Why do we need LEXI?

Image showing para-sports classifications
Classification overview

Sport and its rules are one and the same. If you don’t understand the rules of a sport it is very difficult to engage fully with it on an emotional level. Classification in para-sports creates a framework set of rules that enable competition.

In para-sport very little seems intuitive at first glance. Audiences have a short time in which to absorb lots of information and the best way of doing this is through a picture. That picture is LEXI.

Once an audience understands why a particular group of individuals are classed together they can get on with watching the sport.

The inspiration

LEXI was first inspired by the Men’s SB7 100 Breastroke Final at the Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games. Sascha Kindred of Great Britain narrowly beat Baoren Gong of China by 0.03sec. To many TV viewers it appeared that Gong, who has no arms, was at a disadvantage when compared to Kindred who has cerebral palsy affecting one side of his body.

The race was fair but confusion around why or it possibly could be was preventing people from talking about the most important issue – that it had been an incredible race!

It was upon watching this race that Giles Long had the idea to explain para-sport classification to people, telling them what they needed to know, when they needed to know it with the use of a graphic illustration.

LEXI was born.

Development

early_sfw
Early LEXI
LEXI - Asymmetric experiment image
Asymmetric experiment
Image showing evolution of the LEXI figure
LEXI evolution
LEXI - image of unisex figure
Unisex LEXI

Early on it became apparent that LEXI must explain the rules of para-sport, but on the audience’s terms.

A traffic light system of four colours allows information to be transmitted intuitively whilst giving the flexibility to accurately represent different impairment types. There were many re-draws before the final design emerged.

LEXI is unisex and designed to have convey a ‘state of readiness,’ to capture the feeling of being sporty, whilst at the same time standing square on so that information can be easily understood.

Developing the system in motion

https://vimeo.com/143072443

All LEXI does is tell you:

  • What the race is
  • Who is in it (in terms of impairment)
  • Why this group of impairment types is put together

…nothing more, nothing less.

https://vimeo.com/149141200

LEXI will not turn you into an expert but it will stop you from saying to the person sitting next to you on the sofa “I don’t get it, why is the guy with one arm racing against they guy with one leg?” – If your audience its watching and saying that they are not really watching at all!

LEXI does not eclipse the sport

LEXI - image showing the timeline for a single race
Single race timeline

  • The Paralympic sport is the show, not LEXI
  • LEXI simply allows the sport to ‘breathe’
  • This shows the typical amount of time LEXI uses per 5 minutes or air time

Image showing LEXI usage over one hour of broadcast
LEXI max recommended usage per 1 hour of broadcast

  • LEXI takes up a small percentage of broadcast time but is designed to make all of the sport more accessible to TV audiences

LEXI takes up a small part of the broadcast that unlocks the true potential of para-sport to captivate audiences around the world.