A youth lead competitor climbs at the 2019 Youth World Climbing Championships in Arco, Italy; (photo/Syste van Slooten for IFSC)
A lead competitor climbs at the 2019 Youth World Climbing Championships in Arco, Italy; (photo/Syste van Slooten for IFSC)

For First Time Ever, IFSC Youth World Climbing Champs Come to US

Two Texas climbing gyms will host the premier international youth climbing competition later this month.

From Aug. 22 to 31, the International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC) Youth World Championship will take over Dallas. It’s the tour’s first-ever scheduled stop for an IFSC Championship event, adult or youth, in the United States.

More than 400 of today’s most promising young climbers will unleash on the “DFW” burbs to compete in bouldering, lead climbing, and speed events. The IFSC splits its Youth Boulder, Lead, and Speed fields into three age groups: Juniors (ages 18-19), Youth A (ages 16-17), and Youth B (ages 14-15).

A Movement Climbing location in North Dallas called The Hill will host the Boulder competition. Summit Plano will host Lead and Speed.

IFSC Youth World Climbing Championships, Dallas 2022

A competitor boulders at the 2019 Youth World Climbing Championships in Arco, Italy; (photo/Syste van Slooten for IFSC)
A competitor boulders at the 2019 Youth World Climbing Championships in Arco, Italy; (photo/Syste van Slooten for IFSC)

Though the IFSC has hosted World Cups in a handful of U.S. cities, this is the first time the States will host any IFSC Championship. The move seems to indicate a warming partnership between the Europe-based federation and Salt Lake-based USA Climbing.

In the March 2022 announcement, IFSC President Marco Scolaris underscored the two organizations’ budding alliance. “It fills me with pride to see the strong bond that we have built in the last few years with our friends at USA Climbing, establishing Salt Lake City as one of the landmarks of our World Cup Series, and finding new opportunities, first in Los Angeles and now in Dallas,” he stated.

“The Youth World Championships is by far the most important showcase of young and talented climbers that one can imagine, and who knows, maybe we will have the chance to see the future Olympic Champion in action!”

The idea that a future Olympian might compete in Dallas later this month isn’t far-fetched. IFSC Youth World Climbing Championships have previously served as bellwethers for up-and-coming stars. Olympic gold medalists Janja Garnbret (SLO) and Alberto Jimenez Lopez (ESP) both won previous editions of the championship, as did elite climbers Adam Ondra (CZE) and Akiyo Noguchi (JPN).

“USA Climbing is honored to be hosting the IFSC Youth World Championships for the first time,” USA Climbing CEO Marc Norman said in a joint press release. “To the youth athletes, we look forward to seeing you compete in Dallas!”

The IFSC will stream live coverage of the elimination rounds and finals on its YouTube channel. For additional details, including the schedule, competitor roster, and more, head to ifsc-climbing.org.

Climbers compete in the IFSC sanctioned World Cup events, ca. 2022
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Jilli Cluff
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Jilli grew up in the rural southern Colorado mountains, later moving to Texas for college. After seven years in corporate consulting, she was introduced to sport climbing — and life would never be the same. She now works as a contributor, gear tester, and editor for GearJunkie and other outlets within the AllGear family. She is based out of Atlanta, Georgia where she takes up residence with her climbing gear and one-eared blue heeler, George Michael.