Live From 2015 ABS Nationals Finals

If you’re looking for the results of this morning’s Semi-final round, you can see men’s results here and women’s here.

Tune in tonight night at 7:30 pm CST for live coverage of ABS Nationals Finals from the Monona Terrace in Madison, Wisconsin, where we will see 6 women and 7 men vie for the title or 2015 ABS Champion.  If you missed semi-finals you can catch up with replays of the live coverage here.

Here’s the order they’ll come out for tonight’s Finals. If Finals is anything like Semis it should be a great show!

http://absnationals.org/08/news/ABS16%20Open%20Finals%20Run.pdf

Be sure to open this video on Youtube and join the conversation in the chat room, or tweet at us using hashtags #absnationals.

Posted In: American Bouldering Series, Bouldering

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44 Responses to Live From 2015 ABS Nationals Finals

  1. Kris February 7, 2015 at 9:59 pm #

    they are all bleeding from the jams 🙁 yucky

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    • Chuck February 7, 2015 at 10:21 pm #

      I thought the men’s finals problems were a bit strange. Awkward jump starts, tweaky pocket crimps, hand jams between what appeared to be painfully abrasive surfaces, etc. Thumbs down.

      Women’s problems were all cool though. Puccio is kind of on another planet when she’s competing in the US.

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  2. chris February 7, 2015 at 11:09 pm #

    I’m confused….Jafari topped 1 and 3, couldn’t do the first move on 2, and basically could only do two moves on 4.

    Woods does 1 and 2, does a couple moves on 3, and gets the second to last hold on 4.

    How does Jafari win?

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    • DD February 7, 2015 at 11:55 pm #

      Attemps for the two tops, I’m guessing?

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      • captaincrimp February 8, 2015 at 12:11 am #

        I’m curious about this, too. If they had bonus holds like the world cups woods wins.

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      • Seamus February 8, 2015 at 12:13 am #

        You could be right about attempts to top. But, it seems like points for getting further on 2 boulder problems should be worth more than attempts. Especially since neither competitor got flashes on either problem they completed. I’m still trying to wrap my head around the ABS rules here, but still can’t calculate the same numbers the judges are getting.

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    • Peter February 8, 2015 at 12:55 am #

      Yeah WTF is this. The men’s problems were weird too, I feel like ABS is trying too hard to be like IFSC and in doing so just went overboard with the weirdness.

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    • PBC February 8, 2015 at 1:13 pm #

      I took a good hard look at the rules this morning, and there’s a bit of grey in there as to how they are ranked on individual boulders. It takes a bit of explaining, took me about a page here:

      http://crankchronicles.blogspot.com/2015/02/what-hell-are-points-explanation-and.html

      What the new system does is disproportionately reward you for doing moves\problems that less people do. The fact that Larson got so close on the last problem may have actually hurt Dan’s score, whereas being the only to top problem 3 gave Jafari a huge leg up.

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      • PBC February 8, 2015 at 1:26 pm #

        Running the numbers, they scored Larson as having made it farther-faster on P4 than Woods. Had Woods gotten scored higher there, he would have won.

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    • JLG February 8, 2015 at 4:29 pm #

      Based on rankings for each climb multiplied by the other climbs:
      Ranking for M and D on the four routes:
      m 2 7 1 4 56 [2x7x1x4=56]
      d 2 2.5 6.5 2 65 [2×2.5×6.5×2=65]

      Why this [multiplying rankxrank means something merits a serious discussion.
      Taking the 4th root does nothing to change finish-order.
      Woulda-shoulda-coulda dept: If DW had 5.5 on 3rd climb makes him#1.

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      • Brad February 9, 2015 at 12:10 pm #

        The ranking creates a distinction between problems/moves few people do compared to ones several people do. Then the multiplying points increases this distinction. It’s strange, but the multiplying did what was intended to do.

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  3. Derek February 8, 2015 at 5:28 am #

    At least the ifsc ranking and scoring system can be explained in a few words…. The abs system requires a whole PDF!

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  4. Matt February 8, 2015 at 6:47 am #

    I’m really technical and I gave that PDF 4 seconds this morning and figured reading Internet spray was better spent time,

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  5. Gibbs52 February 8, 2015 at 8:08 am #

    I really disliked the scoring system. I have no problem with the result, but making a scoring system that is basically impossible for viewers to follow really reduces the accessibility of the sport. Some people (me) will end up watching no matter what, but for new viewers it is crucial that they can quickly understand the outcome on any given climb or set of climbs.

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    • Jared February 8, 2015 at 4:14 pm #

      Agreed! Any scoring system that is had to follow and also invites controversy is a bad one. This one the viewers didn’t understand. Daniel was chatting with the judge for a while afterwards so I imagine he didn’t really get why he didn’t win either.

      Also, bbligatory: “This is why we’re not in the olympics.”

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  6. Gibbs52 February 8, 2015 at 8:10 am #

    I don’t want to be overly negative though, the comp was a ton of fun to watch.

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  7. PadCaddy February 8, 2015 at 1:38 pm #

    The finals results provide a great illustration of the weaknesses (and perhaps strengths) of the new scoring system. The new system ranks each problem individually, and the climber’s final point total is the average of their ranks on all four climbs. Parents of youth climbers (myself included) have been trying figure out the practical impacts of the new system this season. One impact is that attempts matter a lot, and can trump the total number of holds. Megan M. would have placed second using last year’s scoring system, because she had more total holds than A.J. and Angie. She placed 4th because A.J. and Angie placed ahead of her on attempts on the first problem, which ended up giving them the advantage on points. It seems strange that attempts on a jump start could count more than getting three more total holds. On the other hand, total holds can be unfair (perhaps) if there is a stopper hold down low on the problem, followed by a series of easier holds that would inflate the total hold count. Jafari on problem 2 might be an illustration.

    Having watched a ton of youth comps, I’ve come to the conclusion that any climbing scoring system is going to be a bit arbitrary. The new system is no different from the old system on that front. The old system, however, was a lot easier to follow and explain.

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  8. JLG February 8, 2015 at 4:17 pm #

    Gibbs52 makes an important point. I think most people are in the dark and I was too until I spent some far amount of time trying to figure out the scoring.

    As with any change or new system there is a period of time during which learning the new information occurs.

    With the new USA Climbing scoring system being used at Nationals, because it involves some things most of us have not encountered since 8th grade math, it can be confusing.

    However, the real issue is not that you need to take the 4th root of all the route rankings multiplied by themselves, something we will get to in a minute.

    This new system makes one thing of paramount importance:
    How did a climber do compared with other climbers in each of the routes in the competition.

    The arithmetic used to compute this at first [and perhaps always] is a bit difficult to grasp from an intuitive perspective. Even after the arithmetic is clear, it remains unclear how multiplying a rank in one climb by a rank in another and then taking a large root adds to the process. But, c’est la statistiques.

    The arithmetic, which is already described in shorthand on the USA Climbing website, goes like this:

    Step 1.) Take the ranking a climber achieved in each route in a competition. For example, a climber may have been ranked 1, 2, 3 and 4 in four routes in a final.

    Step 2.) Multiply the rank on each climb by the ranks on the other climbs. In this example: ranked 1, times ranked 2, times ranked 3, times ranked 4; or 1 x 2 x 3 x 4.
    1 times 2 times 3 times 4 equals 24.
    1 x 2 x 3 x 4 = 24 or sometimes written 1*2*3*4 = 24.

    The simple fact is that at this point, the person with the lowest number of multiplying ranks by ranks is the winner.

    Taking the 4th root, only makes the numbers easier to compare.

    In this example, 1 x 2 x 3 x 4 equals 24 and the 4th root of 24 is 2.2133 or, rounding off is about 2.21. [There is a key on most iphone calculators for roots: The root calculation key looks like an “x” followed by root sign [a check] followed by a “y.”
    To perform the root calculation: Press clear. Enter number for which you want root [e.g., 24]. Press the root calculation key (“x” check sign, “y”). Enter the root sought [e.g. 4]. Enter equal sign. Voila! 2.21336383940064 etcetera.

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    • Frustrated Viewer February 9, 2015 at 11:34 am #

      Man, thanks for the explanation! That was awesome. It should also be mentioned that your ranking for the round if tied is divided by the number of competitors that tied with you, so if two people ranked 1st place for a round, they actually are ranked 1.5 each.

      In any case, I don’t know if any one at home, or any climbers sitting in isolation could compute the 4th root of their current multiplied ranks in their heads. Doesn’t anyone else think this is a bit too over the top. I can’t think of any Olympic event that uses a geometric mean to calculate somebody’s score and also considers the placement of their fellow competitors in the pool as a modifier. Even typing this now, this seems more elaborate than some crazy board games I’ve played! The rules are almost more of a mathematical exercise than determining, ‘this person was the best climber of the night’.

      Some comments here give DW a lot of crap for not understanding the rules. Read JLG’s explanation of the rules and put yourself in the competitor’s shoes. Do you really understand why you are taking the 4th root of a cumulative product of rankings for a score? Do you understand why that value means you are a better or worse climber of the day? I don’t. I’m sure the competitors don’t either. Heck, it seems like Angie Payne and Alex Johnson don’t quite understand how they all got on the podium (it sure seemed like Mascarenas was the 2nd best female climber). Don’t rip on DW because he seemed upset, you might be too if you lost out on a title and a good amount of money from some cryptic scoring.

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  9. Peter February 8, 2015 at 5:02 pm #

    IMO This american scoring system is just bullshit. The IFSC system of ‘person who gets the most tops wins, if there is a tie of tops then the person with more bonuses wins’ is just logical. What is this about more points given to people who do problems that few managed to do? The sport is already hard enough to find accessible by non-climbers.

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    • Narc February 8, 2015 at 5:04 pm #

      I agree simpler is better, but I don’t think the fact that IFSC system only rewards two holds per problem is a great solution.

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      • Peter February 8, 2015 at 5:21 pm #

        To me it seems more logical, but who knows.

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      • Nakur February 9, 2015 at 3:47 am #

        Can you explane, why you don’t think that is a good solution? In my opinion this makes the scoring system for climber aswel for the spectators quite clear. How much zones (scoring holds) do you thinks is necessary, reasonable, or enough?

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        • Narc February 9, 2015 at 6:36 am #

          The main issue with the bonus hold system is that with only two holds counting for scoring one climber can get several moves farther than another on a problem (but not to the finish) and not get any additional credit

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          • Nakur February 9, 2015 at 7:53 am #

            In my opinion the bouldercompetions are not about how many moves someone can make or holds they can fixate in how many tries. But to top the four boulderproblems and do this so effective as posible? This is not leadclimbing. So there is no need for additional credit.

            I also think that if the scoringsystem is too difficult, spectators wil be reluctant to watch the bouldercomp. Therefor the competionboulderingformat wil not be intresting enough for the greater public.

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  10. Justin February 8, 2015 at 8:04 pm #

    The real downside for me is that the winner was equaled or outperformed on 3/4 climbs and still won. That illustrates a flawed scoring system that needs some revisions. Seems too subjective, like gymnastics.

    Also wondering why the judges kept pulling the guys off the start of problem #2?

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    • Justin (so happens, a different Justin than above) February 8, 2015 at 10:09 pm #

      Do you mean problem #3? Starts at 1:23:15.

      A handful of people got a talking to about that problem, and I believe Rob D and Nathaniel got pulled off while going at it. The problem itself had a unique start with a tape box large enough to encompass part of the wall, a large undercling/crimp feature and a solo crimp. People ran-jumped it, no-hands rested off the feet, it was a interesting split of approaches.

      Not sure if anyone followed up about the judge calling people out so much. Narc? Also I believe you explained a bit mid broadcast, but especially in the context of problem #3, when are attempts officially counted? I looked at the finals spreadsheet from ABS and felt like the numbers looked low for the amount of frustration people had getting on that thing.

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    • Ben February 9, 2015 at 10:28 am #

      I totally agree with your point about the winner being outperformed.
      I think the issue with the start of problem # 2 was that the climber’s hands needed to start inside the taped box. Jafari was the only competitor who seemed to notice the box continued far below the start hold; he did a slow step onto the foot volume with his hands raised so that the hands landed in the box and balanced him as he stood up. The other guys were all running and jumping, which caused some of them to hit a hand or two on the wall outside the box.

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  11. Chris February 8, 2015 at 10:13 pm #

    I don’t understand why you can’t have, say, each problem worth 100 points. This 100 pts is divided up by the number of holds per problem. Each climber gets differing amounts of points based upon getting to and controlling each hold, with perhaps bonuses for finishing problems as well as flashing problems. Maybe some small reductions in points with additional attempts. Person with the highest score at the end wins. Seems simple and logical.

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    • Narc February 9, 2015 at 6:37 am #

      That’s more or less what the format was last year

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  12. Cryptic February 8, 2015 at 10:17 pm #

    I’m disappointed to say that of the many ABS, Dark Horse, IFSC, and various other comps I have watched over the years, this one was my least favorite. I have four reasons:

    * Of the men’s finals problems, not a single one even vaguely resembled bouldering, either indoors or outdoors. There is a fine line between “testing a variety of skills” and “testing skills unrelated to what the athletes actually train for,” and this comp marched right over that line.

    * Unlike its predecessors, ABS 2014 used the timing system that most comps use: males and females are paired, each start at the same time, each end at the same time. This change subtly but measurably improved the viewing experience. ABS 2015, however, decided to take a step back towards the stone age by having athletes starting independently, with no timers onscreen for the audience to follow.

    * The new scoring system is just plain stupid. As Narc points out above, the IFSC system may not be perfect, but the athletes understand it, the commentators understand it, fans can learn it with a mere minute of explanation, and it has been consistent across years and continents. None of those can be said of the new ABS rules.

    * Production quality is still not as good as IFSC, which in itself is not even as good as most other sports (or e-sports). Microphones failing, cameras cutting away from desperate climbers to show uninteresting things on the ground, outdated score displays, crew members audible in the background, interviewees being interrupted, highly repetitive commentary (drink every time you hear “8-time national champion” –> dead before finals), inconsistent pronunciation of competitor’s names, and on and on and on.

    The good news is that these issues aren’t permanent or systemic, they’re fixable. The bad news is we’ve been waiting for years, and things don’t seem to be getting any better.

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    • cdent February 9, 2015 at 4:14 am #

      Yeah, all those things may be true but on the other hand: I GOT TO WATCH AWESOME BOULDERING LIVE ON TEH INTERNETZ FROM A COMFY CHAIR.

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    • Narc February 9, 2015 at 6:35 am #

      The timing system was the same as it has been in years past

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  13. Jacob February 8, 2015 at 10:25 pm #

    So they change the scoring system this season and no one but parents of youth competitors care until the final round of nationals? I think what’s really going in is that the entire men’s field didn’t do very well and some guy no one has heard of won in a pretty unspectacular way, and then people blame the scoring system because it’s an easy target. I don’t think the system makes any more sense than anyone else does, but I think that if Woods or O’Rourke had come out and crushed it we wouldn’t care, the whole thing was just really anti-climactic and it felt like Jafari won on a technicality, which is lame for a viewer no matter who wins or what scoring system is used.

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    • steve February 9, 2015 at 3:33 pm #

      That’s not true. The woman’s results were weird because of the scoring system also. This particular situation just highlighted its shortcomings, so everyone noticed.

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    • Jeanine February 9, 2015 at 4:13 pm #

      Not true! A lot of parents cared and complained to USA about the scoring

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  14. A Person February 8, 2015 at 10:54 pm #

    As this is a competition designed to determine the contestants for the IFSC world cups, one would imagine that the format would be the same, right?

    I have trouble grappling with the idea of combining the IFSC ‘tops’ idea with the old-school-points-per-hold idea – both on their own do a rather good job at separating contestant, but a combination is ridiculous. Pick one or the other; but again, if you do pick, choose one that simulate the real field of combat – aka the IFSC world cup format.

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  15. Matt February 9, 2015 at 6:16 am #

    You have to admit hat it was awesome seeing a dude come out of nowhere, at least to the Narc/8a community, and take down The strongest climber in the world, regardless of a technicality or not.

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    • Brad February 9, 2015 at 12:54 pm #

      Woods is great, but strongest in the world? I don’t think he would be on the podium at IFSC.

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      • DD February 9, 2015 at 8:21 pm #

        Good thing he didn’t say “best international competition climber in the world”

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  16. amurica! February 9, 2015 at 4:44 pm #

    A lot of what I liked about american bouldering is that it wasn’t euro bouldering. I don’t care if you can climb a v## chimney or handjam. I thought this was a bouldering comp. How many of the last hard problems we saw sent outside involved any of that? The last time I jammed on an outdoor boulder was on Pigpen. Great boulder. Not what I want to watch in the ABS. Why are the competitors monoing bolt holes on your face climb? And why is anything vertical called slab? That shit is face climbing.

    Blah! Further encouragement to forget indoor bouldering comps exist and go outside where the whims of settings fashion sense don’t matter.

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  17. Van February 9, 2015 at 6:43 pm #

    who does overhanging fist jams without tape?…..seems like a pretty painful requirement for an indoor bouldering comp

    overall great comp, awesome job commentating narc, your insightful comments and dry sense of humor is much appreciated.

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