The International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC) is the international governing body for climbing competitions, which consist of lead climbing, speed climbing and bouldering, and was founded on 27 January 2007 as a continuation of the International Council for Competition Climbing, which came into existence in 1997.
President Marco Maria Scolaris is a climber, who turned his passion for the wilderness and the mountains into his profession of journalist and photographer. He has been involved in sport climbing.
In 2006, upon the request of the UIAA, he moved the Council for Competition Climbing, headed by him, into a new International Federation, founding the IFSC in 2007.
Scolaris was then elected IFSC President in 2009 and re-elected in 2013 and 2017, leading the organisation through its successful path, promoting its young, urban, fresh appeal, originated by one of the basic human motor skills, finally landing at the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires in 2018 and the Olympic Games of Tokyo 2020, where the sport will make its Olympic debut.
Rules of the sport
In lead climbing, athletes attempt to climb as high as possible on a wall measuring more than 15m in height within a fixed time.
In bouldering, the objective is to overcome the most problems on a climbing route in the least number of attempts on 4.5m-high structures over a set period of time. The ranking is decided by the number of problems overcome.
The aim of speed is to be the fastest to the top of a 15m-high wall, with the competitors racing in pairs on identical routes.
Each climber will compete in all three disciplines, with the final rankings being determined by the combined results.
The IFSC says: “Climbing is an indoor but also an outdoor sport, so for us preserving the environment is something very important because part of our playground is outside. Even if all of our competitions take place on artificial walls and artificial venues, the rest of the activities are outside, and we should take care of that for sure.
“You can organise a sport climbing competition in a stadium, on the beach, or any kind of area.”
Values and ethics
The IFSC says that it “is a young and growing International Federation founded on modern sport values and the unique principles of climbing, cultivating them alongside the developments of our time.
IFSC activity is inspired and guided by the following values:
Respect and support for Olympic values and principles; preserving the environment in organising and promoting the activities; doping-free sport; accessible; safe; low cost; healthy and educational activity for youth; equality between men and women; competitive; fair, transparent and objective competition judging rules; sport for all.
The IFSC has two athletes, one female and one male on its Executive Board, with the right to vote, elected by their peers.