Bouldering Competition Rules

Registration: Registration is located at the Member Services desk and Rock Wall located in the LaHaye Recreation and Fitness Center.  Anyone who registers prior to April 4th will only have to pay $1.00. Anyone who registers on the day of the competition will need to pay $5.00. 

Eligibility: Current residential students and LaHaye Student Union members are eligible.

Competition Information: Points are earned by completing a problem or route from start to finish (you must control the final hold). Each attempt made is recorded (every time your feet leave the ground) – each fall is tallied on the score card. If a hold spins or breaks, step off immediately and contact a judge or the attempt will count. If you use a hold or feature that is “off-route,” no points can be earned and the attempt will not count. The final score is the sum of your five highest point problems or routes.


Beginner mixed-gender (V0s-V2s)

Intermediate mixed-gender (V3-V5s)

Advanced mixed-gender (V6s-V8s)

Division Rules: Try any problem you want. Based on your capabilities, the judges hold the right to determine what division you should be in.

Format: A redpoint format competition allows multiple attempts on a problem/route and the opportunity to watch other competitors climb prior to an attempt. Points are scored only for completion of the problem/route. Competitors must match (control using both hands) on the final hold in order to receive credit for completing the problem. Each problem will be worth a specific number of points based on that problem's anticipated difficulty.

All competitors climb at the same time and are allowed to observe other climbers prior to their attempts. Competitors may also discuss the problems amongst each other. Competitors must start the problem from the start holds (in other words, competitors may not work on a problem from the middle). Competitors witness each other climb and when a competitor completes a problem, she/he has one witness initial his/her scorecard. Competitors choose which and how many of the problems they will attempt, and they get as many attempts as time permits.

Scores are recorded on a scorecard, which the competitor is responsible for and which must be turned in at the end of the event.

Each competitor’s best 5 completed/scored problems will be added together for a final score. Ties will be broken by comparing the falls tallied on the score cards.

Sporting Behavior: We expect that all competitors will treat other climbers, judges, and gym employees with respect, and conduct themselves as principled athletes. Failure to do so may result in disqualification from an event. Competitors must make no attempt to manipulate the regulations and rules to their advantage or to the advantage of any competitor.

It is the responsibility of all competitors to understand and abide by the regulations, rules and spirit of good sportsmanship. Competitors must accept, subject to the official appeals procedure, the decision of the official judges without question or protestation and exercise self-restraint at all times.

We encourage you to share your love of climbing by encouraging and supporting your fellow competitors. Try hard, have fun, and remember that, in climbing, the real competition is with you.

To get started, you should read these rules. You are responsible for understanding the rules.

Overall Competition Rules:

• Spotters should not have any physical contact with the climber during a bouldering attempt.

• For bouldering problems, the route judge SHALL NOT serve as both spotter and judge.

• Only climbers, spotters and judges are permitted to be in crowded bouldering areas, for safety’s sake. Please ask all others to stand away from crowded areas/fall zones.

• The climber must CONTROL and MATCH HANDS on the finish hold on a boulder problem to receive points for completion of that problem.

• Only designated holds and features are permitted for climbing each problem.

• Bolt holes on the wall are not permitted to be used as hand holds at any time. (this does not include features)

• Competitors may only touch the starting hold(s) prior to an attempt. Competitors may also touch any hold within reach but if their feet leave the ground it is considered an attempt.

• Competitors and/or judges may brush holds (bigger brushes will be provided, competitors are welcome to use their own brush sets).

• If route setting is underway for the competition, competitors must not climb in the gym or observe anyone else climbing. Competitors that climb or observe anyway will be subject to disqualification for that event. Competitors shall not enter the rock wall area if routes are being set for the comp. Competitors who do will be disqualified for that comp.

• Competitors shall not work as route setters even on other category routes.

• Each competitor's attempt shall be deemed to have started when both feet have left the ground. NO MIS-STARTS SHALL BE PERMITTED once a competitor’s feet have left the ground.

• Each competitor may attempt the problem as many times as she/he desires in the allotted time. 

• If a technical problem occurs (e.g. hold spins or breaks) competitors may return to the ground immediately to retry without the attempt being scored. Competitors who continue climbing after a technical incident will forfeit this opportunity.

• When a climber uses a hold or feature that is not included in the problem, the ascent will not be given any points.

• If a competitor’s score is substantially above everyone else in their division, they may be bumped up into a higher division. If a competitor completes 3 problems in the division above theirs, they will be automatically moved up one division.

• All participants are expected to treat other competitors, judges, spectators and other persons present with courtesy and respect. If a competitor is found to display unsportsmanlike conduct they may be asked to leave.

• Competitors may use whatever equipment is generally accepted in bouldering including climbing shoes, chalk, and brushes.

The following infringements shall result in the immediate disqualification of the competitor from the competition:

° Distracting or interfering with any competitor who is preparing for, or attempting, a problem.

° Distracting or interfering with any official while they are carrying out their duties.

° Failure to comply with the instructions of the official judges and/or the organizer’s officials.

° The use of abusive, insulting and/or violent words and/or behavior towards anyone in the competition area.

° Unsporting behavior, abusive, insulting and/or violent words and/or behavior to the event organizer or their officials and/or team officials and/or other competitors and/or members of the public.

Technical Incidents:

• Spinning holds or other technical incidents must be declared by the climber AT THE TIME OF ITS OCCURRENCE. A technical could be a spinning hold, tape stuck to a shoe, or anything else that creates an unfair disadvantage to a competitor that is not the result of an action on the part of the competitor. Obviously, a technical is subject to judgment; however, if the competitor feels he/she is the subject of an unfair disadvantage, they must declare so WHILE THEY ARE ON THE PROBLEM. If the route judge agrees that the incident has created an unfair disadvantage, the competitor will come back to the ground and will be allowed another attempt on the problem, with no penalty incurred. If the route judge does not agree that a technical incident has occurred, the competitor must continue their current attempt on the problem.

• The competitor must specify the nature of the technical incident, and with the agreement of the Route Judge, may continue or cease climbing. If the competitor falls or chooses to cease climbing due to the technical, the attempt will not be counted as a fall.

• On completion of a legitimate attempt on a problem, a competitor shall be recorded as having achieved the best result of their permitted attempts on the route.

If you have any questions, please email