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 indoors and outdoors. The trend continues for a very good reason: climbing does not only train most of our muscles, it challenges the mind too.

    The IFSC has 91 Member Federations over 5 continents:
  • Africa: 6
  • Asia: 22
  • Europe: 43
  • Oceania: 4
  • Pan-America: 16

3 disciplines:


Height, endurance and strategy. Athletes climb secured by a rope, one at a time, on an overhanging route with a 6-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 mats.


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



  • 2,500 licensed athletes in 2018
  • 40% of these licensed athletes are women
  • Athletes represented the 5 continents and 66 countries
  • Median age of elite athletes: 19


  • World Championships - every other year (odd years)
  • Youth World Championships - annually
  • World Cup Series - annually (maximum 18 events, 6 per discipline)
  • Continental Events

2019 Calendar:

  • 18 IFSC Climbing World Cups
  • 1 IFSC Climbing World Championships - Hachioji (JPN)
  • 1 IFSC Climbing Youth World Championships - Arco (ITA)
  • 1 IFSC Paraclimbing World Championships - Briançon (FRA)


View the full 2019 calendar here.

All IFSC events are livestreamed and available on-demand following each event on the IFSC YouTube channel.

Facts and figures about past IFSC Climbing 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:
  • 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 (41% 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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