Athletics Women’s Heptathlon – How are each event’s marks converted into points?

In a previous post we have described how the women´s heptathlon event proceeds and left the promise of explaining how the different times, distances or heights, accordingly to each event, are converted into points to sum up the total decathlon’s score.

Well, so it goes like this. The IAAF discloses a Combined Events Scoring Tables separately for each event. The formulas and tables currently in force are the following:

For a given performance, the point score (P) is calculated using one of the following equations:

Track events P=a*(b – T)^c [where T is Time in seconds; e.g. 23.51 for 200 metres].

Jumps P=a*(M – b)^c [where M is Measurement in centimetres; e.g. 653 for long jump].

Throws P=a*(D – b)^c [where D is Distance in metres; e.g. 55.43 for javelin throw].

a, b and c are the parameters listed below, published by the IAAF in 2011.

* is the mathematical sign meaning “multiplied by “, and

^ is the mathematical sign meaning “raised to the power of”.

The value of points must be rounded down to a whole number after applying the respective formula (e.g. 789.999 points becomes 789).

PARAMETERS (constants for each event):

Two calculation examples in practice:

–          200 metres mark of 23.51 seconds corresponds to 1.028 points, through 4.99087*(42.50-23.51)^1.81

–          Javelin throw of 55.43 metres entitles an athlete 966 points, since it equals 15.9803*(55.43-3,8)^1.04

As a curiosity, if all the best marks ever achieved by a hepathlon athlete in each event are summed up that would amount to a hypothetical world record of 7.982 points.

Better, if we consider the current world record for each hepathlon’s event we would end up with a total of 9.104 points for the best possible hepathlon’s world record as shown below.

 Since the current decathlon world record is of 7.291 points, this mark represents 91% of the first hypothetical world record and 80% of the second one, meaning in both cases a better ratio than the one obtained by men in decathlon.

For more detailed information check out the IAAF’s official document on:

http://www.iaaf.org/about-iaaf/documents/technical#scoring-tables

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