CrossFit Discussion Board  

Go Back   CrossFit Discussion Board > CrossFit Forum > Competitions
CrossFit Home Forum Site Rules CrossFit FAQ Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Competitions Competitions, contests & challenges

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 12-27-2009, 10:17 PM   #1
Desmond Pegrum
Member Desmond Pegrum is offline
 
Profile:
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Perth  WA Australia
Posts: 266
My Thoughts on the 2009 Crossfit Games

Just finished watching all of the mens event at the 2009 Crossfit games downloaded from the Journal

Firstly huge props to the producers of those videos. Quality is amazing in glorious high definition and the production values are top notch. All the action was captured and that was great. I hate watching highlights so i really enjoyed watching the complete coverage.

The events were tough, man were they tough. I could feel the pain through my tv ! That sandbag sprint looked brutal !

My only main critisicm of the format is cutting from 65 athletes after event 5 to 16 athletes is too much. Problem is because athletes are getting points for positions, it means that there is only a 15 point differential between first place and last place whereas on day 1 there was a possible 74 or 64 point differential. It means that guys who aren't right at the top do not have much chance of winning or gaining ground. It is effectively weighting the 5 events on day one 3-4 times as much as the events on day 2. One way around it is to have the events on day 2 be worth double points, so 2 points for 1st, 4 points for 2nd etc upto 32 points for 16th. That gives guys more a chance to gain ground.

Other than that, i thought the event measured a pretty good range of physical attibutes. Some attributes which weren't measured at all include Flexibility, Balance, Reflexes and reaction time.

I would have liked to have seen more bodyweight exercises on day 1. Chris Spealler was blown out of the running because there was a bit too much lean towards Max strength on day 1.

Anyway huge props to the organisers and athletes. I hope to make it there as a spectator one day
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-27-2009, 10:35 PM   #2
Eric Montgomery
Member Eric Montgomery is offline
 
Eric Montgomery's Avatar
 
Profile:
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: San Diego  CA
Posts: 7,413
Re: My Thoughts on the 2009 Crossfit Games

The scoring system was debated ad nauseum during and immediately after the Games--I see you're new to the boards so I don't expect you to know that--but the fact that it was very hard to overtake someone on the second day got plenty of discussion. The Affiliate Cup was pretty much the same deal--places 1-6 were essentially locked in stone going into the final WOD. There were plenty of complaints about last year's "every second counts" format as well...it's hard to come up with a completely equitable scoring system when it's far more complicated than a single event.

My take? This year was only the third installment of the Games, and HQ will continue to tweak the scoring system from year to year in response to the legitimate gripes raised after the 2008 and 2009 Games.
__________________
Training Log (WFS)
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2010, 02:05 PM   #3
Joe Cebulski
Member Joe Cebulski is offline
 
Joe Cebulski's Avatar
 
Profile:
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Grand Rapids  MI
Posts: 42
Re: My Thoughts on the 2009 Crossfit Games

How to beat a dead horse: Thoughts on scoring the Games by a former US Decathlete

A few disclaimers. I am new to crossfit. I am new to the crossfit discussion board. This is my second post. Just made my first one about 5 mins ago I know that this topic has probably been covered quite a bit. But give me a chance to throw some ideas out from a sport that has been competing in broad modal domains, in multiple events, over several days for over a century.

Coach glassman has stated many times that this competition is quantitatively the best test of fitness in the world and determines the world's fittest athlete. I believe the sign over the door to the polebarn in Aromas said something like "a truth divined from competition, not debate." If there is debate over who is the fittest athlete in the actual competition itself, then more thought needs to be put into the scoring of the event. I'll start with a firm statement...

Scoring by place is a bad idea. It is not quantitative...it is relative. A few examples: Imagine I am in 3rd place in the 7k run, and there is a half mile left in the run. If i were to look back and see that the 4th place athlete is nowhere in sight, and the 2nd place athlete is too far ahead to be caught, then I should logically, slow down...maybe even walk, to conserve energy for the deadlift. This is not the kind of philosophy CF HQ would want to create.

In the same vein, let's say that there is only 10 seconds between 1st and 5th place...but between the 5th place finisher and 6th place finisher, there is a 6 minute gap. Scoring by place defines the 6th place finisher as only 1 "point" less of an athlete than the 5th place athlete, despite the huge gap in time. Conversely, the 5th place athlete finishes only 1 second behind the 4th place athlete, yet is awarded the same 1 "point" differential.

As a sidenote, the deadlift and snatch competitions were scored incorrectly even under the "place" philosophy. This was a BIG mistake and could have dramatically affected the results of the comp, especially with athletes eliminated after the first two events. When 16 of the athletes completed all the lifts (505), they were awarded 1 point. Mikko Salo and Pat Burke were able to lift 495...just 10 lbs and one bar below the 505 guys, yet were awarded 17 points. They should have been awarded 2 points. It is irrelevant how many athletes completed the 505 lift. If I followed the scoring philosophy to its end, let's suppose that everyone in the comp was able to lift 505 except for Mikko, who lifted 495. Under the faulty scoring, everyone would have gotten 1 point, and Mikko would have gotten a score of like 70!! He would have had a hard time winning the championship...might have even been eliminated after the first two events, despite being almost equal in capability in the deadlift.

The decathlon is scored using a scoring table. The crossfit games could easily do the same thing and eliminate all speculation. This way an athlete is rewarded based on their performance (objective), rather than their place (subjective). A time of 37 min in the run is x number of points, while a run of 45 min is y number of points...based on a simple linear regression. The decathlon tables are static, because the events never change, while the CF games always have new events. This is not a problem either. Set 1000 pts as the upper limit, with 0 points the lower limit. Upon completion of the event, award the winner 1000 pts, and the last place finisher 0 pts. Then complete a linear regression on all the times inbetween. I did so myself last night and it took me about 5 minutes for each event. The results are interesting and I am going to sit down again and see what kind of a difference it would have made in the comp. Would the top 10 have been mixed up, and would some athletes have not been eliminated so early.

I have the tables all organized in an spreadsheet and would be glad to share them with everyone if I can figure out how to do that.

Another fun aspect of doing the scoring this way is that you allow any "joe" to compare himself to the CF championships athletes at any time in the years to follow. For instance, tomorrow, I could do the couplet or chipper and see how I rank by plugging in my time and getting a score. I would know exactly how I compare. This would really be neat and allow the energy of the games to spread to those who didn't compete.

OK, let me know what your thoughts are...I have really fallen in love with crossfit, the philosophy, and the community. I am excited for the CF games an all the excitement they have generated for fitness and motivation to pursue it. Here's to 2010 and all it holds!!
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2010, 03:05 PM   #4
David Meverden
Member David Meverden is offline
 
David Meverden's Avatar
 
Profile:
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Charleston  SC
Posts: 2,802
Re: My Thoughts on the 2009 Crossfit Games

Thanks for that perspective, Joe!

I didn't following the ranking discussion too closely so I don't know if anyone suggested what you are suggesting, but it sounds like a great idea! A lot of people griped about the scoring without, I think, a very solid alternative. It would also allow all the events to be equally weighted, as the second days events would still have a 1000 pt spread, although the athletes would have a lot more room between them on that scale. The only annoying thing with the scale you described is that if one person blows a particular event out of the water then everyone else will get less points, and if less total points are dolled out then effectively that event is weighted less than other events. So, to some extent, event weighting would be up to the luck of the draw.

As for non-scoring issues:


The coverage was GREAT! I really enjoyed the videos. I've watched the men's on my own and watched the women's with my girlfriend (who is a crossfitter). Great stuff! I think the events were great, and a much better test of overall fitness than the 2008 games. The eliminations were interesting (scoring issues aside). I'm glad they didn't have too many very skill dependent (read: muscleup) events early, because that would be a crappy reason to get knocked out. Still, I feel bad for the woman who flew to California from South Africa, then got eliminated after 2 events.

And now a question for Joe:

How do you think a decathlete would do at the CrossFit games or a similar CrossFit competition? They are some of the best rounded (read: overall fitter) full time athletes out there. And conversely, how well equipped, physically, do you think high level CFers are for a decathlon? I understand that the skills necessary would take months or years to hone to a high level.
__________________
CERTIFICATIONS: CSCS, CrossFit LVL 1
SEMINARS: Starting Strength, Ultimate Advantage, CFE, CF O-lifting, MovNat
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2010, 04:09 PM   #5
Brandon Fisel
Member Brandon Fisel is offline
 
Brandon Fisel's Avatar
 
Profile:
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Ames  IA
Posts: 40
Re: My Thoughts on the 2009 Crossfit Games

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Cebulski View Post
How to beat a dead horse: Thoughts on scoring the Games by a former US Decathlete

The decathlon is scored using a scoring table. The crossfit games could easily do the same thing and eliminate all speculation. This way an athlete is rewarded based on their performance (objective), rather than their place (subjective). A time of 37 min in the run is x number of points, while a run of 45 min is y number of points...based on a simple linear regression. The decathlon tables are static, because the events never change, while the CF games always have new events. This is not a problem either. Set 1000 pts as the upper limit, with 0 points the lower limit. Upon completion of the event, award the winner 1000 pts, and the last place finisher 0 pts. Then complete a linear regression on all the times inbetween. I did so myself last night and it took me about 5 minutes for each event. The results are interesting and I am going to sit down again and see what kind of a difference it would have made in the comp. Would the top 10 have been mixed up, and would some athletes have not been eliminated so early.
+1

Although, this method may yet not be the best for scoring all of the athletes across all events. The scoring function may be best expressed using a power law, which should also be normalized to ensure a uniform score across all events.
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2010, 04:38 PM   #6
Michael Garmon
Member Michael Garmon is offline
 
Profile:
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Orlando  FL
Posts: 50
Re: My Thoughts on the 2009 Crossfit Games

Im sure HQ has re-evaluated the scoring and we'll see some tweaks this year as we have the others. However, I disagree with your point, Joe, that placing shouldn't be relevant. If you finished 70th on the deadlift because you lift 495 and 69 other people lift 505, then you are not the fittest man on earth. If there are 69 people (or whatever the large number is) at the games that are better than you at deadlift, then you unfortunately should be in no contention for the title of Fittest Man Alive. I think if more bars were available, it could have spread the field out a bit, but as was stated plenty not very many people thought someone could lift all 20 bars not long after a 7k run. Again, something to take in consideration for next year.

I'm not sure you are ever going to have a scoring system, where you cut 3/4 of the field midway through be 100% accurate, but I don't think this year anyone can say Mikko Salo isn't the fittest man alive by Crossfit standards. Whether that was due to the scoring system or coincidence, im not sure. Either way, good topic of debate at least!
__________________
25/6'1/200
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2010, 05:43 PM   #7
Joe Cebulski
Member Joe Cebulski is offline
 
Joe Cebulski's Avatar
 
Profile:
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Grand Rapids  MI
Posts: 42
Re: My Thoughts on the 2009 Crossfit Games

David,

Thanks for the response...and for poking the first good hole in my scoring...ha! Talked with my wife about it over dinner. She definitely has the math brains in the family. She agrees that the 1000 for 1st and 0 for last has some problems. It works well if there is a large spread in performance, but poorly if there is a small spread actually. For instance, in the deadlift, if there is only a few bars between the winner and the "loser", then someone might get 0 pts for a perfectly good performance. The decathlon tables were built using human performance over the last century. A 0 in the 1500M is based off a "just good enough to be alive" and still cross the line performance while 1000 pts (for the sake of argument) is based of off World Record performances. So there is plenty of room in the middle of the regression (curved, not linear for the dec) for all the parity of a given event. So maybe there would be a way to take the performances after the 7k hill run, find the median or mean, then use that as the epicenter of the 1000 pt range. I'm sure there's a math guy like Brandon who can come up with a way to make that work (I need to explore his power law suggestion).

In response to Michael, I appreciate your thoughts. However, in many ways we were fortunate to have an athlete like Mikko who put such distance between himself and the field (yet 1 pt behind going into the final event due to faulty scoring i submit) to allow our arguments to be forward thinking and speculative in nature. I assure you, that in the years to come (if not next year already) we are going to see 10, 20, 30 athletes of Mikko's talent going head to head. Without an objective mathematical standard to measure performance across modal ranges, there will be problems and debate over the validity of the champion. This would be extremely unfortunate. I am good friends with Bryan Clay, and I can tell you that it is not up for debate whether he is Olympic Champion, because the scoring is fair. I desire the same bulletproof admiration for the crossfit champion. To underestimate this importance would be to forsake the potential and future of the games.

Also, I would have to disagree with your statement below:

Quote:
because you lift 495 and 69 other people lift 505, then you are not the fittest man on earth. If there are 69 people (or whatever the large number is) at the games that are better than you at deadlift, then you unfortunately should be in no contention for the title of Fittest Man Alive
No one can win every event, and being 10 lbs under the winners in the deadlift is comparable and should be quantified. It is not a binary competition in which the answer is yes or no. "By how much" matters. I have handily won decathlons in which I finished 5th in all ten events.

Speaking of the decathlon / crossfit comparison, let me try to answer your question David. The decathlon and crossfit share much in common. Most profoundly, the desire for non-specificity and broad modal ranges. I cannot begin to explain the dichotomy and difficulty of training for both the high jump and shot put for instance!!! The main difference I have experienced in CF so far has been the duration of intensity level. While the 100M, 400M and Mile ask for intensity across all spectrums, all the other events ask for intensity to be packaged into one time...all at once efforts. So I have trained for over a decade to produce maximal force over a short period of time. Now, in my daily CF workouts, I am asked to produce and maintain it for long durations. Its been brutal...and FUN!!! I have a personal best in the clean of 325lbs set in 2008...but last week I got my !@# handed to me by 15 155lb squat cleans! Completely different energy system. But in the 500M row, I do quite well as it replicates a 400M run quite well.

That being said, I believe that there is pretty good crossover both ways between crossfit and the dec. Give me the best crossfitters in the world in 2009, and a few years later, I could make respectable decats out of them (no guarantees on national or world level). Give me 10 of the newly retired ex world ranked decats and within a year they could turn some heads at the CF champs! I could go into more detail, but my wife is telling me I need to land this plane The bottom line i guess is that we'll find out...i registered this week for my CF sectionals!!!

Love the discussion!!
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2010, 05:57 PM   #8
Joe Cebulski
Member Joe Cebulski is offline
 
Joe Cebulski's Avatar
 
Profile:
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Grand Rapids  MI
Posts: 42
Re: My Thoughts on the 2009 Crossfit Games

BTW, I chuckled when I heard organizers state that almost no one would get all 20 bars after the 7K. I knew that there would be PR's, and that many would lift all 20. The 7k and the DL are two completely different energy systems or "batteries" as my coach Dan Pfaff used to call them. With enough recovery...somewhere between 6-8 minutes for a conditioned athlete, or 15-30 minutes for a non-conditioned athlete...all systems would be go. Oxidative exercise (7K) hardly effects phosphagenic (mitochondrial) ATP (DL). Add to this the "Max performance state" (Supertraining by Mel Siff) of having hundreds of screaming fans, and the DL comp was destined to be good!!!
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2010, 06:05 PM   #9
Michael V. Erickson
Member Michael V. Erickson is offline
 
Profile:
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Concord  California
Posts: 85
Re: My Thoughts on the 2009 Crossfit Games

Hi Joe,
Try this thread: http://board.crossfit.com/showthread...t=game+scoring

Great to have someone with your experience bring this up again. I convinced myself in the above thread and by crunching all the 2009 numbers myself in a spreadsheet that the relative perfomance scoring method works and is fair. I'd love to see some version of it adopted.
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2010, 07:28 PM   #10
Joe Cebulski
Member Joe Cebulski is offline
 
Joe Cebulski's Avatar
 
Profile:
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Grand Rapids  MI
Posts: 42
Re: My Thoughts on the 2009 Crossfit Games

Michael,

Thanks for linking me to that previous post. Good reading and context for me. Seems that there are two debates/questions that need to be answered. First is whether scoring by place, or scoring by relative performance should be pursued. I see no way to put energy toward a "by place" formula. I will take a look at the strongman format tomorrow to make sure I am not missing anything though.

The decathlon and crossfit champs are very similar. Both two days. 10 events vs 8. Measuring broad athleticism and fitness. Crowning a worlds greatest. I can tell you this for sure. If the decathlon utilized finish by place to determine victors, it would be an absolute mess. Within the parameters of a relative performance format there may be many ways to work it out...but no matter what it will be a better way.

As somebody who has competed at the highest levels of the decathlon, I would say that the Crossfit Championships has the potential to be huge, both in participation and in national/world interest. It would be wise to consider carefully how to measure and determine a champion. I think we are.
  Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
2009 CrossFit Games - Female Stats Katrina A. Burton Competitions 13 06-11-2009 03:34 PM
Casey's road to CrossFit Games 2009! Casey Caudle Workout Logs 64 02-03-2009 08:00 PM
The 2009 CrossFit Games Daniel Krull Stuff and Nonsense 5 01-20-2009 12:59 AM
2008,2009 Crossfit games competitors Patrick Skinner Competitions 1 01-06-2009 09:48 PM


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 08:47 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
CrossFit is a registered trademark of CrossFit Inc.