Home > Indoor Climbing

2021 and the Return of World Cups

The IFSC releases their 2021 World Cup Schedule following the definite cancellation of 2020 World Cups

Though August saw the first World Cup of 2020, the International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC) is still working to normalize international competition. On Sept. 1, the IFSC decided to cancel World Cups in both Salt Lake City and Seoul, just two days before releasing the 2021 World Cup schedule.

Semifinals at Briançon – photo by Jan Virt

According to their press release, “The two competitions were initially scheduled to be part of the 2020 Boulder season, with the IFSC World Cup in Seoul set to take place from May 8 to 10, and the IFSC World Cup in Salt Lake City scheduled from June 12 to 14. Both competitions were also expected to host a Speed event.”

“The IFSC would like to thank the two organisations for their cooperation and the countless efforts they made in the last few months. Unfortunately, the impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, along with the traveling restrictions that derive from it and the safety measures that are currently in place in many countries all over the world, forced the IFSC, USA Climbing and the Korean Alpine Federation to take another painful decision.”

Though this news comes as a blow to the internationally competitive climbing community, on September 3rd, the IFSC released its highly anticipated 2021 competitions calendar. In their press release, the IFSC said, “The 2021 Sport Climbing calendar is here: the International Federation of Sport Climbing is glad to present its highly anticipated 2021 season, where Sport Climbing will finally make its debut on the Olympic stage, Russia will host both the IFSC Climbing World Championships and the IFSC Youth World Championships, and where a first-time-ever – Jakarta, Indonesia – will close the 2021 IFSC World Cup Series.”

The series will begin on April 16 and will by comprised of 18 total events. Boulder, Lead and Speed will each be contested six times across nine different countries in Asia, Europe, and North America.

Midway through the series, Japan will host the postponed 2020 Olympic Games, with sport climbing events running between August 3 and 6, 2021. In addition to the Olympic Games, there will be two important competitions, both of which will be held in Russia. The IFSC Youth World Championships will be held in Voronezh from August 21 to 31, while the 18th edition of the IFSC World Championships will be held in Moscow from September 15 to 22.

In reference to the newly released dates, IFSC President Marco Scolaris said, “This calendar inspires us, despite of uncomfortable and unusual conditions that we meet every day: there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, and we must focus on it. Uncertainty still reigns in our world, but we are already looking forward to next season, and so are our event organisers. There are eight months still to go and we all have to do our part to overcome the pandemic. Stay safe and protect others.”

Though the release of the 2021 World Cup schedule is promising, it will be interesting to see how the season progress in light of pandemic-related travel restrictions.

Semifinals in Briançon – photo by Jan Virt