The US point system for 2016 has some changes from previous years. This document describes the point system and the changes that have been made from previous years.

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Building points:

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Races are worth a specific number of points. Athletes competing in these races win points based on their place. The athlete winning first place for each gender gets the full points. Second place’s points are ⅚ first, third is 5/7, fourth is ⅝ and so on, the denominator increasing by one for each place. This means everyone at a race gets points, even 4000th place.

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Here is a table showing what the points for the places one through 10 for a 100 point race would be:

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1st |
100 |

2nd |
83.33 |

3rd |
71.42 |

4th |
62.5 |

5th |
55.55 |

6th |
50.0 |

7th |
45.45 |

8th |
41.66 |

9th |
38.46 |

10th |
35.71 |

In order to award extra points for highly competitive events after they happen, we determine how competitive the event was by assessing how many athletes performed at an elite leve, increasing the points of races that are particularly competitive. We consider elite performances as ones that are faster than a race’s elite cutoff times.

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We compute elite cutoff times for events as the event’s median winning time for the past 5 years times 1.333. So, for example, if the median winning time for the past 5 years is 9:32, the elite cutoff will be 12:43, and every athete that posts that time or faster cna potentailly add points to the race.

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A race being worth 100 points then means that it is expected that ten of the athletes will finish with an elite time, i.e. each of those anticipated elites contribute 10 points to the race. Each athlete beyond that cutoff can add five points to the event.

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So, if a race is worth 150 points, and 23 athletes score elite times, the first 15 fill out the elite quota. The remaining eight ( 23 -15 = 8 ) contribute 5 points each, for 40 bonus points, meaning the race will be scored as a 190 point race.

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This hold true even for 50 point non-cup races. A 50 point race that draws in numerous elites can earn itself out to a high point race.

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The cap for bonus points is 100. So a 100 point race where 30 people score elite times can go into the books as a 200, but additional elite times will have no effect.

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The sporting director can determine the elite cutoff outside of the median of the last five winning times where appropriate. For example, a very small race that suddenly draws attention won’t suddenly be worth 150 points because all the new competitors easily beat the previous winning time for the next 2 years. The sporting director can use the speed of known competitors, the building height, course difficulty, etc, to compute elite cutoffs.

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If an event has more than one option eligible for US points, athletes may score in as many of them as they want. However, only one of these (the highest scorer), will count as points in the athlete’s US ranking.

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Previously, if a race was scored as 150 points, every event from that race was also scored as 150 points. This ended up unbalancing the system when races had many sub-events, each of which entered by competitive athletes. Now, every sub-event is treated as a separate race when the regional director distributes points.

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An athlete’s total score at any given time is the sum of the five highest points they have scored in the preceding 365 days. Races scored and entered beyond 5 are displayed as part of the scoring system, but are not counted as part of the athlete’s points.

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The point system is continuous, and ranking can change on a daily basis as races fall away and new ones are added. The rankings will be used at several points throughout the year, to choose who gets elite entries, such as at willis tower or stratosphere, and for the end of the year points champion ( this is the rankings on the last day of the year ).

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If a race reoccurs in a shorter period of time, for example if a race happens in march of 2015 and again in february of 2016, both the 2016 and 2015 events may count for a climber at the same time. By the same token, if the race occurrs more than 365 days apart, there will be a period where the athlete will get no points for that race, even if they participate in both events.