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Thursday, March 19, 2015

One Chart: Scaling vs. Rx So Far in the Open

This one will be super-quick today, because I don't yet have the data and/or time to fully do this topic justice.  Expect to see more on this in the Open recap posts in a month or so.

At the request of a couple people, I want to give a quick snapshot of how many athletes are scaling the Open and how many are going Rx.  The trouble for me right now is that I don't have a downloaded version of the full leaderboard, so it's challenging to tell how many athletes have gone Rx in all the workouts.  Athletes can scale one workout and go Rx on another, meaning the leaderboard is a mish-mash of both types of athletes, and the online version is not sortable in a way that I can get at this.

However, what I can do is look at how many athletes are scaling each workout.  The suspicion among many is that far more athletes would be forced to scale 15.3 as compared to 15.1 or 15.2, and the numbers seem to bear that out.  For simplicity, I looked at the Central East region, which should be a pretty representative sample of the worldwide field (again, I'll do this more properly once I have all the data downloaded).  The chart below shows the entire field in each workout, split into Rx and scaled athletes.

It's pretty clear from the two bars on the far right that a lot higher percentage of the athletes had to scale on 15.3 as compared to the first two workouts, particularly among females.  A mere 14% of women managed to complete 15.3 Rx'd, compared to 56% and 66% in 15.1 and 15.2 respectively.For men, 61% completed 15.3 Rx'd, compared to 83% and 84% in 15.1 and 15.2 respectively. 

However, I think it is interesting that from week to week, the total field shrunk by about the same margin from 15.1 to 15.2 and from 15.2 to 15.3 (all between 11%-13%).  Some may have expected that a lot more athletes would drop out entirely during 15.3 due to having to scale, but it doesn't appear that was really the case.  These rates of attrition are very similar to what has been observed in the past few years.  What will be interesting is how this changes moving forward: will athletes be more willing to scale after scaling 15.3, or will they eagerly jump back into the workouts Rx'd if possible?  For women, there were actually slightly more Rx women in 15.2 compared to 15.1, so I imagine it's likely that many athletes will hop right back into the Rx field this week.

Note: I'm always looking for help pulling in the entire dataset.  Several people have helped or volunteered their help in the past, so please contact me at if you think you'll be able to help me out.   Any help is much appreciated, and thanks again to all those who have helped me in the past.