Climbing Wall Competitions

Flatland Climbing Festival

March 2-3, 2018

Join climbers from around the United States for a festival of indoor climbing. We kick off the weekend with an inspiring speech by Alex McKiernan on the value of loss on Friday and then enter the competition portion of the weekend. The Flatland Climbing competition is open to climbers of all skill levels: Beginner (5.6-5.8), Recreational (5.8-5.9), Intermediate (5.9-5.10d) or Advanced (5.11+). This is a great opportunity to show others your climbing skills, while learning new techniques from experienced climbers from across the flatland region. Even if you are not competing, don’t miss out on all the Flatland activities! Everyone is encouraged to come be a part of this awesome event.

Register for the general competition on Saturday, March 3!

What Doesn't Bend, Breaks: The Value of Loss with Alex McKiernan

Friday, March 2 | 7 p.m.
Nebraska Union, Colonial Room
FREE and Open to the Public

Share with your friends and let us know you're attending!

Alex McKiernan climbs tractors and solos stairways deep in the heart of flyover country. He and his wife are vegetable farmers and raise three irreverent daughters on the side. A permanent, debilitating spinal cord injury in 2014 prompted his return to rock climbing. In daydreams and when unable to sleep, he presses his palms firmly against a dark, cool and imaginary big wall, then drifts into the deep security of this vertical world.

Join us as Alex shares his inspirational story about the value of loss. Whether a climbing or couch enthusiast, you won't want to miss Alex's message of perseverance and persistence in the midst of major change.

This event is a part of the Flatland Climbing Festival hosted by UNL Campus Recreation and Outdoor Adventures.

Flatland Climbing Festival 2018 Schedule

Saturday, March 3
Register Now!
@ UNL Outdoor Adventures Center
930 N. 14th St.
Lincoln, NE

Saturday 3/3/2018
  • 8a – Late Check-in opens for session 1
  • 8:45a< – Competition Rules overview and Questions
  • 9a – Open climb begins Session 1
  • 11:45a – Late Check-in opens for session 2
  • 12p – Session 1 open climb ends
  • 12:45p – Competition Rules overview and Questions
  • 1p – Open climb begins Session 2
  • 4p – Session 2 open climb ends
  • 4:05p – Prize Drawing for all checked in climbers (must be present to win)
  • 4:30p – Medals for top three in each category/ division

Parking: We recommend riding your bike to the festival. Otherwise, general parking rules apply with metered spots available on the streets and in parking lots near the Outdoor Adventures Center.

Flatland Climbing Competition Details

Register now!


Staff will confirm you have a current release form on file, and direct you to where you need to go if you need a competition day skill check.

At check in you will receive an event packet that will have:

  1. Score card: make sure the score card is correct (level of difficulty)
    1. This card will be used to save your place in line to climb.
    2. Track your progress if you like.
    3. 5 routes used for your total score (Best 3 vertical routes, Best Boulder problem, and next be scoring route/ problem).
  2. Big Drawing Ticket:
    1. Choose what big drawing you want to be in (Rope, Adidas Apparel men, Adidas Apparel women).
    2. Small ticket every competitor will be automatically entered into the competitor drawing at 4:05p.
  3. Belay wrist band (you must wear your wrist band to belay).
    1. A wrist band will be issued once you complete your skill check
  4. Event Rules and schedule
  5. First 100 registered climbers get a free swag ticket to turn in at the Relentless Booth


  • 5 Routes used for your total score! Fill up your score card with scoring routes.
  • Recommend day lockers and cubbies to keep floor neat and to prevent stolen items.
  • We are not responsible for stolen items.
  • No bare feet! Shoes must be worn at all times. Lead belayers need closed toe shoes.
  • Lincoln has great food on O Street, just south of campus.
  • Have Fun!


Flatland 2018 Rules

Redpoint Competition 

A redpoint format competition allows multiple attempts on a route or boulder problem and the opportunity to watch other competitors climb on the route prior to an attempt. Points are awarded only for the completion of the climb. Falls are tallied on each competitor’s scorecard for all climbs. Falls will be used for tie-break scenarios between competitors with identical raw scores. Redpoint format competitions may be composed of any combination of bouldering, top-rope, or lead routes. Each climb will be worth a specific number of points based on that climb’s estimated difficulty level.

 Climbing Guidelines:

  • Climbers must have their Bib number pinned on the back of their shirt/ jersey so it is clearly visible. No folds/ bends permitted.
  • Climber and belayer will double check each other prior to climbing (harnesses, knot, belay set up correctly, etc)
  • Each session is 3 hours. Time will be announced with 5 minutes are left. Climbers on the wall may finish their climb after time has ended. Time will not be extended.
  • Competitors must declare their intention to attempt a route before starting to climb. You have to stand in line to get onto a route.

Typical order:

    • 1st Belayer (next to climb) 
    • 2nd Peer Judge 1(on deck)
    • 3rd Peer Judge 2 (in the hole)


  • The entire surface of the climbing wall shall be permitted to be used for climbing with the following exceptions:
    • The holes created in the climbing wall for the placement of bolt-on holds shall not be used for climbing by a competitor’s hands/fingers.
    • Bolt hangers and quickdraws are not permitted to be used as hand holds or foot holds at any time.
    • Neither the side edges nor the top edge of the wall shall be used for climbing, unless specifically designated as part of the route/problem.
  • Only designated holds and features are permitted for climbing each route.
  • Volumes: 
    • Do not grab or attempt to hold on behind a volume, this will be judged as a fall.
    • If a volume has your route's hold color then you may use any surface of the volume that is not a climbing hold of a different color.


  • No Flying Starts, climbers must get establish on the wall before making the first move unless it is a designated jump start. Jump starts will be clearly marked and noted.
  • Prolonged Resting: if you are resting for a prolonged period of time the judge will notify you that you have 1 minute to make progress up the route. If you do not move up after 1 minute it will be judged a fall.
  • Rules regarding starting positions may be set by the Chief Judge.
  • The Timing Judge or the Route Judge will be responsible for the announcement of how much time is left in the competition. They will also announce the time remaining, at any point, at the competitor’s request.
  • Rules and instructions regarding a route may be given by the Route Judge prior to a competitor’s attempt. These rules and instructions shall be given in full to all competitors climbing on a particular route.
  • Once a climber started, no further instructions or information shall be given to any climber. A climber may, however, request and receive clarification from the peer judges concerning usability of a hold or climbing surface.
  • Climbers may not receive coaching or advice from any individual while on a route. Encouragement and cheering are acceptable but coaching is not. When competing in an on-sight format competition, receipt of any information concerning a route prior to or during the attempt on the route is grounds for immediate disqualification of the competitor.
  • The refusal by a competitor to obey the instruction of a Route Judge to terminate their attempt on a route shall result in the disqualification of the competitor.


  • Best 3 roped climbs, best boulder problem, next best roped climb or boulder problem will be used for your Final Score.
  • You may only earn points one time from a route.
  • Ties will be decided in favor of the climber who used fewer attempts, i.e. attempts will break ties. Attempts are counted only for the top five scores. If ties cannot be broken by comparing the number of attempts, then the tie will be awarded as such. For example: If two climbers have the identical score and the identical number of attempts for their top five routes, and are both tied for first place, both climbers will be awarded first place points. The climber with the next highest point total, and fewest number of attempts, will be awarded third place, and so on.
  • In bouldering, if there is one (1) marked handhold, the competitor must begin with both hands controlling that handhold. In sport climbing, if there is one (1) marked handhold, the competitor must begin with at least one hand controlling that handhold… In bouldering and sport climbing, if there are two (2) separately marked handholds, the competitor must begin with each hand controlling each marked handhold simultaneously.”
  • The climber must CONTROL and MATCH HANDS on the finish hold(s) of a boulder problem to receive points for completion of that problem. The climber must establish contact with the peer judges so that the judge may verify control of the finish hold.
  • The climber must CONTROL the finish hold on a roped route, but is not required to match hands to receive points for completion of that route. The climber must establish contact with the peer judges so that the judge may verify control of the finish hold.
  • If the competitor flashes (completes the climb on first attempt) the route the score card shall be marked with a zero with a slash through the zero, in the attempts column and will get 20 bonus points. 
  • Unlimited attempts are allowed on any given route, as time allows. You may only score points one time.
  • Each route will be worth a specific number of points based on that route's anticipated difficulty.
  • Each competitor may choose which climbs to attempt from their score card.
  • If a competitor does not agree with the score, he or she must appeal to the Chief Judge.
  • Discussion with the Route Judge is not permitted by parents or guardians, and will be grounds for disqualification of the competitor.


Medals will be given out for the top 3 female and top 3 male competitors in each Flatland Category at the end of the event.

Categories are broken out by point total. If you signed up to compete against folks that are a similar skill level, you may only climb routes with in your category.

  • Beginner routes less than 599 points
  • Recreational routes less than 999 points
  • Intermediate routes less than 1999 points

***If you complete a route worth more than your category, you will automatically be bumped up a division. Congratulations you are having a great day climbing.

 This is a Peer Judged event! When you are waiting for your turn to climb, you will judge your peers.

  • A minimum of two peers must be selected before the start of the climb and watch the whole climb!
  • Peer judges may not be a spouse, parent, relative, climbing team member.
  • If any competitor sees a climber going off route, touching an area that is not a part of the route, they have a responsibility to speak up and bring the observation to the attention of the peer judges.
  • Outdoor Adventures staff will be available for entering scores and judging questions throughout the competition area. Note: If resolving the dispute is not straight forward; the competitor will be given at least 15 minutes (maximum of 20 minutes) to rest and have then re-climb the route
  • Successful Climb: At least two peer judges must enter their bib numbers.
  • Unsuccessful attempts: A Fall must be marked on the route that was just attempted along with at least one peers bib number.


  • Weighting the rope.
  • Weighting your foot on the ground.
  • Using a hold or other artificial aid not on your route to rest or make progress up the wall.
  • Lead climbers must complete all clips before the lowest part of their body passes the draw.
  • Each climber gets ONE RESTART. If a climber falls below the first quick draw, the climber may try the route right after their fall without getting back into line. Wrists must be below first bolt hanger to be eligible. The fall still counts on your score card!



Technical Incidents (Difficulty- Bouldering or Roped Climbing)

  • A technical shall be defined as:
    • A broken or spinning hold
    • A short-rope on a lead climb
    • Tape stuck to a shoe, or body part
    • An open wound
    • Anything else that creates an unfair disadvantage to a competitor that is not the result of an action on the part of the competitor.
  • Any technical incidents must be declared by the climber AT THE TIME OF ITS OCCURRENCE.
  • If the competitor feels he/she is the subject of an unfair disadvantage while climbing, he/she must declare so WHILE ON THE ROUTE. If the route judge agrees that the incident has created an unfair disadvantage, the competitor will be lowered to the ground and will be allowed another attempt on the route, with no penalty incurred. If the route judge does not agree that a technical incident has occurred, the competitor must continue his/her current attempt on the route.
  • During a redpoint competition, if a competitor falls and claims that a technical incident precipitated the fall, the competitor shall advise the route judge. If the technical incident is confirmed the climber shall be allowed to re-climb the route, and the attempt with the confirmed technical will not be marked on the scorecard.

After a technical incident:

  • The maximum recuperation time shall be 15 minutes.
  • The chief judge shall slot the next attempt of the competitor based on the competitor’s requested recuperation period. All concerned competitors shall be informed of the re-slotting.


Lead Climbing Guidelines (Advanced Category only):

In the interest of safety, pre-clipping the first quickdraw on a lead climb route is permissible only at the discretion of the head route setter. If pre-clipping is to be allowed on a certain route, all climbers will be made aware during their preview period.
Only the Advanced category will be permitted to lead climb pre-selected routes.

  • Skipped Clips:
    • During an attempt on a lead climb route, each competitor shall clip each quickdraw in sequence. If a competitor clips out of sequence, he/she will be immediately called off the route and the highest hold and in-sequence clip will be scored.
    • Each quickdraw must be clipped before the lowest part of the competitor's body has moved above the lowest carabiner connected to a quickdraw, or in the case of a traverse or roof section of the route, before the competitor's body has moved beyond a clipped quickdraw in the line of the route.
    • The Route Judge shall notify the competitor to clip the quickdraw, if it is apparent that the competitor is about to skip a clip and the safety of the climber is compromised. The judge shall say, “*climber’s name+, make your clip,” in a loud clear voice. If one competitor is so warned, then all competitors in a similar situation must be warned.
    • If the competitor continues to climb without making the required clip and the lowest part of the competitor's body has moved above the lowest carabiner connected to a quickdraw, the competitor's attempt on the route shall be terminated and a measurement taken as to the highest point reached just prior to the infraction.
  • Z-Clipping:
    • The Route Judge shall inform a competitor if they are about to z-clip. The Route Judge will say in a loud, clear voice, “*climber’s name+ you're z-clipping."
    • If the climber z-clips without being warned against doing so, the Route Judge shall notify the climber as soon as the z-clip is observed, and the climber will be allowed to fix the z-clip and continue climbing.
    • The z-clip must be fixed before clipping the next draw. If the competitor fails to correct a z-clip, they will not receive credit for any upward movement past the point where their foot passed the last correctly clipped quickdraw.
  • Back Clipping:
    • Back Clips must be fixed before moving up the wall or the climb will be judged as a "Fall"
  • Incorrect Clip:
    • In the case of two routes being close enough in proximity that a climber mistakenly clips a quickdraw on the wrong route, the Judge shall immediately instruct the climber to correct the clip. Once the incorrect clip is un-clipped the competitor can continue his/her attempt on the route. There will be no credit or score for clipping a clip that is not on the route.

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