Germans giving new Age-Graded Tables some test runs
Stefan Waltermann at Spokane nationals.
Get ready for a new Age-Graded Tables. As we telegraphed in December, WMA is rolling out a new set of tables that treat some age groups more fairly. The AGT make it possible for multi-eventers to use the IAAF tables to score their events, no matter what their age. The AGT also are widely used to pick winners in road races and whatnot.(Companies like Hy-Tek incorporate the tables into their software.) But because Germans were the biggest force behind the redo, they are starting to use the new tables this year. Lahti will use the “old” tables, but our correspondent Stefan Waltermann says the new tables should be good to go for 2011 worlds in Sacramento. Why update the tables? It’s to make scoring and ranking fairer when comparing apples and oranges (different age groups). Stefan has posted a set of files on his Web site that contain the new AGT data. (Click on Model 2010.)
Here’s a report from Stefan on the new tables:
Today, I received the new point spread for the multi-event calculator. Naturally, I immediately put the tables into a brand new MULTI-EVENT CALCULATOR. For now, I entered just the Decathlon and Outdoor Pentathlon for Men M35 to M95. This is an industry first!
Germany is already starting to put the new age grade tables for the decathlon, hepthathlon and decathlon to use in 2009. The rest of the world, including the US will follow in 2010. Lahti will see the “old” calculations, Sacramento the new! Still, get used to the new tables.
The German Bernd Rehpenning has waged a one man fight for years. He collected more data than the rest of the world combined. Finally, the WMA saw the light. Bernd and our very own multi-talented Rex Harvey worked to get the job done. It was obvious, the old tables were unfriendly or unfair to older multi-eventers. Comparisons between the running and throwing events led to obvious problems.
Take the M65. The German ranking shows a time of 5:06.96 for the top ranked 1500 M65 runner in Germany. The athlete would get 520 Points in a multi-event like the pentathlon. To get 520 points in a pentathlon, a discus thrower needed 32.79 m, equal to a thrower ranked number 70 in Germany in 2008!
Another example. Men throw the 2 kg, move to the 1.5 kg and to the 1.0 kg discus over the course of time. They can hold or even better their distances getting older and maybe wiser. Now, tell a runner to get better with age. They only get wiser. You see the gradual decline; it is inevitable. The new system addresses all these problems. Basis for the new system is the age group M/W 35 instead of the open world records as we have now. That is pretty clever, actually. A safety factor will prevent superior results for athletes of all age groups to convert into “open world records.”
How has this all been accomplished? Well, Bernd Rehpenning collected data of masters multi-event athletes over a long period of time. He followed individual athletes throughout the years. Analysis of this data had to lead to realistic age grade factors, that was the assumption. It worked. Let us look the German Ranking 2008 (Man, you should see the BOOK they put out each year, 300 pages!)
We will look at all athletes of the age group M 65 that are ranked number 50 in Germany in 2008 and calculate their points if they would be in a pentathlon: Long Jump 4,22 m (675 points), Javelin 34,33 m (642), 200 m 31,17 sec (610), discus 36,30 m (700), 1.500 m 6:10,70 minutes (686). Remarkable. Balanced it is.
For those of you, who don’t know anything about age grading multi-events, it works like this. You are 65 years old and jump 4.22 m. Take the age grade factor Model 2010 and this is what you get: 4.22 m x 1.5186 age grade factor = 6.40 m. The M 65 long jump of 4.22 m compares to 6.40 m for a much younger dude in his prime. Now, we look up the multi-event tables of the IAAF, our international governing body. The points for 6.40 m: 675 points. That is what a young dude gets for 6.40 m, a young athlete M 65 for 4.22 m. Get it?
All the kudos in the IAAF world to Bernd Rehpenning and Rex Harvey. They got the job done. Nailed it! Thank you from this old multi-eventer.
Yes, see the brand new calculator at www.stefanwaltermann.com