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FAQ

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. 

When does the registration period close?

The registration period for each National Cup is 5:00pm MTN time the evening of the Qualification day, so you are welcome to register just prior to the competition, though we greatly appreciate competitors registering early as this will help the host facilities in planning.

Do I have to have a USA Climbing Membership?

Competitors may purchase a DAY-Membership ($10.00), online the Monday prior to, but no later than the start of the competition, if competing in only one National Cup, but will only receive points towards the National ranking if they have a full USA Climbing Competitor Membership.  Those 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?

In 2017-2018 Season the Finals of each National Cup Series competition will be live streamed!

Will there be Sport or Speed National Cups?

There are no Sport or Speed National Cups planned in the 2017-2018 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, 2018 are eligible to register and compete in the Open category, (refer to USAC Rule 3.3.2) with a 2017/2018 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 12/31/18) 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 2017-2018 Bouldering Open National Championship, the rules for qualifying are outlined in Rule 3.6.3 of the USA Climbing Rulebook.  Current World, Pan American or National Champions and U.S. Citizen competitors who competed in Semi-Finals of the 2017 Bouldering Open National Championship, are pre-qualified to compete in the 2018 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 2017-2018 National Cup Series are also qualified (the National Ranking will be updated after each event and at the conclusion of the final event, Southern Grit, in Birmingham, AL).  Finally, additional competitors who have competed in at least one National Cup Series event this season, but did not have 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.  The U.S. National Team will be selected as in past years, based on Rules 4.5 and 4.6.  The top 6 U.S. Citizen competitors make up the Bouldering National Team, based on the Bouldering Open National Championship results.

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?

Yes!  Whereas in the first season, 2016-2017, the National Cup Series used the newer Multi-Zone or so-called “100-Point Scoring” format and Bouldering Open Nationals differed, using the former “Combined Rank” scoring, this year the USA Climbing Rules have been updated and the Multi-Zone scoring is the same for all onsight rounds of competition. The National Cups will have a Redpoint Qualification round and an Onsight Final.  The Onsight Finals will be the Multi-Zone scoring, consistent at every competition and also at the National Championship. 

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 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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