Ranking Checkup

With the long break until 2018's final Bouldering World Cup in Munich, I figured now would be a good time to give a little more insight into the current Plastic Weekly Canadian Bouldering Rankings.

A quick recap on some important qualities of these rankings:

  1. I only input results featuring at least 2 Canadians competing against each other
  2. I only use results that are made available to me, with full information (full names, results, and dates)
  3. Scores for each competition are based on placing as well as the quality of the field
  4. Competitions using a standard T/A B/A or TzA format give a standard amount of points, competitions using other formats are given fewer points
  5. Competitions are relevant for one year, with their points degrading slowly at first, and then faster as it reaches a year old. 

The Field

Since I began collecting this information in September 2017, I've kept track of 803 placings by 275 women, and 1097 placings by 454 men. It's important to note that I did not include results from local events from the end of the 2016/2017 season for the men, so the comparison between the men and women isn't equivalent. 

A lot of these unique competitors are one-time climbers at local events,  so I've cut the fields down to the Top 200 for our first look.

Men's Top 200, June 24 2018        Red represents the top 20.png

These charts show a fairly predictable curve from the highest ranked competitors on the left, and the lower end of competitors at the bottom.  The most interesting note is dramatic tiering of the men's Top 20, showing a clear drop in points earned after the Top 5, compared to the relatively smooth distribution among the women.

Men's Top 20, June 24 2018-2.png

How to be Top 5

I've broken down the results of the Top 5 men and women to show where they earned their current points. Results at the bottom of the stack are most recent, while results at the top of the stack are the oldest and therefore degrading the fastest. Having a larger proportion of your points at the bottom of the stack should indicate stronger performance at recent events, and hypothetically greater longevity in the rankings.

Note: some colours aren't consistent between men and women because my charting skills are balls :(


These demonstrate how these rankings can be affected by whether or not climbers attend key competitions. Climbers like Lucas Uchida and Alyssa Weber have earned considerably fewer points than others at important events like CEC Nationals and WCs, but their attendance at local events and premier competitions like Bloc Shop Open (or Alyssa attending two CEC NS events) have kept them competitive.

My system is pretty much a stone age tool compared to modern rankings databases in other sports, so there's a lot of decisions the next guy can make when they decide how to allocate points. For now, I think it's important to include as much information as possible and not try to compensate for attendance. Athletes like Sean will suffer unfairly and climbers who attend every competition on the calendar will benefit, but this is the amount of complexity I can currently manage.

If you have any questions, leave a comment below! And as always, if you have a lot of high level experience in statistical mathematics or database management and want to help build the next generation of these rankings, drop me a line.