Improving the scoring options for climbing competitions

Frédéric Massart, 28 December 2020

For our December 2020 release, we introduced new scoring options, and added brand new avatars!

The motivation

Scoring is probably one of the most important aspects of a competition after the leaderboards themselves. With UpMost, climbers scores themselves and thus interact with the scoring screens on a regular basis.

Up until today, climbers would have to select the points they were entitled to when scoring themselves. This could lead to confusion for participants who were not familiar with the scoring rules of the climbing gym. For instance, some of our clients award 50, 60 or 70 points for finishing a problem. In this model, climbers get 50 points for their top, +10 points for a flash, and +10 points if they topped the climb before a certain date.

On the other hand, some gyms only use a single score for tops. Everyone gets 10 points regardless of their number of attempts, or the date of the send. In this case, selecting the points feels redundant and marking a climb as complete would feel more appropriate.

We knew our scoring system could be improved, but the opportunity to work on it came when we were approached by Urban Jungle. They wanted to organise a lead competition where climbers could score a flash, a top, or the zone. Participants would also get bonus points for achieving one of these scores before the end of the round.

The format needed by Urban Jungle would require climbers to select their score amongst up to 6 different scores. That would be far from ideal and so it was time for a change!

What did we do?

Alongside the existing points-based scoring system, we introduced two new scoring options:

  • The Flash, Top, Zone type
  • The Mark as completed type

The Flash, Top, Zone does exactly what it says, it allows climbers to select whether they flashed, topped, or got the zone of a climb. This scoring type also includes the ability for climbers to get a date bonus. Each of the combination would attract a certain number of points determined by the competition organiser.

This is configurable however. Date bonuses are not a requirement, and both flashes and zones are optional. In its shallowest form, this scoring type would only allow climbers to select Top.

The Kiosk scoring screen where climbers select Flash, Top or Zone and whether they are entitled to the date bonus.

The Mark as completed type is just like a checkbox. Climbers have or haven't done the problem. When they do, they earn a set amount of points.

We added an additional option to the Mark as completed type though. Based on a requirement from Planet Climbing, we added the option for climbers to earn points relative to the number of participants having completed the problem. For example, if topping the problem is worth 1000 points, and 4 participants topped the climb, each will get 250 points. The more people top the climb, the less points are earned.

This type of scoring seems better suited for pump fests as it rewards climbers for attempting to finish harder climbs instead of focussing on completing a maximum of easier ones.

New avatars!

When climbers join a competition, they can select an avatar amongst a set of randomly generated ones. Avatars are important to us, we believe that they enable participants to personalise their identity and to feel more connected with their competitive persona.

While we were happy with the avatars available until now, we wanted to offer a more personalised and unique experience. That is why our avatars are now entirely custom designed for UpMost.

An example of a few randomly generated avatars.

With more than a quarter million combinations (and more to come) climbers will find an awesome, unique and relatable avatar to use in their competitions!

What's next?

As we keep on making small adjustments and improvents that are not worth a blog post of their own, we started brainstorming about ways to make the competitions more fun and engaging for those climbers who are not aiming for the podium.

Keep an eye out for new features, that should be fun!

UpMost is a climbing competition management system designed to engage climbers of all skill levels, to save competition organisers precious time, and to drive more visits to climbing gyms. Contact us for more information.