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Rock Climbing Competitions

Competition climbing began in Europe about 40 years ago (1970's) as a speed climbing event. These events were held at outdoor locations on real rock. Within a few years the first rock climbing walls began to appear. These were crude walls with wooden chips and blocks nailed to a wall. Rock climbing competitions became more popular in the early1980's as climbing walls became more popular. Competition climbing on indoor walls held the distinct advantage of being able to control weather and allow the exact placement of the holds to create new routes. indoor rock climbing became it's own sport in the early1990's and an entire indoor rock climbing sub-industry has developed responding to the demand for climbing holds, rock shoes, harnesses, chalk and chalk bags, modular climbing systems, portable towers, etc...Today there are well over 4,000 rock climbing walls holding about 500 climbing competitions each year world-wide. Indoor rock climbing is becoming quite popular throughout the world.

Types and Formats. This section defines and expounds on the different types, formats and levels of climbing competitions.

Preparation. Provides information on how the climbing competitor can "peak" performance level on the day of the competition. This requires specific preparation and some knowledge about body cycles, nutrition, recovery time and specific training for the type of competition.

In Isolation. For on-sight climbing competitions, climbers are separated from the competition wall and spectators. Even though you may not see the route there is much you can do to prepare while in isolation.

The Preview. This section provides ideas on how to use the preview to your best advantage. Differences between climbers like size, strength, technique, weight, experience make a climbing route a truly unique problem for each climber. Your ability to read moves, visualize sequences and remember the route may make the difference between completing the climb or not.

Technical Incidents. The Technical Incident must be filed by the climber. However many climbers do not know what constitutes a technical incident or how to file it. Technical incidents differ from protests. This section discusses the climber's and coach's options for technical incidents and protests.

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