CrossFit Open Scoring – part 2 or “Why is that guy who did Scaled AHEAD OF ME on the Leaderboard?”
March 16, 2015
In part 1 of this series we covered the CrossFit Open Leaderboard and the difference between:
Now that 15.2 and 15.3 have come and gone there is a another lingering question that seems to vex people
“If I did all of my WODs Rx, why is someone who did Scaled ahead of me on the Leaderboard?”
As in part 1 – first off – don’t check the Leaderboard until Wednesday. If you check it on Friday at 9am and think that “the algorithm is wrong” then you are on crack. It will look like there are some messed up rankings, but what you will really see is a small sample size creating a messy total. Things work their way out once all scores are entered. Before then things are messy.
OK, here’s our topic for the day.
There are 3 groups of people in the Open
- People who ALWAYS Rx their WODs
- People who ALWAYS Scale their WODs
- People who do a combination of Rx and Scaled – 1 week they Scale; the next they Rx.
Group 1 will always rank higher than Group 2. Full stop. End of story. If you always Rx you will have more points than someone who always Scales. Even if you only do 1 rep of Rx on every WOD you will always get more points than someone who Scales every WOD.
Here’s the rub. Group 3 (some Scaled and some Rx, in any combination), may rank HIGHER than someone who always Rx’s their WODs.
By WHY? you ask…. I heard that Scaled ranks LOWER than Rx!!!!!
Yeah, within each WOD, a Scaled workout ranks lower than Rx, but Overall is a different story.
Let’s illustrate with 2 people.
- Person 1 does all of their WODs Rx.
- Person 3 did 15.1, 15.1A and 15.2 Rx but they did 15.3 Scaled. You guessed it, they don’t have a muscle up.
There are about 8,000 men in the M45-49 age group, so let’s assume both Person 1 and Person 3 are Men aged 45-49… (it makes the math easier). Let’s say the mid-point for someone who does 1 rep of Rx in each WOD is right about 4,000th place in this age group.
Here are the points each Person achieved in each WOD. Note: this is not their “Score” or the number of reps they did – this is their finishing position within each WOD. i.e. Person 1 was in 4,000th place in each WOD, and person 3 was in 500th place in 15.1, 15.1A and 15.2. In 15.3 Person 3 had the best Scaled and finished in 4,001st place.
Whoever has the fewest total points is ranked higher Overall.
Between these 2 people the math shows us that Person 3 would be ranked higher Overall than Person 1 even though Person 1 did all of their WODs Rx. If you sort the Leaderboard by “Open Week 3” (i.e. 15.3) then Person 1 will be ranked higher than Person 3 because Person 3 did 15.3 Scaled.
It’s when you look at their Overall scores (i.e. the sum of their Points), that Person 3 ranks higher overall than Person 1.
One can argue if this is the “proper” way to calculate scores, or if there should be a separate Leaderboard for anyone who ever Scales a WOD.
I’d offer that this is pretty legit. Someone who is generally fit but has a big goat (i.e. muscle ups) should rank higher Overall than someone who is generally less fit even if they have 1 muscle up.
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