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IFSC World Cup Climbing Guidelines & Scoring Defined


Perplexed by the Worldwide Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC)’s scoring system for World Cup climbing competitions? Right here’s how one can decrypt Boulder, Lead, and Pace stats and rankings.

For anybody unfamiliar with IFSC competitors scoring, decoding the climber’s scorecards is like taking part in chess along with your eyes closed. So, we put collectively an earnest try to simplify the IFSC’s scoring course of, make clear any quirks in its rulebook, and break down competitors jargon.

The IFSC holds World Cup occasions in three disciplines: bouldering, sport climbing or “lead,” and velocity climbing. The foundations and scoring that apply to World Cup opponents fluctuate in response to the self-discipline.

How can a lead climber rating 45+ factors? What’s the distinction between velocity climbing’s massive and small finals? Discover out under. We’ve divided this explainer into sections for Boulder, Lead, Pace, and Rankings, in that order.

For reference (if you wish to dive into the gory particulars), right here’s the 96-page IFSC rulebook in full.

Bouldering Scoring & Guidelines

Natalia Grossman (USA) won the IFSC Boulder World Cup title in 2021 and 2022; (photo/Dimitris Tosidis, IFSC)
Natalia Grossman (USA) gained the IFSC Boulder World Cup title in 2021 and 2022; (photograph/Dimitris Tosidis, IFSC)

In IFSC World Cup bouldering, climbers can rating factors with out reaching the highest of an issue. Competitors takes place in a construction of three rounds.

There are two methods climbers can rating factors on a World Cup boulder drawback:

  1. by climbing to the highest (“TOP” scorecard notation) and securing the ultimate maintain with out falling, or
  2. by climbing to a delegated zone maintain, which lies someplace in the course of the issue (“Z” scorecard notation).

For a high or zone to rely, the climber should contact the maintain with each arms in a managed method. Grazing or tapping the maintain with out controlling it doesn’t rely.

A qualifying spherical comes first, adopted by a semifinal and remaining.

Qualifying rounds consist of 5 boulder issues, and opponents should try to climb every drawback inside a given time restrict (often 3-4 minutes per boulder). In that point, the target is to climb to the highest in as few makes an attempt as potential. Reaching the highest of a boulder on one’s first try (a flash) is essentially the most fascinating final result.

Semifinal and remaining rounds function 4 boulder issues, and opponents should try to climb each inside a span of 5 minutes. The variety of climbers that make the semifinal is determined by what number of compete in qualifying. Normally, the highest 20 advance. The ultimate spherical showcases the highest six.

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Time is the one limiter; climbers might try a boulder as continuously as they select throughout the allotted time.

Put merely, the climber who achieves essentially the most tops and/or zones within the fewest makes an attempt wins. Scoring is a four-part system. In descending order, climbers rank in response to tops, zones, variety of makes an attempt to get the tops, and variety of makes an attempt to get the zones.

For instance, a remaining rating of “3t 4z 4 6” reveals that the climber reached the highest of three boulders, reached the zone maintain on 4 boulders, took 4 makes an attempt to achieve the tops, and took six makes an attempt to achieve the zones.

One of the best lead to a spherical with 4 boulder issues is 4t 4z 4 4, that means the climber flashed each boulder within the spherical.

Lead Climbing Scoring & Guidelines

Stefano Ghisolfi competes in the IFSC Climbing World Cup in Kranj (photo Jan Virt IFSC)
Stefano Ghisolfi (ITA) competes within the Kranj Lead World Cup, 2021; (photograph/IFSC)

IFSC lead competitions happen on a single sport route that measures 15 m (49.21 ft) excessive by 3 m (9.84 ft) broad and will get reset between rounds. The IFSC specifies that some sections overhang at the least 5 levels, and that it consists of pre-installed quickdraws.

Like bouldering, lead competitions happen in a single qualifying, one semifinal, and one remaining spherical. If over 80 athletes climb in a single lead comp, the IFSC holds two separate qualifying rounds. (In that case, all remaining climbers funnel into the identical semifinal.) Typically, 26 climbers advance to the semis and eight vie for the ultimate.

Laws restrict opponents to a single try per spherical; in the event that they fall, their try is over. They have to clip their rope into each quickdraw. Skipping a quickdraw, backclipping, or z-clipping will lead to disqualification.

Every maintain on the route corresponds to a quantity; “1” is the maintain closest to the bottom. As quickly as a climber’s hand touches the following greater maintain, they get a “+.” Once they management it, they get some extent. An ideal rating on a route with 45 hand holds, then, can be a forty five+.

The climber that reaches the very best maintain, clipping accurately with out falling, earns the spherical’s greatest rating. However the perfect performer within the remaining spherical doesn’t essentially win the competitors, as a result of efficiency in all three rounds components into the ultimate scores.

If a number of climbers attain the identical top and tally the identical rating in any case three rounds, the climber who information the quickest general time (rounded to the bottom second) wins. Ought to two or extra climbers attain the identical maintain in the identical period of time, their performances within the earlier spherical will break the tie.

Pace Scoring & Guidelines

Kiromal Katibin (INA) breaks the men's world record with 5.009 on the clock in the men's Speed qualification round; (photo/IFSC)
Kiromal Katibin (INA) breaks the lads’s world file with 5.009 on the clock within the males’s Pace qualification spherical, France, 2022; (photograph/IFSC)

The scoring for velocity climbing is totally different however fairly easy. Within the qualification spherical, climbers get two makes an attempt to scale the 15 m wall and log their quickest time. The route is a world commonplace and doesn’t change between any competitors or spherical. Instances then decide the climbers’ rating for the upcoming tournament-style spherical, first via sixteenth place.

In it, the top-ranked climber will race in opposition to the underside (or sixteenth) seed, the second seed goes in opposition to the fifteenth, the third seed goes in opposition to the 14th, and so on. The winners from every race then transfer on to the following spherical, the place the primary place faces eighth place, second faces seventh, and so on.

As soon as 4 climbers stay, they get to duke it out for the rostrum in two rounds. The quickest two climbers within the first spherical transfer on to compete within the “massive” remaining, whereas the slower two climbers transfer on to the “small” remaining.

The winner of the massive remaining will get first place. The loser of the massive remaining will get second. The winner of the small remaining will get third, and the loser will get fourth. Observe that the small remaining winner can’t get first place, even when they publish a quicker time than the massive remaining winner.

Sequence Rankings

IFSC world rankings in Boulder, Lead, and Pace are the merchandise of a cumulative factors system. Because of this opponents obtain factors on the finish of every World Cup occasion based mostly on their remaining rating at that occasion. Slightly below, you’ll see the IFSC-sanctioned rank-to-points conversion chart.

IFSC Rank-to-Points conversion chart;(graphic/IFSC)
IFSC Rank-to-Factors conversion chart; (graphic/IFSC)

Rating Boulder, Lead, and Pace Rivals

To find out world rankings in Boulder, Lead, and Pace on the finish of a season, the IFSC appears to a climber’s cumulative World Cup factors for every self-discipline. Typically talking, constant performers rank greater in the long term than sporadic performers.

In different phrases, if a climber podiums persistently within the Boulder sequence, they may very possible find yourself taking the Total Boulder Champion title in that self-discipline on the finish of the season. Natalia Grossman and Yoshiyuki Ogata lately exemplified that with their wins of the ladies’s and males’s Total Boulder titles; Grossman gained 5 straight occasions to take the championship, whereas Ogata made the ultimate in all six occasions and podiumed 5 instances.

Lead semi-finals routes, Innsbruck World Cup, 2022 (photo IFSC)
Lead semi-finals routes, Innsbruck World Cup, 2022; (photograph/IFSC)

Mixed Rankings: Boulder & Lead

On the finish of the 12 months, one feminine and one male climber obtain the Total World Champion distinction. Rivals should have competed in at the least three qualifying Boulder World Cups and three qualifying Lead World Cups to be eligible.

To acquire a climber’s general rating, the IFSC sums the outcomes from their high three Boulder performances with the outcomes from their high three Lead performances.

Pace World Data

The IFSC additionally tracks the continental and world file speeds, that are separate from world rankings. That’s why you would possibly hear a couple of climber setting the “Asian” or “North American” file throughout a contest. For those who’re a velocity freak, keep tuned to this webpage, the place the IFSC retains present velocity file data.

The 2022 Speed World Cup stage in Villars, Switzerland
Pace climbing remaining, Villars World Cup, 2022; (photograph/IFSC)

Lastly, Updates Can Happen

Like all sport’s governing physique, the IFSC evaluations its guidelines for Boulder, Lead, and Pace climbing on a rolling foundation. As of this writing, the final guidelines updates had been posted simply earlier than the 2022 season, in early February. The replace additionally included a COVID-19 addendum and can apply to climbing disciplines on the 2024 Paris Olympics.

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