one often to check the final scores for yourself.  I have no clue why it is calculated this way but I am sure there is a good explanation.  Spectators and viewers of the finals seemed very confused on the scoring as well (ClimbingNarc site) and thought Woods would have been the outright winner.

Regardless of the scoring system, the competitors put on one hell of a show with Alex Puccio and Daniel Woods retaining their titles as Champions for the 9th time.  Also putting on a great show were the production crew at Louder Than 11, and the announcers Pete Ward and Brian Runnels.  Watch the finals round below.