Climbing World Championships 2023 in Bern: This is how the competition format works

From August 1st to 12th, 2023 the IFSC Climbing and Paraclimbing World Championships 2023 instead. At the World Climbing Championships, the best athletes in the world compete in the disciplines of lead, bouldering and speed, as well as in the new Olympic format of bouldering & lead. In this article we explain exactly how the competition format works, how the points are awarded and who qualifies directly for Paris 2024.

The news about the 2023 World Cup will be presented by Unparallel, Petzl and Bächli Bergsport

The IFSC Climbing and Paraclimbing World Championships Bern 2023, or shortly die Climbing World Cup, is the highlight of the season in the international competition calendar. When the best athletes fight for the podium from August 1st to 12th, it's not just about the world championship titles. Bern is also the first opportunity to secure an Olympic ticket for Paris 2024.

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You will learn that in this article

  1. This is how bouldering works
  2. This is how the Lead discipline works
  3. This is how the Speed ​​discipline works
  4. This is how the combined discipline Boulder & Lead works
  5. Opportunities to qualify for the Olympics

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The first week in Bern is dedicated to the individual disciplines bouldering and lead climbing. In the second week stand the combined format Bouldering & Leading, the discipline Speed as well as the lead competitions in the paraclimbing on the program.

The anticipation of the Climbing World Championships in Bern is great, as is the pressure, especially since the first Olympic tickets for Paris 2024 are being awarded. Image: Eddie Fowke / IFSC
The anticipation of the Climbing World Championships in Bern is great, as is the pressure, especially since the first Olympic tickets for Paris 2024 are being awarded. Image: Eddie Fowke / IFSC

1. This is how the bouldering discipline works

qualification

When bouldering, the participants start in two groups. The split will be based on the current world rankings (#1 Group A, #2 & #3 Group B, #4 & #5 Group A, etc.). Five boulders are climbed in the qualification, four in the semi-finals and finals.

In the qualification, the athletes each have 15 seconds of preparation time and five minutes per boulder. In the final, the time available to reach the top of a boulder is reduced to a total of four minutes.

Points

Points are awarded per boulder based on the following criteria:

  • In descending order: number of tops, i.e. the number of successfully completed boulders
  • In descending order: number of zones
  • In ascending order: number of top attempts
  • In ascending order: number of zone attempts
Petra Klingler is happy about her top at the World Cup in Meiringen 2021. Image: Jan Virt / IFSC
Petra Klingler is happy about a top qualification at the World Cup in Meiringen 2021. Image: Jan Virt / IFSC

2. How the Lead discipline works

qualification

With a starting field of more than 80 participants, two groups will start, with the athletes being divided alternately into the two groups based on the current world rankings (No. 1 Group A, No. 2 and No. 3 Group B, No. 4 and No. 5 Group A etc.). In the qualification both groups climb both routes.

There are points for each qualification route, which add up to the qualification points. The following applies here: the lower the number of points, the better. The 26 best athletes qualify for the semi-finals, the eight best for the final.

The qualifying routes are pre-climbed for demonstration and the video is played in the warm-up zone as an endless loop. All athletes can view the semi-final and final routes together for six minutes.

6 minutes time: The Americans Natalia Grossman and Brooke Raboutou during the inspection of the final route at the Lead World Cup in Briançon 2022. Photo: Lena Drapella / IFSC
6 minutes time: The Americans Natalia Grossman and Brooke Raboutou during the inspection of the final route at the Lead World Cup in Briançon 2022. Photo: Lena Drapella / IFSC

3. This is how the Speed ​​discipline works

In speed climbing, all participants start on both (identical) routes in the qualification. The fastest 16 qualify for the final. There they start against each other in a KO system. The time between start and finish is measured with an accuracy of 1/1000 second.

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4. This is how the combined Boulder & Lead discipline works

qualification

After completing the individual disciplines, the new combined format Boulder & Lead is on the program. Based on their points in the individual disciplines, 20 women and XNUMX men qualify for the semi-finals.

IFSC points scale for the Climbing World Championships in Bern 2023. Source: IFSC
IFSC points scale for the Climbing World Championships in Bern 2023. Source: IFSC

If two athletes have the same rank in bouldering or lead climbing, they will receive the average score for the two ranks according to the above scale. For example, two third-place finishers would each receive 650 points (690+610).

Example ranking of the discipline Boulder & Lead based on the points of the individual disciplines. Source: IFSC
Example ranking of the discipline Boulder & Lead based on the points of the individual disciplines. Source: IFSC

If two athletes achieve the same number of points in the combined ranking, the highest number of points or the better rating in the individual discipline will be used. Eight athletes each qualify for the final.

The European Championships in Munich were the big test for the new combined Boulder & Lead format. Image: Dimitris Tosidis / Jan Virt / IFSC
The European Championships in Munich were the big test for the new combined Boulder & Lead format. Image: Dimitris Tosidis / Jan Virt / IFSC

Bouldering points

The following points can be achieved with each boulder:

  • 25 points if the top hold can be controlled
  • 10 points if the second zone is reached and controlled but not the top
  • 5 points if the first zone is reached and controlled

For each additional attempt within the above point zones, 0,1 point will be deducted.

Boulder & Lead Scoring Bouldering
Example boulder score, where A the total number of attempts z the number of attempts of the first zone, Z the number of attempts of the second zone and T records the top attempts. Source: IFSC

Points in lead climbing

Each route is rated with a maximum of 100 points. The basis of the rating is the topo of the route, where all holds are marked and rated in descending order. A route is considered successfully climbed when the last save point/exe has been clipped.

Points in Lead Climbing
Scoreboard Lead. Source: IFSC

5th World Championships in Bern as an Olympic ticket

The Climbing World Cup in Bern is the first opportunity for athletes to qualify for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris. In the combined Boulder & Lead format, a podium not only means a World Championship medal, but also an Olympic ticket. In the individual discipline speed, the top 2 are sure to participate in the Olympics.

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Credits: Cover picture Lena Drapella/IFSC

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