Making Speed Climbing More Competitive (and fun to watch)

It's been a long day so the second part of the Pull Series will have to wait another day or so. Instead of a training article, today you get a quick rant about the current format of speed climbing and why it needs to be more competitive.

I know what you're thinking.

"Speed climbing is a sprint. It's a race. It is the most basic an intense of competitions. How can you make it even more competitive?"

And you are right. At it's core it is a sport that is competitive and easy to follow and understand.

But it lacks the drama of an Olympic race as there are only two people.
Bolt was more theatrics than drama, but the point remains.

One of the easiest ways to increase the drama would be to expand the competitive field to 3 or 4 climbers at a time. How many times have you seen a climb where both climbers had a major mess up. It's even worse when it happens in a final. Having more climbers means there is a better chance of a flawless run being rewarded.

It also means that more viewers will be emotionally invested in the race, thereby increasing ratings.

The current format as it stands reduces the drama through repetition. By the time the final race occurs, the spectator has seen dozens of races. Spectator fatigue is real and you always want to leave the crowd wanting more.

Speed climbing should reduce down to a field of 16 for men and women. 4 climbers per heat.

First round is 4 races.

Second is 2 races.

There should then be a break long enough to allow the athletes to recover and short enough to keep the audience engaged.

Final round is one race of 4. Twice the drama. More excitement. Less viewer fatigue.

You know you want a better chance to see the top talent face each other in the final.

This is the way.

Stay speedy my friends.

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