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Key Figures

Sport climbing is booming! In recent years, climbing has truly become a popular sport: more and more athletes are attracted by vertical challenges, both indoor and outdoor, and the trend continues. For a very good reason: climbing does not only train most of our 656 muscles, it challenges the mind, too.

    The IFSC has 87 Member Federations (+ 2 in progress) over 5 continents:
  • Africa: 6
  • Asia: 20
  • Europe: 43
  • Oceania: 3
  • Pan-America: 15

3 disciplines:

Lead

Height, endurance and strategy. Athletes climb secured by a rope, one at a time, on a overhanging route with a 6-minute time limit. The one who gets the highest wins.

Boulder

Power and technique for an explosive performance of a maximum of 10 movements. Spectacular and intense gestures, maximum height 4 meters and a fall back on mats.

Speed

15 meters in less than 6 seconds! Secured from above, climbers run up parallel walls. The fastest wins!

 

Athletes:

  • 2,179 licensed athletes in 2016
  • 849 of these licensed athletes are women
  • Athletes represented the 5 continents and 62 countries
  • Median age of elite athletes: 19

Competitions:

  • World Championships every second year, odd
  • Annual Youth World Championships – Continent rotation
  • Annual World Cup Series: maximum 24 events – 8 per discipline
  • Continental Events

Upcoming Events 2018


Facts and figures about past World Championships can be found on the World Championships Page.

 

A large and fast-growing worldwide climbing community:

  • 25 million people are climbing regularly
  • Based on liability waivers, it’s estimated that between 1,000 and 1,500 people are trying climbing for the first time—every single day, in the U.S. alone (source: http://www.climbing.com/people/the-mentorship-gap-what-climbing-gyms-cant-teach-you/)
  • In Austria, the number of members and member clubs in 2008 was respectively 23.170 members in 141 clubs. In 2016, it has grown to 64.140 members in 176 member clubs (source: KVO)
  • In England, the number of young people taking part in the BMC Youth Climbing Series has risen by 50% in the last five years (source: Active People Survey 9 October 2014 – September 2015)
  • In the last 10 years, since its foundation, the number of IFSC Member Federations has increased by 25% (source: IFSC database on Member Federations)

 

A sport that generates revenues:

  • Popularity in largest cities:  350+ in Paris Ile-de-France (source: FFME)
  • Today's number of climbing gyms in Germany: 460+ (source: DAV)

 

A community with a unique profile:

      • Climbers are young (39% under 18) but practice until 60 and older
      • Average age of climbers in France: 26 years old in 2015 (source: FFME)
      • The share of female climbers is very high (38% vs. usual maximum 31%). And that is not surprising: this sport is not only about strength, but also about body control and athleticism. And it is also a mind game. 
      • Share of female climbers in Austria: 48% men, 52% women (source: KVO)
      • Share of female climbers in France in 2015: 59% men, 41% women (source: FFME) vs. usual maximum 31%

 

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