Paraclimbing is Sport Climbing for athletes with disabilities. Athletes are placed into categories based on their disability, to allow those with a disability of a similar nature to compete within the same category.

The IFSC has been hosting Paraclimbing competitions since 2006, when the first international event saw athletes from four National Federations compete in Ekaterinburg, Russia. The movement has grown in recent years, with a regular circuit being added to the IFSC calendar from 2010 and IFSC Paraclimbing World Championships taking place from July 2011. It has become tradition that the IFSC Paraclimbing World Championships run alongside the IFSC Climbing World Championships, promoting athletes with a disability on the same stage as other athletes. Proud of the rapid growth of the Paraclimbing community, with a record 158 athletes registered for the 2019 World Championship in Briançon and of the increasing standard of competitions, the IFSC remains dedicated to developing and strengthening the competitions and support available to athletes.

In 2017, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) granted the IFSC the status of “Recognised International Federation”.

In October 2018, a strategic plan was elaborated for developing the sport further. The plan was unanimously approved at the 2019 IFSC Plenary Assembly in Tokyo, Japan, officially declaring the start of a new era for Paraclimbing and its vibrant, committed and enthusiastic community.

Paraclimbing achievements

  • 2020

    A set of Paraclimbing Routesetting Guidelines were created and published by the IFSC Paraclimbing Committee.

    Due to COVID-19 many Paraclimbing activities such as the Paraclimbing Classifier Course and first Classification under the lead of IPC experts were postponed, but the rework of the Classification rules and system according to the IPC Model Rules is ongoing.

  • 2019

    A Paraclimbing World Championship was held in in Briançon, France, setting new records with 158 athletes (111 men, 47 women) representing 24 different countries participating in the event.

    The IFSC Plenary Assembly unanimously approved a Paraclimbing Development Plan in March 2019. One step of the plan was to form a new Paraclimbing Committee, whose members shall have a much more operational role to represent more broadly the Paraclimbing community. Two Athlete Representatives - Jessica Sporte (USA) and Sebastian Depke (GER) - were elected as members of the newly formed IFSC Paraclimbing Committee during the 2019 Paraclimbing World Championship. The two expert and coach positions in the Committee were nominated in September 2019, with Sebastian Depke being elected as interim Chair. Committee members are to be ratified during the 2020 Plenary Assembly.

    A first Paraclimbing Routesetting Seminar was held in Sittard, Netherlands, in November 2019. In December 2019, Christophe Cazin (FRA) was appointed as Paraclimbing Routesetter on the Paraclimbing Committee.

  • 2018

    The World Championship in Innsbruck, Austria, had a new record participant number, with 126 athletes participating from 19 different countries.

  • 2013 - 2017

    Multiple world cups, Paraclimbing Masters and Paraclimbing World Championships were held, with the latter taking place every even year and including up to 72 athletes from 20 different countries.

    The Paraclimbing Commission (disbanded in 2019) made various modifications to the Paraclimbing Rule and Event Format. The Classification system was expanded up to 10 theoretical categories for men and women to ensure a fair competition.

    In 2017, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) granted the IFSC the status of “Recognised International Federation”.

  • 2012

    A Paraclimbing World Championship took place in Paris, France, with 61 athletes from 20 different countries, almost doubling the number of competing athletes and country representation from the previous year.

  • 2011

    The first IFSC Paraclimbing World Championship took place in Arco, Italy, with 35 athletes representing 11 different countries.

  • 2006

    The first international Paraclimbing event was held in Ekaterinburg, Russia.

IFSC Paraclimbing World ChampionshipS: Briançon 2019

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Finals 2

IFSC Paraclimbing World ChampionshipS: Innsbruck 2018

Finals 1

Finals 2

Finals 3

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