UIAA Rules & Regulations – Major Update

The UIAA Ice Climbing Governance Group, in conjunction with the UIAA Athletes Commission and some of the UIAA Officials, have been working hard in the off-season on a major update to the UIAA Ice Climbing Rules and Regulations which are now available ahead of the start of the UIAA Ice Climbing 2023/24 season. The full rules can be viewed here and a run down of the major modifications to the rules are logged here.

It has been decided to simplify the scoring system through the removal of the quickdraw scoring in the height measurement in the Lead discipline, including re-wording of the hold scoring to make it clearer to all competitors. Also changes to the out of bounds red line rules will simplify and make an out of bounds issues less common. For full details consult the changes document in the link above.

A complete revamp of the speed rules has been made including changes to how competitors are ranked in qualification and how the final rounds are dealt with when both competitors fall. For full details consult the changes document in the link above.

Youth Age Categories
The rational for youth age grouping was also amended bring them into line with IFSC age categories and reduce the age gap between categories to allow for better development of the athletes within those groups and allow route setters to set more appropriate routes. These changes will come into effect for this season including the new series of Continental Youth Cups. Also if a Continental Youth Cup series is spread across two calendar years (i.e. the series starts before Christmas in the season) then all athletes shall compete in the older age category of the main season – i.e. in the 2023/24 season they would compete in the 2024 age categories to avoid changes mid-season. Details of these changes can be seen below.

The UIAA Ice Climbing World Youth Championships shall include both difficulty and speed categories for the following age groups:

a) Youth B: competitors born either 14 or 15 years before the year of the competition;
b) Youth A: competitors born either 16 or 17 years before the year of the competition;
c) Juniors: competitors born either 18 or 19 years before the year of the competition;

World Youth Championships Age Groups by Year of Birth
Season Under 16

Youth B

Under 18

Youth A

Under 20


2023/24 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005
2024/25 2011 2010 2009 2010 2007 2006
2025/26 2012 2011 2010 2011 2008 2007
2026/27 2013 2012 2011 2012 2009 2008

Action from the World Youth Championships 2023 in Oulu, Finland – Photo – UIAA/Marko Kerola

Continental Cups
All continental level events are now open to any competitor from around the globe, the events can be won by any athlete and all athletes will accrue ranking points in the overall series. A licence is still not required to enter these events – see full details in section 16 of the rules and regulations.

Event entry and licence fees
The event entry, licence and appeal fees have been updated . All fees are the sole responsibility of the member federations and are as follows:
1. Competition entry fees – 60 Euros for 1 discipline, 80 Euros for 2;
2. International licence fees – 50 Euros; including all officials;
3. Youth competition entry fees – 60 Euros for 1 discipline, 80 Euros for 2;
4. Appeals fees – 50 Euros;

Member Federations & Nationality
An update has been made to the rules regarding which country an athlete can compete for with regards to their nationality and/or dual nationality, as follows:
Each competitor or team official shall be a member of the member federation of the country for which they hold a national passport. In the case of competitors who hold dual nationalities, such competitors and team officials shall select one member federation to represent in competitions approved by the UIAA. Any change of a competitor’s national team is subject to the agreement of both concerned member federations and the UIAA. Mid-season change of teams is not allowed after the first event in the UIAA calendar – this applies for all World Cup and World Championship events.

Other changes
There have been many other changes made – athletes are encouraged to study the new rules and regulations and the changes document in detail including the new Glossary of Terms in section 19 of the rules. If anyone has any questions regarding the new rules please do not hesitate to contact the UIAA Office or the UIAA Athlete Commission. Full information on all the documentation related to the UIAA Ice Climbing World Tour can be seen in the Resources section of the UIAA Ice Climbing Website.

Main Photo – Speed climbing in Saas-Fee, Switzerland – Photo – UIAA/Kaspar Kellerhals




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