Key Figures

Sport climbing is booming! In recent years, climbing has truly become a popular sport, not least because of numerous climbing gyms: 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:


Height, endurance and strategy. Athletes climb secured by a rope, one at a time, on a overhanging route with a 8-minute time limit. The one who gets the highest wins.


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 mattresses.


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



  • 2,000 licensed athletes in 2015
  • 706 of these licensed athletes are women
  • Athletes represented the 5 continents and 62 countries
  • Median age of elite athletes: 19


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:
  • 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: OEWK)
  • 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: OEWK)
      • Share of female climbers in France in 2015: 59% men, 41% women (source: FFME) vs. usual maximum 31%



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


World Championships 2016, Paris

  • 533 registered Athletes for the IFSC World Championships
  • 77 registered Athletes for the IFSC Paraclimbing World Championships
  • 53 registered countries from all 5 continents for the World Championships
  • 20 registered countries for the Paraclimbing World Championships
  • 20,000 spectators
  • 140 volunteers
  • 146 accredited media
  • 147,334 Live streaming views
  • +500,000 total video views

World Championships 2014, Munich & Gijón:

      • 23,500 spectators
      • 432 athletes for the IFSC World Championships
      • 77 athletes for IFSC the Paraclimbing World Championships
      • 52 registered countries from all 5 continents for the IFSC World Championships
      • 19 registered countries for the IFSC Paraclimbing World Championships
      • 184 volunteers

Youth World Championships 2015, Arco:

    • First IFSC YWCH with all 3 disciplines
    • 1166 registered Athletes for the IFSC Youth World Championships in all disciplines
    • 51 participating countries from the 5 continents
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