The World Games explained: Sport Climbing

The World Games explained: Sport Climbing
Bouldering is the newest of three forms of Sport Climbing competition in The World Games. (contributed)

We are less than two years away from the World Games 2021 taking place in and around Birmingham. Many are likely unfamiliar with the sports in the World Games, so Alabama NewsCenter is explaining what you can expect to see. Today, we look at Sport Climbing.

Sport climbing is an umbrella term covering the sports of bouldering, lead climbing and speed climbing, all of which involve climbing preset structures.

Lead climbing

Lead climbing involves lead climbers attaching themselves to a length of climbing rope and ascending a route while periodically attaching protection (quickdraws or traditional protection) to the face of the route and clipping into it. The lead climber must have another person acting as a belayer. Because a lead climber does not have an anchor point above while climbing, only the limbs and body of the climber are used for upward progress.

Speed climbing

Speed climbing is a climbing discipline in which speed is the ultimate goal. Competitors climb a slightly overhanging wall, with belaying from the top. Climbers compete on the same route.

The World Games offers three forms of Sport Climbing. In bouldering, the athletes climb without a rope or harness. (contributed)


Bouldering is performed on artificial rock walls without the use of ropes or harnesses. Different holds are bolted onto the wall to create “problems” (the sequence of moves that a climber performs to complete the climb). The walls often feature steep overhanging surfaces that force the climber to employ highly technical movements while supporting much of the body’s weight with upper-body strength.

Lead and speed climbing joined The World Games in 2005. Bouldering made its debut in 2017.

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