Indoor climbing is comprised of three main disciplines: Bouldering, Sport and Speed. Each have their own unique challenges in terms of the physical and mental demands they require, but each complement the other at the same time. Every team in the program will participate in all three throughout their season, with the exception of speed climbing. Speed will only be a part of competitive team curricula.
For the competitive climber, rock climbing has never seen a more exciting time. With competitive climbing now an Olympic Sport, youth programs like ours are the first step for any future Olympic hopeful. We participate in competitions sanctioned by USA Climbing, the official National Governing Body for all competitive climbing. The year-long competition season is broken up by the three disciplines, Bouldering in Fall/Winter and Sport and Speed in Spring/Summer. Please read below for a more detailed description of each discipline. For a more detailed rundown of competitive climbing, please click and download the attached pdf guide.
Bouldering is a discipline of climbing where a participant climbs relatively short (less than 20 ft.) walls where ropes as safety equipment are not used. Climbers will attempt ‘boulders’ over padded surfaces, and with proper instruction on falling technique, climbers of all ability levels can practice this discipline safely. Given that a climber spends a relatively short period on the wall, bouldering will showcase tricky, powerful, and gymnastic movement.
Sport Climbing is where an athlete will climb taller walls where the use of ropes is required to keep the climber safe. As opposed to bouldering, which is more of a power and strength based discipline, Sport Climbing is more endurance based, as a climber is required to spend more time on the wall. Depending on the athletes age, they will either climb on ‘top-rope’, where the rope is anchored at the top of the wall and above the climber at all times, or ‘lead,’ where a climber is required to clip their own rope into regularly spaced anchors as they climb up the wall.
Speed Climbing is only practiced in a competition setting, where the goal is to ascend a climbing wall as fast as possible. All speed climbing competition follows an international standardized route, so all speed competitors around the world will train and compete on the same template. In youth competitions, athletes will encounter 10-meter and 15-meter versions. This discipline requires an incredible amount of agility, power and coordination. The current world records for the 15-meter speed route are 5.48 seconds for men and 7.32 seconds for women.