The posts on clipping and falling distances have generated a lot of email. Some graph paper will help in working the various clipping situations; we're all conditioned to think of the fall distance as twice the amount of rope above the last piece, but when clipping overhead the fall distance isn't twice the amount of rope above the last piece... Ulimately a fall while clipping is roughly equal to twice the distance between the two pieces, regardless of where the climber falls off while clipping. Diagrams drawn to scale will help sort this out. My friend Bill B sent the following in, good points also--it's not just starting point of the fall that matters, but also how belayers deal with over-head clips:
"I would consider a couple other factors here; 1. the climber will most always pull thru more rope than he/she needs, 2. the belayer will most always chuck out more slack than the climber will take (this is quickly adjusted for, but after the clip is made). Fall at the wrong moment before making the clip and the fall will certainly be longer than if you clipped at the waist. " -Bill B.
Understanding the physics allows us to make better decisions about difficult clips. I've seen a few accidents recently that just didn't have to happen, and a couple of other very close calls, I don't think enough climbers have thought this through carefully.