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How do I register for a National Cup competition?
Registration links for the Open category at National Cups will be processed on the individual National Cup pages on this website.  Please click on the competition name and follow the direct link to register.

Each competition also has a “Citizens” competition for recreational, intermediate and advanced level adult competitors, and may also have a youth event.  Registration for all participants, other than Open level competitors, will be handled directly by the host gym. 

How much does it cost to register?
The cost to register as an Open Competitor is $75.00 at each National Cup, if registering during the regular registration period, or $125.00 if during the late registration period. See below.

When does the registration period close?
Beginning in the 2018-2019 season, there will be a “regular registration period” (during which the registration fee will be $75.00) and this shall be up until Wednesday, 11:59pm MTN, the week of the competition.  After this deadline competitors may still register during a “late registration period,” during which there will be a $50.00 late fee and thus the registration will cost $125.00.  Competitors can register up until the start of the Qualification round, though we greatly appreciate competitors registering early as this will help the host facilities in planning.

Do I need a USA Climbing Membership?
Competitors may purchase an Intro Membership ($20.00) to participate in a National Cup Series competition or a full Competitor Membership ($95.00).  However, Competitors will only receive points towards the National Ranking if they have the Competitor Membership and competitors who also plan to compete at the Bouldering Open National Championship must purchase a full USA Climbing Competitor Membership ($95.00) in order to compete at that event, and thus if planning for this it is most cost-effective to get a full USA Climbing Competitor Membership from the start.

How much does it cost for spectators?
The individual host gyms for each National Cup may charge a modest spectator fee for the Finals round of their event.  Please contact the host facility directly.

Will the National Cups be live streamed?
Yes, in the 2018-2019 Season the Finals of each National Cup Series competition will be live streamed!

Will there be Sport or Speed National Cups?
Unfortunately there are no Sport or Speed National Cups planned in the 2018-2019 season but we are considering this for development of those disciplines in the future.

How old do you have to be to compete?
Any competitors 16 or older, by December 31st, 2019 are eligible to register and compete in the Open category, (refer to USAC Rule 3.4.3) with a 2018/2019 USA Climbing Competitor Membership. 

Do National Cups count towards Collegiate and Youth Bouldering eligibility?
The National Cup Series events are geared toward USA Climbing Open competitors (ages 16+ by 12/31/19) and will not count toward the youth participation requirement needed for Youth Bouldering Regional Championship eligibility.  However, College students that wish to have the NCS competition(s) count toward Collegiate Regional Championship eligibility may do so, granted the individual holds a current USA Climbing Collegiate Membership and competes in the Open portion of the competition. 

Do you have to compete in National Cups to qualify for the National Championship?
For the 2018-2019 Bouldering Open National Championship, the rules for qualifying are outlined in Rule 3.7.3 of the USA Climbing Rulebook.  Current World, Pan American or National Champions and U.S. Citizen competitors who competed in Semi-Finals of the 2018 Bouldering Open National Championship, are pre-qualified to compete in the 2019 National Championship and though their participation is encouraged, they are not required to compete in National Cups.  The Top 100 Nationally ranked men and women from the 2018 National Cup Series are also qualified (the National Ranking will be updated after each event and at the conclusion of the final event).  Finally, additional competitors who have competed in at least one National Cup Series event this season, but did not received ranking points (ie. did not finish within the Top 30) towards the National Ranking, may also be eligible to compete at the Bouldering Open National Championship. 

Are results from National Cups or the National Ranking involved in U.S. Team selection?
No, not currently. In the 2017-2018 season and prior, the top 6 U.S. Citizen competitors made up the Bouldering National Team, based on the Bouldering Open National Championship results. But as outlined in the USA Climbing Rulebook, as of Sept. 1, 2018, the National Team selection rules are under complete review and new rules outlining National Team selection are expected to be published in a version 2 of the Rulebook.

Can non-U.S. Citizens compete in National Cups?
Yes. The National Cups are open to all age-eligible competitors and non-U.S. Citizens are welcome and encouraged to compete.  Non-U.S. Citizens can also accumulate ranking points at each competition and be ranked nationally, but must have a USA Climbing Competitor Membership in order to be ranked. 

Does a non-U.S. Citizen Finalist create an additional spot for the next U.S. Citizen competitor in a Final round of a National Cup?
No. Only in Youth Championship events do non-U.S. Citizen (or other “extra quota” competitors, such as World or Continental Champions) competitors create additional spots. 

How are cash prizes awarded at each National Cup?
A $10,000.00 cash purse is divided between the top 8 competitors of each gender as follows:

1st: $1500    2nd: $1200    3rd: $800    4th: $500    5th: $400    6th: $300    7th: $200    8th: $100

How does the prize purse for the National Ranking work?
The top 30 Open Competitors will receive points from their results at each National Cup competition, as well as at the Bouldering Open National Championship, resulting in a regularly updated National Ranking.  The points table used is the same as the IFSC World Cup Ranking system, for the National Cups, and for the Bouldering Open National Championship, the points values are doubled, since it is well-established as having very high participation and the most competitive field.  This points distribution is outlined on the National Ranking section.  All points count (ie. we do not only count a certain number of competitions or drop the lowest), and an example table of results is also shown on the National Ranking section.

Will the same format or scoring and ranking system be used in National Cups as the Bouldering Open National Championship?
The Multi-Zone scoring established first with the 2016-2017 National Cup Series is now used in all USA Climbing competitions.  The National Cups will have a Redpoint Qualification round and an Onsight Final. 

In the interest of exploring organizational and rules concepts that USA Climbing may study and assess as the sport of competition climbing evolves, the National Cups may have slightly different Qualification formats from one to the next.  They will each have a Redpoint “Modified” Format, wherein there will be 8 – 12 problems at each Qualifying round, per gender, but one competition may have 10 unique problems for Men, and 10 unique problems for Women, and another, for example, may have 8 problems per gender, with one or more being “shared.”  The Qualification rounds may be scored with Mutli-Zone in the Redpoint round, or with only Tops and Falls as the scoring factor.  A last example of a minor difference would be that one competition may not have any limit on the number of attempts per Qualification problem, but a next competition may put a limit on attempts.  While there is a broader goal of standardization, using these slightly different Qualification formats may allow us to manage issues like competitor lines in a Redpoint round, and to consider the pros and cons of different scoring elements.

Please direct additional questions to cupseries@usaclimbing.org

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