Judging Manual

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This working document is meant to be a helpful instrument in making decisions. However, at present, it is not an official document and should be considered as a set of guidelines rather than a set of rules.



1 General


1.1 Starting lists

The Jury President is responsible for creating the starting lists.


1.2 Time in isolation

When checking the timetable, make sure that it respects the minimum time between the rounds (2 hours) and for each round that it respects the time between the closure of the isolation and the start of the competition (1 hour).


1.3 Mistake by a Route Judge or Boulder Judge

Only when an obvious mistake has been made by a route judge or boulder judge which can’t be rectified when not acted upon immediately, the Jury President or the WCC Judge should intervene and if necessary overrule the decision.


1.4 Responsibility of the Jury President

Bad belayers should be replaced. Since the JURY PRESIDENT is responsible for the safety during the competition he/she must know that in case of an accident, caused by a bad belayer, he/she will be held responsible. Especially when he/she did not take the right action (asking the organizer to replace the belayer).


1.5 Authorizing access to a physiotherapist

In case of technical incident, the JURY PRESIDENT can authorize the access to the second isolation room to a physiotherapist. He must be escorted and supervised by an approved official to ensure that no information can be transmitted.


1.6 Disciplinary rules

Disciplinary rules are available at:





2 Lead


2.1 Scoring

A climbing movement is considered as “used” if and only if there is:

· A significant change in position of the competitor's centre of mass;


· The movement of at least one hand in order to reach either (a) the next hold along the line of the route; or (b) any hold that has been successfully controlled by another competitor from the hold from which the climbing movement has been made.


This process has to be applied strictly.


2.2 Cleaning of the holds

Cleaning of the holds: make it logical, divide as even as possible, take into account the other category or age groups and the use of lifts. Inform the competitors when and how long the cleaning will take. Make sure to use a realistic timeframe so that competitors know exactly when to warm up.

Example: cleaning after competitor 20. Cleaning time: 15 minutes. Competitor 21 does not start before 10:30 h

Example: when there are 64 competitors in a group, cleaning could be done after the 16th, 32nd and 48th competitor.

In the final on an youth competition it can happen that more than 20 competitors climb the same route (sometimes all female climbers climb the same route on a youth competition).

Make sure cleaning is done and marked on the starting list in isolation.


2.3 Demonstration (qualification round)

Demonstration of the routes: all clips must be demonstrated. So when a forerunner skips a quickdraw during the demonstration, he/she must return to that point and demonstrate the clip.

The top quickdraw must be a proper quickdraw, not a chain.


2.4 Start of the attempt

The climbing time starts when the competitor has left the ground with both feet. It is at the discretion of the route judge to decide if the competitor has started. This means that the route judge decides if a small hop made by the competitor must be considered as whether or not the start of the attempt.


2.5 The legitimate position for clipping

Definition: this is the last hold with which the competitor is authorized to clip a quickdraw.

The competitor must be able to touch any part of the quickdraw with a hand (without hauling up the quickdraw with a foot.

The competitor is allowed to touch or held any further holds without leaving this hold but he must not be given a higher score.


2.6 Technical incident

In case of a technical incident during the qualification (flash routes), the competitor must wait for his second attempt without having any contact with other competitors or coach (except a physiotherapist-see above).

The length of his rest period he can ask for is calculated as described in Art 6.11.5 with a maximum of 20’. The JURY PRESIDENT will decide when to introduce the competitor‘s 2nd attempt in the starting list so as to be as close as possible as the calculated time.


















3 Boulder


3.1 Reducing the number of boulders

This can be possible only in case of unforeseen events (weather, etc.)


3.2 Observation

No more information (starting position, bonus hold, finishing position, black tape…) are given by the boulder judges to the competitors, except they ask for.


3.3 Technical incidents

The following chart can be used for handling a technical incident, however it is not compulsory to do so.


Qualification round

TI on boulder 1 ISO stop + let the TI competitor continue

TI on boulder 2 ISO stop after 5 rotation times + let the TI competitor continue in the created slot

TI on boulder 3 ISO stop after 1 rotation time + let the TI competitor continue in the created slot

TI on boulder 4 and 5 ISO stop + stop all preceding competitors and let the TI competitor continue (at least 2 minutes)


Semifinal round

TI on boulder 1 ISO stop + let the TI competitor continue

TI on boulder 2 ISO stop after 3 rotation times + let the TI competitor continue in the created slot

TI on boulder 3 and 4 ISO stop + stop all preceding competitors and let the TI competitor continue


· TI competitor: the competitor who suffered the technical incident.

· ISO stop: prevent a competitor from starting on the first boulder at the next rotation signal in order to create a slot.

· TI competitor continues = at least 2 minutes (according to the rules)


3.4 Standing position

Standing position: in case a boulder can only be topped by reaching a standing position, it has been decided that the rule will be applied strictly. This means that the competitor must stand up straight before the rotation signal in order to get his TOP validated.


3.5 TOP = OK + raise one hand

In order to be able to check on the video recording if the Boulder Judge has said OK or not, the Boulder Judges are asked to raise one hand when saying “OK”.


3.6 Jumping to clean a hold

Even if jumping to brush a hold is not allowed (see rule 5.4.7) no attempt can be given for doing this. The competitor should get a verbal warning first and only if he/she continues to do so, receive a yellow card. Jumping to get a better sight on a hold is allowed.


3.7 Wrong start and TOP

(Art 6.13.7) In the case a competitor successfully tops but didn’t start correctly as indicated and nevertheless gets TOP because the boulder judge didn’t notice the wrong starting position, an appeal must be made immediately so a fair action can be taken by the Jury President (for example: the TOP is cancelled by the appeal but the competitor is allowed to continue his attempts at this boulder at a time decided by the Jury President). This also applies for other situations like a boulder judge giving an OK when the competitor holds the top hold with one hand only. When the JURY PRESIDENT/WCC Judge has seen the wrong start/top hold with one hand etc. he/she can intervene and overrule the OK.






















4 Speed


4.1 Cancellation of the final round

If, in the case of unforeseen events, the Jury President decide to stop the competition during the final round, the qualification round shall count as the final ranking of the competition.


4.2 Starting Order - Qualification round

WR-format 2 lanes: Both routes are climbed simultaneously. The competitors are split at random in two equally, or almost equally, large groups and the starting lists for the two routes are randomized. When a competitor has finished his/her attempt on one route, he/she is added at the end of the starting list of the other route. The competitors will always climb in pairs.


Example with an even number of competitors in a category (8 competitors) and an example with an uneven number of competitors in a category (7 competitors).


Even number (8) Uneven number (7)

Route A                     Route B                     Route A                     Route B

1                                  5                                  1                                  4

2                                  6                                  2                                  5

3                                  7                                 3                                  6

4                                  8                                  4                                  7

5                                  1                                  5                                  1

6                                  2                                  6                                 2

7                                  3                                  7                                  3

8                                  4


4.3 New bib numbers final round

In order to facilitate the making of pairs in the final round, new bib numbers can be given to the finalists so that it is easy for the isolation steward to make the pairs (the best ranked shall get nr. 1, the last ranked nr. 16). The WCC result service allows giving new bib numbers to competitors. Another system is to keep the existing bib number and give an extra number to put f.e. on the pants. This practice is not compulsory but is useful.


4.4 False start

General principle: a competitor may make one (1) false start in each stage of the competition without penalty for the competitors.


In the qualification round, there are 3 possibilities:

· If he makes 2 false starts in the first route, that’s finished for him and he will be ranked last

· If he makes one false start in the first route and one in the second route, he will be ranked with the time obtained in his second attempt in the first route but will not be allowed to climb for a second attempt in the second route.

· If he makes 2 false starts in the second route, he will be ranked with the time obtained in the first route but will not be allowed to climb for another attempt in the second route.


If the competitor who has not made a false start chooses not to climb to complete his attempt in the relevant stage, that means he has no time in this stage (but we need to fill a time in result service for example: 1). In case of tied in the next stage, he will lose it.