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1. General 

2. Equipment

3. Boulder Wall

4. Competition Jury

5. Competition

5.1 Registration and Preparation

5.2 Observation/ Lounge/ Transit Area

5.3 Procedure

5.4 Starting List and Results List

5.5 Points System

5.6 Video Recording

6. Technical Incidents

7. Safety


1. General

1.1 The boulder competition “adidas ROCKSTARS“consists of

  • a qualification
  • a semifinal
  • a final
  • and a superfinal

1.2 The judge for each boulder problem is termed as

  • a Boulder Referee, who reports to the Head Referee.

1.3 Each boulder includes a clear and defined starting point from which all attempts must be started.         

  • This starting point consists of a clearly defined position for both hands and for one foot or both feet.
  • The starting point is for all boulder problems identically marked.

1.4 Each boulder problem is equipped with a zone hold, i.e. holding of a specific handle for extra points (even without completing the problem).

  • The Chief Route Setter determines the exact position of this hold.
  • The marking of this hold is clearly highlighted and differs from the marking of the starting position.
  • The marking of this hold is identical for all boulder problems.
  • The zone is also awarded even if a competitor has successfully climbed the boulder without reaching the zone hold.

1.5 A boulder problem is counted as “top“ once the competitor has reached the designated top hold with both hands holding it for at least 3 seconds. This position needs to be confirmed by the respective Boulder Referee with a clear “OK“ and by raising the official green card.

1.6 The competition area includes the

  • athletes lounge (incl. transit zone).
  • the competition arena (incl. observation zone).

1.7 The competition is open for women and men alike.

2. Equipment

Athletes are only allowed to compete in the following equipment:

  • climbing shoes
  • sports top (not provided by the organizer)
  • sports pants
  • chalk bag (dry and liquid magnesia)

3. Boulder Wall

3.1 The boulder wall is only open for bouldering 

  • once the Boulder Referee has explained the problem to the competitor in advance.
  • the competitor is allowed to use the designated holds for his/her attempt as long as not marked otherwise.
  • screw holes within the boulder wall are prohibited for holding but permitted for stepping.
  • as long as the side edges of the boulder wall are not used except it has been specifically allowed.

3.2 Artificial aids are prohibited. 

3.3 Sections of the wall like holds or special features, that are not allowed to use, need to be marked with a continuous and clear black marking.

4. Competition Jury

4.1 The competition jury consists of the following members ranked according to their responsibility and authority in decision-making:

  • Head Referee
  • Assistant Head Referee
  • Event Director
  • Video/Camera Referee(s)
  • Boulder Referees (for each boulder problem)

The majority of votes apply. During the decision making process the following can be heard 

  • Chief Route Setter

However, they have no voting right.

4.2 In case of objections against referee decisions the following steps apply: 

  • Verbal objection to the Head Referee.
  • If there is a disagreement, a written objection must be handed in to the Head Referee with an objection fee of 50 Euros. The competition jury is convoked.
    If the objection is granted the fee will be returned. In case the objection is rejected the fee will be retained and donated to charity. The objection has to be reported within 30 minutes after publication of the results. In the finals there is no objection period. The Head Referee will announce the results verbally in the transit area. In case of disagreement the athletes must immediately express their objection verbally. The objection fee of 50 Euros also applies in this case.

5. Competition 

5.1 Registration and Preparation

5.1.1 All competitors have to register in the lounge no later than the time specified by the Head Referee and published/announced by the organizer.

5.1.2 After having received an official instruction to leave the lounge/ transit area and proceed to the competition arena competitors are not allowed to be accompanied by any other person other than an authorised official.

5.1.3 Each competitor has to be ready to leave the lounge/ transit area and enter the competition arena, when instructed to do so. Any delay in this regard leads to a warning. Any further delay might lead to disqualification.

5.2 Observation and Lounge 

5.2.1 During observation the following rules apply:

  • Competitors are allowed to communicate in any way with any person outside the observation area.
  • Competitors are allowed to seek clarification from the Head Referee or Boulder Referee assigned to the boulder.
  • The defined starting holds are allowed to be touched during observation. It is prohibited to touch any other areas of the boulder wall with any body parts. Disregarding this rule is counted as an attempt.
  • The use of magnesia / chalking holds other than the starting holds or adding tick marks during observation are counted as an attempt.
  • Competitors have to stay within the designated observation zones.
  • Competitors are not permitted to climb on the boulder wall or stand on any equipment or furniture.

5.2.2 All competing athletes must enter the lounge 60 minutes prior to the start of the competition to register. Afterwards they can observe the boulder problem from the spectator area.

5.2.3 The official observation takes place inside the competition arena 10 minutes prior to the start of the final. The athletes have two minutes per boulder. There is no official observation period in the qualification and the semifinal.

5.2.4 It is the responsibility of each competitor to inform him-/herself about all instructions regarding the respective boulder problems.

5.2.5 Wearing a music player, mobile phone, smartphone or headphones is prohibited during the whole competition including the observation period. Exception: a music player may be used in the lounge (without telephone function).

5.2.6  The following persons are allowed to enter the isolation zone by showing a specific accreditation at the entrance:

  • adidas ROCKSTARS Officials
  • competitors of the current round
  • 1 trainer/advisor per athlete (only during finals)
  • other persons specifically authorised by the Head Referee. Such a person must be escorted and supervised by an approved official. 

5.2.7 Smoking and the consumption of alcohol are prohibited in the lounge and competition arena. Disregarding this rule can lead to disqualification.

5.2.8 While being in the transit area/ lounge, competitors are not allowed to communicate (e.g. mobile phones) with any person outside that zone unless having received permission by the Head Referee to do so. Disregarding this rule leads to disqualification.

5.2.9 Following breaches of rules lead to an immediate disqualification of the competitor:

  • Climbing the wall except during the own attempt.
  • Arriving at the competition arena without complete competition gear.
  • Unfair behaviour towards other competitors or other serious disturbances during the event.

5.3 Procedure

5.3.1 During the qualification (40+x men and 30+x women are permitted) and semifinal (20 men and 20 women + 6 Wildcards for men and women) round each competitor has to attempt the four boulder problems in a given order. After each boulder, the competitor gets a recreational break of 5 minutes during qualification and 5 minutes during the semifinal.

5.3.2 During the final round (6 men and 6 women) the boulder problems also have to be attempted in a given order and with a maximum climbing time of 4 minutes per boulder. 

5.3.3 During the final round, the 6 finalists climb two different boulders. The best 3 finalists of this round fight on a third boulder problem for the super final.

5.3.4 The start and finish of each rotation period are announced by

  • a clear and acoustic sound
  • the emcee
  • the starting of the stopwatch

5.3.5 Within the superfinal the last 2 finalists (men and women separately) compete simultaneously at the same boulder (super boulder) climbing identical routes. The athlete who makes it first to the top wins the title. The boulder is counted as “top“ once the competitor has the top of the boulder and hits the buzzer. This position needs to be confirmed by the respective Boulder Referee with a clear “OK“ and by raising the green referee card.

5.3.6 Before a competitor starts his/her attempt, all holds and steps have to be cleaned by the Boulder Referee or his assistant. The competitor is allowed to ask for a specific cleaning prior to his/her attempt. Only cleaning materials provided by the organizer may be used during the competition. The athlete may also clean holds and steps him/herself.

5.3.7 An attempt is regarded as started and counted

  • once both feet have left the ground from the starting position.
  • once hands and feet have touched other holds than the starting holds.
  • by adding of markings and signs. 

5.3.8 An attempt is regarded as completed once 

  • the boulder problem has been successfully topped as stated in paragraph 1.5.
  • the competitor has touched the ground with any of his body parts.
  • the competitor has not completed his/her attempts within the rotation period.
  • the competitor has not started as demonstrated by the Boulder Referee.
  • the competitor has used any part of the wall that is not open for bouldering.

5.3.9 In case of breaching the rules the competitor has to stop the competition and leave the competition arena.

5.3.10 The organizer reserves the right to make any changes for the good of the athletes and the event. In case of undertaking changes, the organizer will announce them in advance.

5.4 Starting Lists and Results List

5.4.1 Immediately after closing the registration in the lounge, i.e. 60 minutes before the competition starts, the official starting list is published.

5.4.2 Each official starting list and results list is published on the official info board. These lists are only valid when displaying:

  • date
  • time
  • and signature of the Head Referee. 

5.5 Points System

5.5.1 After each boulder round, the competitors are rated according to the following primary ranking criteria* in the exact given order:

  1. number of tops reached. 
  2. number of bonus holds reached. 
  3. number of attempts reaching that top. 
  4. number of attempts reaching these bonus holds. 

*During the final round, the highest hold controlled on each boulder problem will be recorded, as a secondary criterion for ranking.

5.5.2 In case more than three competitors are ranked among the top three after the first two boulders of the final round, all competitors who are in the top three advance to the third boulder of the final round. 

In case more than two competitors are ranked among the top two after the third boulder of the final round, based on the primary ranking criteria, the secondary criterionwill be applied to select the top two competitors to advance to the superfinal.  If competitors are still tied after ranking by this secondary criterion, advancement to the superfinal will be based by a “count-back” to the previous round(s).  If competitors are still tied, a tie-break is carried out on one additional boulder, which has been prepared in advance by the route setters, complying with the following rules:

  • Each competitor has only one attempt according to the same starting order as in the final round.
  • A specific boulder time is defined.
  • This boulder attempt has to start within 40 seconds.
  • If no finalist has reached the top and the results remain unchanged another attempt is conducted until the finalists are separated with maximum of 3 attempts.

If after the tie-break boulder, competitors are still tied, then a coin flip will decide the climber(s) who will advance to the superfinal.

5.5.3 In case both finalists reach the top at the same time during the superfinal, both athletes are ranked first, considered as equally strong and the prize/ prize money is equally divided.

5.6 Video Recording

5.6.1 Official video recordings will be taken of all boulder attempts and competitors, respectively.

5.6.2 In case of any official objections, only official video recordings may be used by the Competition Jury. If the Head Referee is involved in the case, another non-involved referee takes his place.  The Head Referee decides whether private videos may be used for decision-making.

5.6.3 A minimum of one video camera is placed, recording all boulder problems of the competition.

5.6.4 The exact positioning of the video camera(s) is decided by the Head Referee in agreement with the Chief Route Setter.

6. Technical Incidents

6.1 A technical incident is defined as

  • a dismantled hold/step
  • a broken hold/step
  • a loose hold/step
  • any other occurrence that results in a disadvantage or unfair position of a competitor
  • any other occurrence that is the result of an action not caused by a competitor

6.2 If during the qualification and semifinal rounds a technical incident occurs that can be repaired or fixed before the end of the current rotation period, the competitor involved is offered the opportunity to continue with his/her attempt.

If the competitor chooses to continue, the technical incident is terminated and no further objections are possible.

If the competitor chooses not to continue his/her attempt within the current rotation period, the competitor resumes his/her attempt on the boulder where the technical incident occurred after completing the current competition round.

In this case the Head Referee decides when the competitor continues with his/her attempt.

The competitor gets the remaining time from the moment the technical incident occurred (minimum of 120 seconds).

6.3 If a technical incident cannot be repaired before the end of the rotation period during the qualification and semifinal rounds, the round is stopped by the Boulder Referee for all competitors bouldering at the proceeding boulders. For the other competitors the round continues.

After the repair, the competitor who was affected by the technical incident is allowed to use the remaining time, from the moment the incident occurred, for his boulder problem (minimum of 120 seconds).

After this period, the competition continues for all competitors whose attempt was stopped.

6.4 If a technical incident occurs during the final round, the competitor who is affected by the technical incident returns to the transit zone and awaits the repair.

Once the repair is finished, the competitor can continue his/her attempt. The competitor gets the remaining time from the moment the technical incident occurred (minimum of 120 seconds).

7. Safety

7.1 Each boulder is designed to prevent a competitor from injuring him-/herself or injuring or obstructing any other competitor or third party.

7.2 Each boulder problem is protected by landing mats provided by the organizer.

7.3 Photographers and cameramen, that are positioned at, on and around the boulder walls, are only allowed to stay within designated media areas, so competitors are not hindered or put in danger while bouldering. These designated areas must to be approved by the Head Referee.