A Guide to Robi Points, the IWF’s New Replacement for Sinclair

When USA Weightlifting released their new selection procedures for the Tokyo Olympics, there was one line that received particular focus: as of June 2018, the International Weightlifting Federation compares individual results across weight categories with his or her Robi score.

Traditionally that was done with the Sinclair coefficient, designed in 1978 to rank athletes regardless of weight class and gender. Basically, the idea was to answer the question of “How much more weight could an athlete lift if he or she weighed more?”

Now the Sinclair is no more, at least in some official use; Olympic weightlifting is all about your Robi now. IWF.net claims that, “the ‘Robi Points’ is the official IWF calculation method to compare individual athlete Total results across each of the IWF bodyweight categories at Junior and Senior level.”

What Is the Sinclair?

So what’s the difference? It’s pretty hard to Explain Like You’re Five since these formulas contain some pretty advanced math but your Sinclair score is determined by multiplying your total with the Sinclair Coefficient, which is:{\displaystyle 10^{A({\log _{10}{(x/b)}})^{2}}}if x<b where x is the weightlifter’s bodyweight, b is the world record holder’s bodyweight (in the heaviest category) and A is the coefficient for this Olympic cycle, or 1.0 if x≥b.

You don’t really need to understand that if you want to know your score, you can just use the IWF’s calculator here.

What Is the Robi?

The Robi, on the other hand, was desvised by former IWF Technology Director and Olympic athlete Robert Nagy. The formula is:

A x Totalb

Where A is the constant of the bodyweight category and b is the constant of the progressivity. b is 3,3219281, and A is the following for different weight categories.

The IWF goes on to explain factors that define progressivity:

Max. Points for the World Record = 1000
WR = 50%
Points = 10%
(50% of the WR gets 10% of the max 1000 Points)

If you find that confusing, you’re not alone, but you can just use IWF’s new Robi calculator here to get your score. Spoiler: Your Robi is probably lower than your Sinclair.

Robi Vs Sinclair

The IWF has this handy table on their site comparing the two, and all of this information is coming from their excellent explainer available here.

Sinclair vs Robi

BarBend spoke with Attila Adamfi, the Director General of the International Weightlifting Federation, to ask some of the most common questions we’ve heard.

BarBend: Thanks for taking the time to chat.

Attila Adamfi: I hope I will be able to answer.

Please note that the Robi points were mainly designed for a similar purpose to the Sinclair: to compare athletes’ results in different bodyweight categories at a smaller competition, not to compare athletes in the same category (that should be done by the Technical Competition Rules and Regulations) or to create a different “result” for a longer period.

The Robi score is (constant of the bodyweight category) X (total, to the power of the constant of the progressivity). Since the biggest factor defining progressivity is the world record, does that mean every weightlifter on Earth’s Robi score changes when a new world record is achieved in his/her category? 

Yes, in general it is linked to the actual world record.

If a world record is invalidated due to a drugs retest, will they adjust all the Robi scores for lifters in that category?

Yes.

One criticism is that the Robi score only focuses on your weight category, not how much you weigh. So a super heavyweight weighing 105.1 kilograms gets the same score as one weighing 150 kilograms. Was this aspect discussed much before the IWF implemented the Robi score?

Yes, it is in line with the Technical Competition Rules and Regulations (TCRR), where the bodyweight is not a deciding factor anymore. For ranking in the same category, the TCRR shall be applied.

Will the IWF change the world records for the new weight classes

Yes, new standards will be established corresponding to the new categories.

Was the Robi score designed with the Olympics in mind — as a system to make it easier to decide who should go to the Olympics or the World Weightlifting Championships? A common reaction we’ve seen is that the Robi is better than the Sinclair for deciding who should go to the Olympics but for average, non-elite lifters, the Sinclair was an easier way to compare athletes.

Not really, it was created for general use — the process started before the qualification system was created, when the bodyweight advantage was no longer a deciding factor.

I don’t think the Robi points is more difficult, anybody can calculate (just like the Sinclair) on our website.

Thanks for your time.

Featured image via @iwfnet on Instagram.

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Nick is a content producer and journalist with over seven years’ experience reporting on four continents. His first articles about health were on a cholera outbreak in rural Kenya while he was reporting for a French humanitarian organization. His next writing job was covering the nightlife scene in Shanghai. He’s written on a lot of different kinds of things, but his passion for health ultimately led him to cover it full time.Shanghai was where he managed to publish his first health related article (it was on managing diarrhea), he then went on to produce a radio documentary about bodybuilding in Australia before he finished his Master’s degrees in Journalism and International Relations and headed to New York City. Here, he’s been writing on health full time for more than five years for outlets like Men's Health, VICE, and Popular Science.Nick’s interest in health kind of comes from an existential angle: how are we meant to live? How do we reach our potential? Does the body influence the mind? (Believe it or not, his politics Master’s focused on religion.)Questions like these took him through a lot of different areas of health and fitness like gymnastics, vegetarianism, kettlebell training, fasting, CrossFit, Paleo, and so on, until he realized (or decided) that strength training fit best with the ideas of continuous, measurable self improvement.At BarBend his writing focuses a little more on nutrition and long-form content with a heaping dose of strength training. His underlying belief is in the middle path: you don’t have to count every calorie and complete every workout in order to benefit from a healthy lifestyle and a stronger body. Plus, big traps are cool.