The diverse nature of sport climbing is an important reason for its rising popularity. Whether it is lead climbing, bouldering, speed, or combined - all disciplines of competition climbing require different skills from the athletes.
... is probably the most well known discipline in sport climbing. Lead competitions have been organised for more than 30 years. The climbers face a 15 - 20 meters high artificial wall, and climb with a rope for safety. The goal is to climb as far as possible on a previously set route within a time limit. The winner is the climber that climbs the farthest. In order to be successful in this discipline, the athletes need a lot of power endurance.
There are two qualification routes for two qualification pools, which are filled according to international rankings. The first 13 of each group reach semi-finals. The qualification rounds are climbed in "flash" style, that means the athletes can watch each other while climbing. In semi-finals and finals, there is an isolation zone, so the athletes cannot see each other while climbing. Eight athletes compete in finals.
The height you reach determines the score and thus the ranking. The height reached is defined by the last hold reached. To each hold, a score S is attached. You can either control the hold (score S) or started the movement toward the next hold (score S+). It is thus not sufficient to have touched a hold but not controlled. The decision whether a "+" is awarded or not is taken by the jury. If two athletes have the same score in finals, there is a "countback", that means that semi-finals results, or if necessary qualification results, are taken into account.
... means climbing on walls where jumping off is possible. The climbers don't use a rope, and mats on the ground soften the landings. Bouldering is primarily about extremely difficult sequences and complex moves. Coordination, flexibility and power are required.
In qualifications there are two pools just like in lead. In each pool, there are 5 boulders to climb. The best 10 of each group reach semi finals, where 4 boulders wait. The best 6 reach finals, where there are another 4 boulder problems.
The primary goal in this discipline is to top out as many boulders as possible. Each boulder has two holds that are relevant for the score: the top hold, and one bonus hold - all other holds are not important for the score.
Which boulder is topped out doesn't matter, in the end only the sums count.
The scoring is done by using four scoring criteria:
Scoring criterion 1 (S1): number of tops
Scoring criterion 2 (S2): if equal score after S1 > number of attempts for tops
Scoring criterion 3 (S3): if equal score after S1 and S2 > number of bonus holds
Scoring criterion 4 (S4): if equal score after S1, S2 and S3 > number of attempts for bonus holds
... as the name implies, speed counts. During the competition, the winner is determined over many rounds where not only speed matter, but also endurance. On the homologated wall and route that is used at international competitions it is possible to set world records.
The speed route is set twice on the same wall. In the qualification, each athlete climbs both routes, the fastest time counts. 16 reach the final rounds, where a KO-mode is used.
The athletes that are eliminated in qualifications are ranked according to their best time. The remainung 16 climbers face each other two by two in a tournament mode, the faster climber wins and goes to the next rund. For the third place, there is a "little" final, for all other ranks the time of the last round (where the athlete lost) counts.
The Olympic Combined Format, which will be the format at the Youth Olympic Games 2018 in Buenos Aires and the Olympic Games 2020 in Tokyo. Each discipline gets climbed in the current World Championships format. More information is found HERE.
In each discipline, the current WCH format is used. In the first round (qualification), all athletes compete in every discipline. Six athletes enter finals, which are carried out "en-bloc", and where again the WCH format is used in each individual discipline. The sequence of the disciplines is 1- Speed, 2- Boulder, 3- Lead.
For the ranking, the qualification ranks of each discipline are multiplied for each athlete. The six athletes with the lowest score qualify for finals. In case of equal points, the athlete who beat the other in two disciplines will win. Example: Athlete 1 who finishes 1., 2. and 6. loses against athlete 2 who places 3., 1. and 4.