So, we’ve figured out a few things here.
1) That the points-per-hold should not be put on the tape as it takes away the aspect of route finding in the competition. Instead climbers should be allowed to see the points upon the conclusion of their attempt at that problem.
2) Climbers should sign off on their scorecard at the end of their attempts on a problem, in all judged competitions. Should there be a discrepancy the climber does not sign their card, finishes competing and the appeal is put forth.
3) In a perfect world; for qualifiers there must be a judge that signs the scorecard in the scramble format, no honor system. In finals there are TWO judges for each problem to confer on the result, AND it is video taped so that an objective group can view the tape should the competitor feel there was a need to appeal further. Personally I think the TDB should be purchasing the equipment to send to the competitions for this to happen. If that means a increase in the cost to the open competitors then so be it, but if we want to be a professional sport we need to meet these standards, and video replay is essential in every sport! (alternatively, speak to Sony or JVC, etc and try and get an endorsement for the Tour)
4) That there are a number of ways in which results can be fixed, being a mistake when the results are sent in, or a doping charge, the results will be fixed to reflect the true results.
5) The climbers should know the rules, but it is the organizations responsibility to make sure the rules are CLEARLY provided. And this is not just before a competition, but at the competition as well. (The TDB has now posted a competitors handbook on the website)
6) That the standards for the competitions need to be held from the National level all the way down to the Local level. This means that if the Nationals have point-per-hold qualifiers (easier to split the field), and Zone finals, then the local needs to follow the exact same format, rules, judges, everything. If this isn’t done then you can’t hold the local competitions to the same rule standards as a National, there would need to be a completely different set of rules governing how a local competition be run. I realize that this is hard on the organizers, but that’s why a competition is sanctioned because the organizer is agreeing to follow the competition standards, if not, no sanction. And yes, this means that the competition organizers need to step it up in order to support the sport.
7) An appeals council is necessary for two reasons. One being that there is always a chance that the Head Judge might be somehow biased in their judgement. And two, until there are CERTIFIED judges, there needs to be an objective council that is experienced in competitions and can provide an answer to such an appeal. There are objective appeals councils in every sport.
Now, this may seem like asking for a lot, but we are striving to become an Olympic sport and everyone keeps saying that the sport needs to be more professional. THIS is how it is going to happen. Not by fluffing around with changing a rule here and there and letting competitions be run however they may. Competitions must only be sanctioned if they agree to meet the criteria and standards as set by the CEC and TDB, and these criteria and standards needs to be rock solid with no holes in them.
Finally, the change needs to happen now! When need for change is recognized action must be taken immediately to make those changes. We are in the middle of a season which would mean making the changes retroactive to the competitions of this season, as this season is open until the conclusion of the National Championships. This may mean a couple of appeals and some result changes from the competitions that are already completed this season, but if there is clear proof from the competitor and organizer that a mistake has been made then the results need to be changed to provide the true results. And, standards and criteria need to be set, and all further competitions must follow the standards 100% with no individual competition variations.
Personally, this is how I think the format should run.
Open qualifiers should take place in the morning and should be a five or six problem qualifier, 5 on - 5 off, point-per-hold. This could take place on the hardest problems that have been set for the scramble format so that the organizer doesn’t need to set additional problems. Then the rec/advanced/masters have the scramble format competition in the early afternoon. Following this the walls are stripped and finals set. Finals being 4 problems, 5 on - 5 off, Zone format. Alternatively scramble format could be in the morning and then everything stripped for the open qualifiers except the ten most suitable problems. This does make it harder for the open finalists because there is less time between qualifiers and finals, and people are more likely to stick around for finals if it’s right after they finish competing. The PPH qualifier will divide the field and the zone final keeps to the International/National/Regional standard. I also think that you should have to compete in two local events to qualify to compete in a regional, and should have to compete in two locals and a regional to be able to compete in the Nationals. We are the only sport that I know of that anybody can come and compete in the National Championships without any type of qualifying beforehand. I realize that we are still a growing sport, but I believe that we have reached the point where there are enough serious competitors to meet these requirements.
I leave this open to criticism.