What is The IFSC?

The IFSC was created on January 27th 2007 and is a continuation of the International Council for Competition Climbing which was created in 1997. It is an Olympic Sport Federation.

The IFSC is an international non-governmental non-profit organization whose main objectives are the direction, regulation, promotion, development and furtherance of climbing competitions around the world.

The IFSC is a member of GAISF, IWGA, ARISF and ASOIF, and has its sport in the Olympic programme.

The IFSC fosters links, networks, and friendly relations among its members, their climbers and officials.

  • The IFSC has committed itself to undertaking the following goals:
    to encourage, promote, develop and supervise climbing competitions worldwide;
  • to promote the spirit of the Olympic Movement, respect the Olympic Charter, and to seek program status in the Olympic Games;
  • to fight against doping and all other processes and procedures that might undermine sporting equality;
  • to implement Anti-doping Rules in accordance with the World Anti- doping Code;
  • to promote good sporting practice;
  • to generally promote this sport as a healthy and educational activity for youth;
  • to establish and maintain rules for international climbing competitions and for the participation in such competitions;
  • to monitor and enforce the application of those rules by the Continental Councils and the member federations
  • to organize World Climbing Championships, World and Continental Cups, as well as other competitions which are approved by the IFSC Plenary Assembly, and to decide which international climbing competitions are officially recognized;
  • to award licenses and contracts to IFSC members and other organizations that seek authority to organize official international climbing competitions and associated activities;
  • to establish training courses for all IFSC officials in order to guarantee the highest possible standards for all IFSC officials;
  • to consider the protection of the environment when organizing and promoting its activities.

The last two decades have been a period of spectacular growth for both sport climbing and the organization. Sport climbing has gained credibility not only as competitive sport, but also for its social values. The IFSC is a young and healthy Federation founded on modern sporting principles and values, cultivating them along with sport growth and development.

Sport Climbing was officially confirmed as an additional sport for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games by the IOC Session in Rio de Janeiro in August 2016 and it has been included as a medal sport in the 2018 Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires.

The IFSC has spent its first years building a dynamic but solid structure, based on:

  • principles of good governance, universality, equal opportunities, transparency;
  • spectacular events ruled by highest standard of rules;
  • athletes inclusion in the IF decision-making processes at all levels;
  • anti-doping policies and athletes health and integrity protection.

HISTORY OF INTERNATIONAL CLIMBING COMPETITIONS

1980

In 1985, in the Olympic town of Bardonecchia, Italy, not far from Torino, Andrea Mellano, a member of the Academic Group of CAI, and Emanuele Cassarà, a well-known Italian sport journalist, gathered a group of the best climbers for an event called "SportRoccia" held at a natural crag in Valle Stretta. It was the first organized Lead competition, launching a new era of modern Sport Climbing. Thousands of spectators were amazed by the victory of German athlete Stefan Glowacz.

1986

The success was repeated the following year in 1986 when Arco di Trento became host to the second SportRoccia event. The final was won by French superstar Patrick Edlinger and his compatriot Catherine Destivelle. More than 10,000 people attended the finals, including seven European television stations, as well as many media operators.
The same year, the French Federation organized the first indoor event at a gymnasium in Vaulx-en-Velin, a suburb of Lyon. The potential future for Sport Climbing became clear as all climbers began to show interest in this new branch of their sport, even those who appeared reluctant at first.

1988-1989

At the International level, the French Federation and Paul Brasset lead a movement to convince the UIAA to officially recognize the competitive Sport Climbing circuit, which had grown substantially with the addition of the World Series in 1988 and the first World Cup in Speed and Lead in 1989. As a result, Brasset created a new organization within the UIAA (formed by the CEC and CICE) that was responsible for training officials (judges and forerunners) and creating competition rules.

1990

In the early 90s, several large events were organized in all the main arenas of Europe, as well as in Japan and the US. During these years, it was decided that International events would be run only on artificial walls, in order to eliminate any environmental impact.

1991

In 1991, the first World Championship was organized in Frankfurt, Germany, an event that now occurs every two years.

1992

In 1992, the first Youth World Championship took place in Basel, Switzerland. Large participation at the event demonstrated how popular Sport Climbing had become with the younger generation. It is now an annual event.

1997

In 1997, a new structure, the ICC - International Council for Competition Climbing - was created inside the UIAA, in order to guarantee sufficient autonomy to the sport and to provide it with the tools required for growth and development.

1998

In 1998, Bouldering was officially introduced as a new climbing discipline. A test competition was organized dubbed the "Top Rock Challenge,” and its success leads to the creation of the World Cup in 1999.

2000

The sport continued to grow with more than 45 countries regularly participating in official calendar events. The calendar included the World, Youth, and Continental Championships, the World Cups, the Continental circuits, as well as other high profile International competitions. It also sponsored promotional events for under-age kids (spiderkids) and amateurs. Today, more than 75 countries participate in climbing competitions held all over the world, with the World Championships and Youth Championships being the most popular events.

2005

In 2005, Competition Climbing was added to events of the Duisburg World Games and the Asian Indoor Games to great fanfare.

2006

In 2006, the UIAA decided to end its governance of Competition Climbing and supported the creation of an independent International Federation to govern this sport.

The first International Paraclimbing Competition took place in Russia, Ekaterinburg, within the European Championships. Athletes with a visual impairment and with a physical disability from Belarus, Italy, Japan, and Russia took part in the competitions.

2007

On January 27th, 2007, in Frankfurt, Germany 57 Federations founded the International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC). The Statutes and By-laws, as well as the regulations of the new International Federation, were adopted unanimously. On April 28th, 2007, the AGFIS General Meeting accepted the IFSC as a new member. A few weeks later, the IWGA also accepted the IFSC, confirming climbing’s place in the 2009 Kaoshiung World Games.
On December 10th, 2007, the IOC granted provisional recognition to the IFSC, welcoming sport climbing into the Olympic Movement.
The number of members has now reached 90 countries from five continents.

2008

In 2008, the first IFSC Paraclimbing Cup was organized in Moscow, Russia, within the IFSC Bouldering and Speed World Cup event. Athletes with a visual impairment and with a physical disability from Belarus, Italy, Ukraine, and Russia took part in the competitions.

2010

On February 12th, 2010, the IOC gave definitive recognition to the IFSC, officially welcoming it as part of the Olympic Family.
For the first time in 2010, IFSC Paraclimbing Cup series was organized. They took place in Ekaterinburg, (RUS), Val Daone (ITA) and Chiba (JPN). Thirty-eight climbers (26 men and 12 women) from Belarus, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Russia, and Spain took part at the competitions.

2011

On July 4th, 2011 the IOC Executive Board decided to include sport climbing on the short-list (with seven other sports) as a possible new event for the 2020 Olympic Games. This was the start of a new millennium for Climbing.

The first IFSC Paraclimbing World Championships were organized within the program of the eleventh World Championships in July 2011. Climbers with and without a disability were fully involved in the event from the opening ceremony until the closing ceremony. Thirty-five athletes (30 men and 5 women) from eleven countries competed. The Paraclimbing World Championships now takes place every two years, parallel to the World Championships.

2013

Thanks to the shortlist for the 2020 Olympic Games, the IFSC benefited from a major worldwide exposure and gains international support.

2014

Sport Climbing was chosen by the IOC as part of the Sports Lab showcasing new sports at the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China.

2015

In September, Sport Climbing was officially proposed as a new sport for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games by the Tokyo 2020 Additional Event Programme Panel.

2016

Sport Climbing is officially confirmed as an additional sport for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games by the IOC Session. Along with four other sports, including Baseball, Softball, Karate, and Surfing, Sport Climbing is accepted into the program of Tokyo 2020. The same year, Sport Climbing is added to the programme of the Buenos Aires 2018 youth Olympic Games

2018

In October, in occasion of the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, the first Olympic medals have been given to Sport Climbing athletes

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