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502-Great Lakes


 Welcome to the Great Lakes Region Webpage!

 Facebook users: Check out the Great Lakes Region Facebook page for the most up to date news: /Great Lakes Region Facebook Group

It is a private group. Request to join, and once approved, this will be an easy to access place for up to date info about the Great Lakes Region.




2017 - 2018 Bouldering Season Information



Youth climbers compete in gender-specific age categories based on their birth year.


Birth Year

Youth D

2007 or Later

Youth C

2005 / 2006

Youth B

2003 / 2004

Youth A

2001 / 2002


1999 / 2000


A Climber’s Regional affiliation is based on their home address or the address of their home gym.  The Great Lakes Region (Region 502) consists of Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky and Michigan.  Our friends of Wisconsin have been relocated to Midwest Region 501 to help balance the regional numbers in the Great Lakes (502) and the Midwest (501) regions.

To be eligible to compete at the Regional championship in December, climbers must:

  • Have a 2017 – 2018, (September 1, 2017 – August 31, 2018) USA Climbing competitor membership, which can be purchased at www.usaclimbing.org  
  • Compete in at least two (2) USAC – sanctioned bouldering local comps anywhere in the country; the local bouldering competition season runs from September 1 thru November 26, 2017. 

    The Regional Championship event is scheduled for December 9 and 10, 2017.  Open enrollment for Regionals begins around November 1st and closes November 30th, 2017.  All climbers will compete either on Saturday or Sunday but not both days.  

    Competitors who choose not register for an annual USA Climbing membership prior to participating in a local comp must purchase a $10.00 Day-Membership at www.usaclimbing.org during the 6-days immediately prior to and including the comp (but not before that).  Fees paid for Day-Member pass cannot be applied or credited toward the later purchase of an annual membership. 

    Below are the USAC local bouldering comps being held within Division 5 (Midwest and Great Lakes region); registration for the local comps are managed by each gym – check their websites for details. All climbers are welcome to attend any of the events listed below for credit towards regional.  If you happen to be traveling outside our division and want to know if there is a competition in the area you’re visiting, please check the USA Climbing Local Schedule for more information.   

     Great Lakes Regional Championship Event:

    Date: December 9 – 10, 2017 (One Day Event over a two day period)

    Location: First Ascent – Humboldt Park

    Address: 2950 W. Grand Ave, Chicago, IL 60622

    Phone:  773-697-9743

    Sign-up is done through: www.USACLIMBING.ORG  

    One day event: Preliminary schedule will be posted one month before the event.  The climber will either climb on Saturday or on Sunday, not both.  Top 10 competitors in each category (Male/Female) from the Great Lakes Region will advance to the Divisional 5 Championship.  All competitors who advance will need to sign-up through the USACLIMBING.ORG website.

    Divisional 5 (Great Lakes / Midwest) Championship Event:

    Date: January 13 – 14, 2018

    Location: Vertical Endeavors – St. Paul, MN (Bouldering Event)

    Address: 2550 Wabash Ave, Saint Paul MN 55114 (Twin Cities Bouldering)

    Sign-up is done through: USACLIMBING.ORG

    This two day event, day one (1) is Qualifiers. The top ten (10) climbers in each category in the Qualifiers will advance to finals.  Finals are on day two (2).  The Top six (6) competitors from Finals in each category will advance to Nationals.  If you finish in the top six (6) at Divisionals, you must sign-up before the deadline to attend Nationals Championship. www.USACLIMBING.ORG

    Youth National Championship:

    Date: February 9 – 11, 2017

    Location: Salt Lake City, UT

    Sign-up is done through USACLIMBING.ORG

    Bouldering - Youth Competitions:

    REDPOINT: This is the most common format used during the “local” portion of the bouldering season.  Rule 5.4.4: The gym will set at least 40 bouldering problems of varying degrees of difficulty, with the harder problems worth more points. 

  • Competitors will have 3 hours to climb as many problems as they choose. 
  • Climbers can watch other climbers and can share beta between attempts (but not while on the wall). 
  • The climber will only earn points for the problems they finish by reaching the top with a control finish. 
  • Must be witnessed by a judge who is assigned at the climbing problem station.  Each attempt at a climbing problem will receive a tally mark as attempt, assigned points and must have a judge initials for credit. 
  • The climbers top 5 problems will be added together for their overall score for this local event. 
  • The number of attempts are also recorded but only used to break ties between climbers with the same total number of points. 


ONSIGHT: This format is used a Regional, Divisional and National Championship events.  In an Onsight competition, there are designated problems for each age/gender category.  Climbers will be held in isolation/warm-up area until it is their time to climb.  They do not get to preview the problems, nor do they watch other climbers prior to their own attempts.   The scoring system used by USA Climbing for Onsight competitions has changed for the 2017 – 2018 season. 

  • Each problem will have a time limit for climbing for each problem and rest.  This will be determined prior to the event. 
  • Each problem will have three marked ZONE holds (in addition to the start and finish holds), and each ZONE is worth 5 points.  If a climber controls the first zone hold, they receive 5 points; the second, 10 and the third, 15 points.
  • Completing a problem earns the climber 25 points.
  • Each time a climber falls prior to reaching their highest point on a problem (one of the ZONE holds or the FINISH hold); their score will be reduced by .10 points. 
  • TIES: If two or more competitors are tied with the same total score at the end of the competition, the tie shall be broken based on the competitors’ total number of tops, then total number of flashes (a “FLASH” is when a climber reaches the finish hold in his/her first attempt).  If a tie cannot be broken in this manner, then the total number of falls recorded to a competitor’s highest zones will break the tie, with the competitor the lower number of falls receiving the higher placement.  If there is still a tie, it shall be broken by countback to the Qualification Round, and lastly, if necessary, with a Super Final round between the climbers who are tired. 

Key Rules: 

  • Climber may touch only the designated start hold(s) with his/her hands prior to an attempt; touching another hold will be counted as an attempt.
  • Climber must control the start hold(s) with both hands before proceeding to the next handhold.
  • Climber must control the final hold (designated by a taped box) with both hands to top the problem. 
  • Black tape indicates area that are completely off limits, (this includes the tape).
  • Red tape indicates area (including the tape) that may not be touched by a climber’s hand.  Their feet may “smear” the flat surface of the wall past the tape, but cannot use any holds across the tape.
  • Climber may not use the side or top of the wall (unless specifically designated as part of the problem by the route-setter and explained by the judge).
  • Climber may not put his/her fingers in the t-nut holes in the wall or volumes.
  • No BETA is allowed, competitors may not receive coaching or parents yelling out BETA to the climber – this may lead to disqualification. 
  • Parents and Coaches are not permitted to have a discussion or contact with the judge.  Any such action may be grounds for disqualification of the competitor.  All issues should be addressed with Chief Judge.
  • No headphones while climbing
  • Climber may call a “technical” only for the following:
    • Broken/spinning hold
    • Tape stuck to the shoe
    • An open would with blood
    • Failure of the timing system – he/she will be given a new attempt on the problem once the issue is resolved.
    • Closed chalk bag and untied shoes are NOT considered a technical.

      Please check online for up-to-date information about upcoming information and events:  

    • USA Climbing Great Lakes Regional Page
    • The USA climbing Website 
    • USA Climbing Midwest Regional Page
    • USA Climbing Rulebook

If you have questions drop us a note on Facebook or Facebook Messenger. 

Be safe this Bouldering season –

Your USA Climbing Great Lakes Regional Coordinators,

John Kelly

Chuck Kapayo 



Check the Great Lakes Schedule for Details!  Be sure to also check nearby regions for additional local competitions, especially 702: The Rustbelt and 501: Midwest

GYM MANAGERS:  Want your event listed on the Schedule Page?  Pay your USAC host Fee!

If you have questions regarding membership or the Sport & Speed season, please do not hesitate to ask. E-mail: info@usaclimbing.org or call the office: 303-499-0715 for more details!

If you are a host facility and would like to pay your sanctioning fee with a credit card, please contact kyle@usaclimbing.org.



The great Lakes Region includes:

       Illinois         Michigan         Indiana           Kentucky



10 climbers from each category will advance from Regionals to Divisionals as opposed to the 7 it had been in previous years.

6 climbers from each category will advance from Divisionals to Nationals. However, there are only 2 regions per Division, and 8 divisions so there will be at least 48 climbers per category at Nationals now instead of the 35+ it had been in the past.
















































































































































































































































































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