USAWA Scoring

by Al Myers

One of the unique aspects of the USAWA is our scoring system for meets.  I know there are several  USAWA lifters who are not fully familiar (and completely understand) this scoring system so I’m going to take today’s story and go over it.  Now – I’m not going to get into any discussion (or my opinion) on whether it is fair or not.  That’s been hashed over many times and no one will ever be considered the victor.  There will always be some who don’t think it is fair – young lifters, old lifters, light lifters or heavy lifters.  I’ve heard it from all.

The USAWA scoring system is not outlined anywhere in the Rule Book.  It has been one of those “unwritten policies” of the USAWA that has been in place since the beginning.  Bill Clark is the one who came up with the way our scoring is done.  By the way, the IAWA uses the same scoring system (with some minor differences).  It is just the way it has always been done.  Simply put, a lifters total weight lifted during the day (on their max lift in each event)  is adjusted for the lifters bodyweight (by using the Lynch Formula) and corrected for age allowance (1% per year starting at the age of 40).  This gives each lifter an adjusted Lynch Points that can be used to determine the ranking of the meet.  By using this system, lifters of all ages and bodyweights can be compared.  Now it’s time for questions.

May a Meet Director use a different scoring system if they want? 

The answer is YES, but the recommendation  from the USAWA is to use the system we have in place so we have meet consistency.  Championships are different in that they definitely are REQUIRED to use this scoring system. But if a meet director wants to have divisions for awards, that is acceptable.  The USAWA has always allowed meet directors to give out any awards they want to and to whom they want to.  That is another “unwritten policy” of the USAWA.

How do I get these factors for the Lynch Formula and formulas to do these calculations?

The Lynch Formula is available on the website under “Scoring Information” on the Home Page.  It is a MUST READ to fully understand all the details of the USAWA Scoring System.   Everything is available on that page to successfully score a USAWA competition.

Is there a spreadsheet available to do this scoring system?

GOOD NEWS on that question!  For the last 6 months we have been using an Excel Spreadsheet developed by Mike Murdock.  All of the “bugs” have now been worked out of it and it will be “released” in the near future.  It makes scoring a USAWA meet very easy! The Lynch Factors and age adjustments are built into it.  It even has the capabilities of printing off certificates for each lifter which summarizes their lifts.

Ravenswood Formula

Thom Van Vleck flashes the "Red Light" at USAWA Heavy Lift Nationals as Head Judge Denny Habecker looks for the call. USAWA officials have a lot more to do than judging the lifts. There's a lot of math involved as well!

by Thom Van Vleck

I know we’ve probably overdone the talk on formulas to rate lifting performances, but here’s one more.  I got a copy of Peary Radar’s Lifting News (Sept. 1965) and notice a story on page 20 titled “A New Simplified Formula for Accurate Rating of Lifting Performances”.  This formula was being touted as an easy way to determine the best lifter.  Evidently, before calculators, the “long hand”  or “slide rule” multiplication using the “Hoffman Formula” often resulted on errors and hard feelings when the errors were revealed later.  As a result, the Ravenswood Formula was developed.

I’ll stop right here and say I’m not pushing this to be used by the USAWA nor do I know if it favors heavier lifters (which I’m not sure why anyone would think I would want that….well…maybe I would “like” that). This is just an interesting piece of lifting history from a time when formulas in lifting seemed to be quite the hot topic.

Laverne Myers and Denny Habecker have passed stringent testing to become USAWA officials

The Ravenswood Formula sought to remove the error prone difficulty of multiplication and replace it with the simplicity of adding two numbers together.  You were give two tables which are quite lengthy.  Table “A” had a bodyweight coefficient which went from 110lbs to 370lbs and Table “B” had a “Total” or lift poundage coefficient which went from 105lbs to 2550lbs.  You simply took the lifters weight and found the corresponding coefficient in Table A (a 4 digit number) and added it to the corresponding weight lifted/coefficient in table B (again, a 4 digit number).  The theory being that this formula was much more simple and less prone to a mathematical error.  You have to take the developer’s word that it’s “fair” or should I say “Accurate” as he does in the title.  The developer was Stanley Gorajczyk.  Not sure where “Ravenswood” came from….maybe easier to pronounce that “Gorajczyk”!   Stanley was an Olympic lifter who got 5th in the 1967 Senior Nationals, so he was a pretty decent lifter as well.

Al Myers looks like he's trying to talk Head Judge Denny Habecker into a good call, but really Denny is busy "doing the math" and calculating the winner using the formula!

I just found it another interesting part of lifting history and went with earlier articles on this website that discussed weightlifting formulas.   If you are interested in the tables let me know.  It might be interesting to compare the outcomes of this formula to others!

Is the Lynch Formula Fair??

by Al Myers

There has been “lots of talk” regarding the Lynch Formula recently.   Most of this centered around the fact that the Lynch Formula has just been expanded to contain factors for lifters that weigh over 138 kilograms.  Now the Lynch Chart goes to 180 kilograms.  The Lynch Formula has been the “adopted formula” of the USAWA and the IAWA since the early 90’s to calculate adjusted points in determining weight lifted to bodyweight comparisons in scoring.  The Lynch Formula creator, Ian Lynch, developed and modified his formula to apply to the lifts done in All-Round Weightlifting.  As far as I know, no other lifting organization uses the Lynch Formula.  So, you could say, that we have a Formula that tailors to our specific lifting sport – All Round Weightlifting!   I have never really heard the reasons how the Lynch Formula was derived.  Most other weightlifting formulas are derived from a data set of numbers, usually records or performances of lifters of different bodyweights.  I know this is how the Sinclair Formula was derived  in Olympic Weightlifting.  It has even been changed and modified over time when it is “re-evaluated” using new data, and new factors are created to maintain the fairest formula possible.  However, this is easier to do when you are analyzing only two lifts (the Snatch and Clean and Jerk) than when you are looking at over 200 lifts, like we have in All-Round Weightlifting. I find it hard to believe that Ian Lynch used any data involving All-Round Lifts when he developed his formula.  Afterall, what data involving All Round Lifting was available 20 years ago?

The big question always arises, is the Lynch Formula fair?  I have several larger lifters in my gym who feel that it isn’t, and that the Lynch Formula favors the lighter lifter.  But then I hear from light lifters who say it favors the heavier lifters.  And when the fact is pointed out that the  past several years  the Overall Best Lifter at the IAWA World Championships has weighed over 105 kilograms,  they have a good argument.  I always try to be as open-minded as possible, and I like to have the FACTS before I form a hard opinion on something.  This is why I performed my own self-study on this – to answer that question to myself.   In no way is this information I am presenting you a scientific study that has any statistical significance.  I am making that disclaimer LOUDLY, so my statistics friends like Tom Ryan (who is way smarter than me in matters like this)  won’t point out my deficiencies in the methods of my study.  This study is entirely just a compilation of data that must be taken on surface value.  But it is still VERY INTERESTING and should provide the best factual support  regarding the fairness of the Lynch Formula that has ever been available.

Study – Determining the Fairness of the Lynch Formula

Objective: The objective of this study is to evaluate the fairness of the Lynch Formula in regards to correction factors for bodyweight adjustments.

Design: The USAWA Record List will be used as the data source of information that will be evaluated.  The USAWA record list has accumulated information on records in various lifts for over 20 years.  Twenty lifts will be selected (the Heavy Lifts will be left out).  The lifts selected will be the ones that have the most records established in them through all weight and age classes. Three weight divisions will be arbitrary selected – lightweight lifters (80 kilogram class and below), middleweight lifters  (85-100 kilogram classes), and heavyweight lifters  (105 kilogram class and above).  The best record according to Lynch Formula will be selected from each weight division.  These three divisions will then be ranked according to the best lifts according to the Lynch Points, and all points will be added up to determine which weight division has the best ranking, and thus assumed to receive the biggest advantage from the Lynch Formula.

Assumptions: Since individual bodyweights are not known from the USAWA Record List, the weight of the weight class will be used in calculating Lynch Points.  Lifters in the 125 kg plus class will be assigned the Lynch Correction for 130 kilograms bodyweight. This may be an underestimate of the actual bodyweights of superheavyweight lifters, and if so, would provide numbers that would artificially elevate the lifts of SHW  lifters in regards to Lynch Points (NOT an advantage for heavy lifters).   Also, the assumption is made that the record lifts are representative of the average lifting ability of all lifters in these bodyweight classes. By picking the 20 lifts with the most records, it is assumed that these are the 20 all-round lifts that are performed the most, thus providing the best data base of numbers available from the Record List for evaluation.

Results:

Lift Lightweight

(80 K class and below)

Middleweight

(85 K to 100 kg class)

Heavyweight

(105 K class and above)

Bench Press

Feet in Air

320# – Smith

(70K)

LP – 320.0 points

480# -  Succarote

(100K)

LP – 406.6 points

441# – Meek

(125+K)

LP – 327.2 points

Clean&Jerk

Right Arm

132# – Zaremba

(75K)

LP – 132.0 points

160# – Bryan

(85K)

LP – 148.4 points

175# – Burtzloff

(125+K)

129.8 points

Clean&Press

Heels together

226# – Hirsh

(80K)

LP – 217.2 points

248# – Bryan

(85K)

LP – 230.0 points

300# – Meek

(125+K)

LP – 222.6 points

Cont Snatch 220# – Waterman

(70K)

LP – 229.9 points

248# – Bryan

(85K)

LP – 230.0 points

265# – Ciavattone

(125+K)

LP – 196.6 points

Continental

to Chest

325#- Waterman

(70K)

LP – 339.7 points

380# – Anderson

(90K)

LP – 431.1 points

385# – Conners

(125+K)

LP – 285.6 points

Continental

Clean&Jerk

287# – Waterman

(70K)

LP – 299.9 points

320# – Bryan

(85K)

LP – 296.8 points

369# – Anderson

(105K)

LP – 304.6 points

Cheat Curl 190# – Gazda

(60K)

LP – 220.8 points

235# – Anderson

(90K)

LP – 210.9 points

260# – DelSignore

(105K)

LP – 214.7 points

Deadlift

2 bars

463# – McKean

(80K)

LP – 445.0 points

610#- Schrock

(100K)

LP – 516.7 points

600# – Myers

(115K)

LP – 473.3 points

Deadlift

Heels together

560# – Hirsh

(75K)

LP – 560.0 points

605# – Schrock

(100K)

LP – 512.5 points

650# – Myers

(125K)

LP – 491.5 points

Deadlift

Rt Arm

369# – McKean

(70K)

LP – 385.6 points

402# – Ullom

(100K)

LP – 340.5 points

562# – Ciavattone

(125+K)

LP – 416.9 points

Deadlift

TrapBar

600# – Hirsh

(80K)

LP – 576.7 points

635# – Schrock

(100K)

LP – 537.9 points

661# – Myers

(115K)

LP – 520.9 points

Hack Lift 670# – Hirsh

(80K)

LP – 644.0 points

605#- Anderson

(90K)

LP – 543.0 points

620# – Schrock

(105K)

LP – 511.9 points

Jefferson

Lift

702# – Hirsh

(80K)

LP – 674.8 points

601# – Schrock

(95K)

LP – 523.5 points

601# – Spayd

(105K)

LP – 496.2 points

Pullover

& Press

287# – Hirsh

(80K)

LP – 275.9 points

275# – English

(90K)

LP – 246.8 points

352# – Myers

(115K)

LP – 277.4 points

Pullover

& Push

331# – Crowe

(80K)

LP – 318.2 points

446# – Anderson

(90K)

LP – 400.3 points

474# – Burtzloff

(110K)

LP – 382.0 points

Snatch

Rt Arm

127# – Waterman

(70K)

LP – 132.7 points

160# – Bryan

(85K)

LP – 148.4 points

171# – Burtzloff

(110K)

LP – 137.8 points

Front

Squat

355# – Fleischer

(80K)

LP – 341.2 points

441# – Bruner

(95K)

LP – 384.1 points

495# – Meek

(110K)

LP – 398.9 points

Steinborn 325# – Monk

(70K)

LP – 339.7 points

375# – Schmidt

(100K)

LP – 317.7 points

441# – Ullom

(110K)

LP – 354.6 points

Swing DB

Rt Arm

120# – Smith

(75K)

LP – 120.0 points

120# – Schrock

(100K)

LP – 101.7 points

150# – Ullom

(110K)

LP – 120.9 points

Zercher 504# – Hirsh

(80K)

LP – 484.4 points

500# – Anderson

(90K)

LP – 448.8 points

529# – Moore

(120K)

LP – 408.1 points

NOTES:  LP stands for Lynch Points.

Summary: Overall points were scored on placings with 1 point given for first, 2 points for second, and 3 points for third.  These points were then “added up” to give total points for the 20 selected lifts, which would give the low overall score  as being  the best.  The lightweight division had 40 points, the middleweight division had 38 points, and the heavyweight division had 42 points.  The lightweight division had 6 “firsts”, the middleweight division had 8 “firsts”, and the heavyweight division had 6 “firsts”.  Also, the Lynch Points were added for each division to give another comparison.  The lightweight division had 7057.7 points, the middleweight division had 6885.7 points, and the heavyweight division had 6671.5 points.

What can be interpreted from all this??

The “total points” are really not that much different.  A couple of points either way could easily be said to be an “acceptable tolerance”.  All it would take is one of those records broken and it could “sway” back slightly the other way. The differences between the divisions (in regards to points)  are not enough that anyone could make an argument one way or the other.

My opinion is that Ian Lynch was pretty much “right on” in regards to fairness to all bodyweights using his formula.  Whether he did this using  scientific calculations, or merely having “luck” in picking the right correction factors doesn’t really matter.  The evidence of comparing the Lynch Formula to over 20 years of collected data in the form of USAWA records prove to me that his formula is very fair and one we should remain using.   Of course, it is easy to pick out certain lifters that obscure the data due to their very exceptional lifting within their class.  Bob Hirsh is a prime example as he greatly distanced himself from the others in the Hack Lift and Jefferson Lift.  His Jefferson Lift record outscored the next lifter by over 150 Lynch Points, the biggest variation of all the lifts recorded in this data set.  But there are other lifters in the middleweight and heavyweight classes who are  “in a class of their own” also.  Everything averages out.  I was also concerned that the weight classes on the fringe of the lightweight and heavyweight classes (the 80 K and the 105K) would be overly represented, and thus tend to discredit the ranges I picked for this study.  However, this was not the case as you can see from the results  that the lighter lifters (70K and 75K), as well as the heaviest lifters (the 125+ lifters) were often represented as having the BEST lifts within their division. Only one 60K lifter made the list (this is not a largely represented class at meets), and he ended up having the BEST Lynch corrected Cheat Curl.  Geoff Gazda’s 190# Cheat Curl in the 60K class outscored Antonio DelSignore’s 260# Cheat Curl in the 105 K Class, 220.8 points to 214.7 points.  One 125+ K class lifter had the TOP Lynch Score among all divisions.  Frank Ciavattone and his 562# One Arm Deadlift ranks above all the others.

I welcome any comments regarding this study of mine.  You can either address them on the USAWA Discussion Forum or you can email me directly.

Lynch Formula Expanded

by Al Myers

Chris Bass is the "brains" behind the IAWA. Chris is often the official scorekeeper at International Events, and he maintains the IAWA World Record List, which is an overwhelming task. Chris was very influential in helping solve this problem with the Lynch Formula.

A  project that I have been working on for the past several months has been trying to expand the Lynch Factor Chart to allow bodyweight adjustments for heavier lifters.  This has been a big problem with the Lynch Factor Chart in the past – it only went up  to 138 kilograms bodyweight.  This is how it always has been since the original calculations were done.  Nowadays, it is not uncommon to have lifters that weigh over this amount, and NO LYNCH FACTORS have been available for them.  It forced the Meet Director to either just use the highest Lynch Factor available on the Chart, or “make a guess” at a factor for them, either case not being the way it should be done.

Efforts were made to acquire the original Lynch Formula or extrapolate the current Lynch Factors to higher bodyweight factors.  Both of these ideas were unsuccessful – UNTIL NOW!!  I brought this problem up at the IAWA World Council Meeting in Glasgow, Scotland, and a committee of myself, Chris Bass and Roger Davis were formed to look further into it and find a resolution.  I am glad to say that Roger Davis has found the original Lynch Formula, which the Lynch Formula creator Ian Lynch had given to him many years prior.  Through the works of Roger, he placed the formula in an Excel Spreadsheet and generated the new, higher numbers, which are needed to make the Lynch Factor Chart complete. The chart now goes to 180 kilograms bodyweight, with all the new numbers generated from the same formula that the previous numbers were.  For those interested, the mathematical expression of the Lynch Formula is:

=((75-(39.53-(300/BW)-(3000/(BW*BW))))^(1/3))/(BW-(39.53-(300/BW)-(3000/(BW*BW))))^(1/3)

This is indeed a much more complicated formula than I thought it would be originally!!  I have expanded the USAWA Lynch Formula Chart with the new values.  It will always be  available on the USAWA website – under the  page titled  “Scoring Information”.  I am the type of person who likes to solve problems quickly, and then immediately take action to implement the solution.  So, I presented this to the USAWA Executive Board for approval, which would allow the USAWA to implement this new Lynch Chart right away.  The USAWA Executive Board, of myself, Denny Habecker, Dennis Mitchell, Chad Ullom, and Scott Schmidt,  approved it unanimously.  This means the USAWA, as of now, will use this new Lynch Factor Chart in our scoring.  The IAWA will need a membership vote, which only occurs when there is a World Council Meeting.  This means it may be next year before the IAWA approves this new Lynch Chart, unless a Council Meeting is called for at the 2010 Gold Cup next month.  Regardless, the committee of myself, Roger, and Chris will present it for IAWA approval at the next Council Meeting.

The new Lynch Factor Chart  – Lynch Factor Chart

I want to especially thank the efforts of Roger Davis and Chris Bass.  Without the efforts of these two, this BIG improvement in our scoring system  would not have been realized.