Sport Climbing is a form of rock climbing that has permanent anchors fixed to the rock for protection in contrast to the climbers fixing their own protection to the rock in traditional climbing. As the emphasis is on the moves, sport climbers clip into preplaced bolts with metal hangers.
With the advent of climbing walls, artificially constructed wall with grips for hands and feet, in 1939, sport climbing has transitioned from an outdoor affair to an indoor affair. Most of the competitions are held indoors and more climbers now enter the sport through indoor climbing than outdoor.
Sport climbing consist of three disciplines: Lead, Speed and Bouldering.
Lead Climbing involves a climber attaching himself to a climbing rope and ascending a route while periodically attaching the harness to the face of the route and clipping into it. Another person acts as a belayer who ensures the climber is protected in case of a fall. The climber to cover maximum distance in the given amount of time wins the competition.
Speed climbing is climbing in which speed is the ultimate goal. Speed climbing competitions usually take place on 10m or 15m artificial wall where two climbers simultaneously compete against each other to ascend a route. The climber with the fastest time wins the competition.
Bouldering is a form of climbing that is performed without the use of ropes or harnesses. Bouldering competitions feature different sets of boulder problems, and each competitor has a fixed amount of time to attempt each problem. At the end of each round, competitors are ranked by the number of completed problems with ties settled by the total number of attempts taken to solve the problems.
The sportís popularity and youth appeal has resulted in it being one of the five sports to be approved by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and will be making its Olympic debut at Tokyo 2020.