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
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
- 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)
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: 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:
- In China, Climbing Walls in Middle and Primary Schools have increased from 30 in 2012 to 120 in 2015 (source: CMA)
- In Japan, from 2008 to 2015, the number of indoor climbing gyms has grown from 96 to 435 (source: JMSCA)
- The industry trade organization, the Climbing Wall Association, estimates that more than 60 new climbing-specific facilities will open in the US by 2015 (source: http://www.climbing.com/search?query=the%20Climbing%20Wall%20Association,%20estimates%20that%20more%20than%2060%20new%20climbing-specific%20facilities%20will%20open%20in%20the%20U.S.%20by%202015).
- 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%