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A climbing competition (or comp) is usually held indoors on purpose built climbing walls. There are three main types of climbing competition: lead, speed, and bouldering. In lead climbing, the competitors start at the bottom of a route and must climb it within a certain time frame in a single attempt, making sure to clip the rope into pre-placed quickdraws along the route. Bouldering competitions consist of climbing short problems without rope, with the emphasis on number of problems completed and the attempts necessary to do so. Speed climbing can either be an individual or team event, with the person or team that can climb a standardized route the fastest winning.
The International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC) organizes some of the most important international sport climbing competitions, including the Climbing World Championships and the Climbing World Cup. Sport climbing was featured at the Summer Olympics for the first time in 2020.
In lead climbing, competitors climb a long, difficult route designed and set by the route setter and attempt to reach the top. The climber's performance is determined by the highest hold reached and whether or not that hold was "controlled", meaning the climber achieved a stable position on that hold, or "used", meaning the climber used the hold to make a controlled climbing movement in the interest of progressing along the route. In the case of a tie between athletes, the climber's score from the previous round and/or the time taken to ascend the route is used to break the tie.
At championship-level events, lead climbers must climb the route on sight . This means that they are allowed only one attempt, and they are not allowed to see other climbers on the route, or receive any form of advice (beta) from others after the competition has started. Otherwise, later climbers would be able to learn from previous competitors' mistakes, giving them a considerable advantage. Climbers are usually given a limited amount of time to visually inspect the route from ground level before being sequestered.
Speed is the only factor that counts in a speed climbing event. It is top rope climbing in which competitors climb a slightly overhanging (at 5°) IFSC-certified vertical piste with belaying from the top. Since 2007 the IFSC has created a standard wall layout for the world record. The climbing time is determined by mechanical-electric timing (the competitor strikes a switch at the top of the route); manually timing was allowed as a backup solution until 2018. As of 5 June 2021 [update] , Indonesian climber Veddriq Leonardo, holds the men's 15-meter speed world record; 5.208 seconds, set at IFSC World Cup Salt Lake City, USA on 28 May 2021, breaking the record from the fellow Indonesian climber, Kiromal Katibin; 5.258 seconds, at the same day. Yulia Kaplina from Russia, holds the women's 15-meter speed world record at 6.964 seconds, which was set at IFSC European Championships in Moscow, Russia on 21 November 2020.
The team speed discipline was introduced as a medal showcase for the 2011 World Championship. It is a relay competition with teams of three. The teams are made up of 3 athletes of the same sex. Before the 2012 set of rules was introduced, the teams had to be mixed sexes. The race is held on the world record wall split into four lanes, two for each team. The first athlete races to hit the button at the top of the wall, at which point the second athlete climbs the second leg to release the third and final athlete whose final button marks the total time.[ citation needed ]
Speed climbing has been a part of the Combined format in the 2020 Summer Olympics, and will be a standalone event in the 2024 Summer Olympics.
A bouldering competition consists of climbing on short walls without belay ropes. It differs from lead climbing competitions in that the climber can attempt a route more than once, but like lead climbing they cannot see other climbers on the boulder or receive from others any form of advice after the competition has started. In IFSC and Olympic competitions climbers are given a time of 4 minutes to give as many attempts as they want.
Each competitor's score is determined by the overall number of routes finished and the number of attempts needed. Ranking is further subdivided by either a lead-style scoring system or with the use of a "bonus" hold. In a lead-style scoring system the climber is awarded a certain number of points for each hold they reach, with the highest points awarded for a finished route. The IFSC and Olympic competitions use a bonus hold called the "Zone"; the number of attempts to reach the Zone (if reached) further stratifies the competitors.
Some of the most widely known international competitions are administered by the International Federation of Sport Climbing, including:
Other widely known international competitions are:
In the United States, the American Bouldering Series organizes regional, divisional and national events.
In August 2016 it was announced that climbing would be included in the 2020 Olympics.Athletes were be competing in a combined format; their lead, speed, and bouldering results were combined to determine the winners. The winners of the combined format were Alberto Ginés López for men and Janja Garnbret for women.
For 2024 the format will be changed and divide the three disciplines into two events - one with combined bouldering and lead climbing, and one with speed climbing as a standalone event. The point awarding system will also be changed, with points being awarded based on individual performances instead of position based system used in the sports' debut at the event.
The main international youth climbing competitions are organized by the International Federation of Sport Climbing, including:
In the United States, youth climbing is organized by USA Climbing (USAC).
Bouldering is a form of free climbing that is performed on small rock formations or artificial rock walls without the use of ropes or harnesses. While bouldering can be done without any equipment, most climbers use climbing shoes to help secure footholds, chalk to keep their hands dry and to provide a firmer grip, and bouldering mats to prevent injuries from falls. Unlike free solo climbing, which is also performed without ropes, bouldering problems are usually less than six metres (20 ft) tall. Traverses, which are a form of boulder problem, require the climber to climb horizontally from one end to another. Artificial climbing walls allow boulderers to climb indoors in areas without natural boulders. In addition, bouldering competitions take place in both indoor and outdoor settings.
Climbing is the activity of using one's hands, feet, or any other part of the body to ascend a steep topographical object. It is done for locomotion, recreation and competition, and within trades that rely on ascension; such as emergency rescue and military operations. It is done indoors and out, on natural and man-made structures.
Sport climbing is a form of rock climbing that relies on permanent anchors, permanently fixed into the rock for climber protection, in which a rope that is attached to the climber is clipped into the anchors to arrest a fall; it can also involve climbing short distances with a crash pad underneath as protection. This is in contrast to traditional climbing where climbers must place removable protection as they climb. Sport climbing usually involves lead climbing and toproping techniques, but free solo and deep-water solo climbing on sport routes is also sometimes possible.
Lead climbing is a climbing style, predominantly used in rock climbing. In a roped party one climber has to take the lead while the other climbers follow. The lead climber wears a harness attached to a climbing rope, which in turn is connected to the other climbers below the lead climber. While ascending the route, the lead climber periodically connects the rope to protection equipment for safety in the event of a fall. This protection can consist of permanent bolts, to which the climber clips quickdraws, or removable protection such as nuts and cams. One of the climbers below the lead climber acts as a belayer. The belayer gives out rope while the lead climber ascends and also stops the rope when the lead climber falls or wants to rest.
Speed climbing is a climbing discipline in which speed is the ultimate goal. Speed climbing is done on rocks, walls and poles and is only recommended for highly skilled and experienced climbers.
Sean McColl is a professional rock climber from North Vancouver, Canada. He competes in the lead climbing, speed climbing, and bouldering disciplines, and has won major competitions in all three.
The IFSC Climbing World Championships are the biennial world championships for competition climbing organized by the International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC). This event determines the male and female world champions in the three disciplines of sport climbing: lead climbing, bouldering, and speed climbing. Since 2012, a Combined ranking is also determined, for climbers competing in all disciplines, and additional medals are awarded based on that ranking. The first event was organized in Frankfurt in 1991.
USA Climbing is the national governing body of the sport of competition climbing in the United States. As a 501(c)3 non-profit, it promotes Sport Climbing which comprises the competition disciplines of bouldering, lead climbing, and speed climbing.
The IFSC Climbing World Cup is a series of climbing competitions held annually and organized by the International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC). The athletes compete in three disciplines: lead, bouldering and speed. The number of competitions and venues vary from year to year. The first World Cup was held in 1989, and included only lead climbing events. Speed climbing was introduced in 1998 and bouldering in 1999. For 18 seasons, from 1989 to 2006, World Cups were held under the auspices of UIAA and called UIAA Climbing World Cups. Since 2007, they have been held under the auspices of the IFSC.
Janja Garnbret is a Slovenian rock climber and sport climber who has won multiple lead climbing and bouldering events at climbing competitions. In 2021, she became the first ever female Olympic gold medalist in sport climbing, and is widely regarded as one of the greatest competitive climbers of all time. She is also the world's first-ever female climber to onsight an 8c (5.14b) graded sport climbing route.
Sport climbing made its Olympic debut at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan. Two events were held, one each for men and women. The format controversially consisted of one combined event with three disciplines: lead climbing, speed climbing and bouldering. The medals were determined based on best performance across all three disciplines. This format was previously tested at the 2018 Summer Youth Olympics. The Olympic code for sports climbing is CLB.
Tomoa Narasaki is a Japanese professional sport climber and boulderer.
The 2019 season of the IFSC Climbing World Cup was the 21st season of the competition. Bouldering competitions were held at six stops of the IFSC Climbing World Cup. The bouldering season began on April 5 at the World Cup in Meiringen, and concluded on June 8 with the World Cup in Vail. At each stop a qualifying was held on the first day of the competition, and the semi-final and final rounds were conducted on the second day of the competition. The winners were awarded trophies, and the best three finishers received medals. At the end of the season an overall ranking was determined based upon points, which athletes were awarded for finishing in the top 30 of each individual event.
The 2019 IFSC Climbing World Cup was held in 12 locations. Bouldering, lead and speed competitions were each held in 6 locations. The season began on 5 April in Meiringen, Switzerland with the first bouldering competition in the season, and concluded on 27 October in Inzai, Japan, with the last lead climbing competition in the season.
The 2019 IFSC Climbing World Championships, the 16th edition, were held in Hachioji, Japan from 11 to 21 August 2019. The championships consisted of lead, speed, bouldering, and combined events. The paraclimbing event was held separately from 16 to 17 July in Briançon, France. The combined event also served as an Olympic qualifying event for the 2020 Summer Olympics.
The men's combined event at the 2020 Summer Olympics was a climbing competition combining three disciplines. It was held from August 3 to August 5, 2021 at the Aomi Urban Sports Park in Tokyo. A total of 20 athletes from 15 nations competed. Sport climbing was one of four new sports added to the Olympic program for 2020.
The women's combined event at the 2020 Summer Olympics was a climbing competition combining three disciplines. It took place between 4 and 6 August 2021 at the Aomi Urban Sports Park in Tokyo. 20 athletes from 15 nations competed. Sport climbing was one of four new sports added to the Olympic program for 2020.
The 2019 IFSC Combined Qualifier was an Olympic Qualifying Event. It was held from 28 November to 1 December 2019 in Toulouse, France. It was organized by the French Federation of Sport Climbing and Mountaineering or FFME. The athletes competed in combined format of three disciplines: speed, bouldering, and lead, simulating the 2020 Olympics format. Six athletes per gender would qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics through this event. The winner for men was Kokoro Fujii and for women was Futaba Ito.
The 2022 IFSC Climbing World Cup is the 34th edition of the international sport climbing competition series organised by the International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC), held in 12 locations. There are 21 events: six bouldering, seven lead, seven speed, and one bouldering & lead combined events. The series began on 8 April in Meiringen, Switzerland with the first bouldering competitions of the season, and concludes on 22 October in Morioka-Iwate, Japan, which introduces the Boulder & Lead combined format that will be used at the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris.
Sport climbing will be a medal event for the second time at the 2024 Summer Olympics, following its Olympic debut at the 2020 Games in Tokyo, Japan. The total number of medal events goes up to four, two each for men and women, from two in Tokyo, with the addition of the Boulder & Lead Combined format, with speed climbing as its own separate event. The number of athletes also goes up from 40 at Tokyo to 68 in Paris.