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IFSC Releases COVID-19 Rule Updates

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After two months of consultation with a number of experts and stakeholders, the International Federation of Sport Climbing published today the work of the Climbing During COVID-19 Working Group in its Addendum to the IFSC Rules to be used during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The document includes guidelines and rules to be followed at competitions, in order to ensure that any person admitted in the competition area is aware of the updated protocol that has to be observed to ensure safety at all times during IFSC events.

Building on the World Health Organization recommendations and risk assessment tools, the document identifies Sport Climbing specific measures to adopt during competitions, including hygiene, social distancing and the use of personal protective devices at every stage of the event and in all competition areas.

The Addendum, redacted by the Working Group, has also received substantial contributions from various representatives of different parties of the climbing industry – such as the Climbing Wall Association, and the Association of British Climbing Walls, along with climbing gyms representatives from all over the world and several National Federations – who periodically met via teleconference to address the many issues generated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Summary of changes:

  • First and foremost, the IFSC will continually look to global and local guidance on the COVID-19 outbreak to recognize the best practices
  • A competition doctor will be appointed for each event. This doctor will screen athletes and coaches  and be available in case of athlete infection
  • Hand sanitizer and hygienic materials will be available at venue entrance/exits and washrooms
  • If an athlete is infected, the Technical Delegate will, if necessary, inform all participants and team managers of the case. The IFSC President will have the final decision about the competition
  • There will be no official board for results. Instead, results will be posed online
  • There will be no TV video demonstrations. Instead, athletes may watch a forerun of their route online on a reserved YouTube channel
  • Athletes will undergo temperature checks before entering warm-up or isolation zones
  • Athletes will wear masks in iso, holding areas and during route preview. The mask shall be brandless
  • There will be no warm-up wall in isolation. Athletes may use personal hang boards to warm-up before they are allowed to move to the warm-up area.
  • The first athletes will be allowed to move to the warm-up area 45 minutes prior to their climbing time. The next athletes will be allowed in to move every five minutes
  • No common food or water will be provided for the athletes
  • Athletes must have a personal beach towel to put on the mat or chairs to prevent transmission from sweat. The towel shall be brandless
  • Every athlete must use a personal rope, ideally provided by their National Federation
  • Belayers, volunteers and officials shall wear masks
  • No brushes will be allowed on mats, athletes mush brush holds by themselves
  • Scorecards will not be used. Instead, athletes my verify their scores in iso, where they will be displayed on screens
  • Athletes shall not wear masks during awards ceremony
  • No handshakes, hugs or kisses from athletes or prize givers

Complete addendum can be found here.

Feature image by Daniel Gajda/IFSC

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