Tickets on sale for IFSC European Championships as top climbers descend on Edinburgh this autumn

Edinburgh Leisure | Thursday 20th June 2019 11:05am

Tickets on sale for IFSC European Championships as top climbers descend on Edinburgh this autumn

Tickets are now on sale for the International Federation of Sport Climbing’s (IFSC) European Championships 2019 for lead and speed which will see Europe’s top climbers descend on Edinburgh this autumn.

Taking place at Europe’s largest indoor climbing area, the Edinburgh International Climbing Arena (EICA): Ratho from 4 – 6th October 2019, the Championships will be a chance to see the best European climbers compete ahead of the sport’s debut at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.  Tickets will only be available for Saturday, 5th and Sunday 6th. (Friday, 4th October is for speed qualifiers and is not open to the public).

The Scottish capital was successful in securing the event, held biennially, following a joint bid by EventScotland, City of Edinburgh Council, the British Mountaineering Council (BMC), Mountaineering Scotland and in conjunction EICA: Ratho.

The EICA: Ratho hosted the IFSC World Cup in lead and speed in 2017, with this sold-out event attracting over 1,200 spectators, athletes and coaches.

Lindsay Renwick, Head of Customer Operations (West) at Edinburgh Leisure said: “We’re delighted that Europe’s largest climbing arena is once again able to show off our world class climbing facilities at EICA: Ratho, following the success of the IFSC World Cup and Paraclimbing World Cup in September 2017.”

Push Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said:  “EventScotland is delighted to be supporting the return of world-class climbing to EICA: Ratho for the second time in as many year. This is an exciting time for the sport and Ratho is the perfect stage for people to see climbing first-hand ahead of its debut at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.”

Councillor Donald Wilson, Culture and Communities Convenor, said:  Councillor Donald Wilson, Culture and Communities Convenor, said: “We’re very much looking forward to welcoming the European Championships to Edinburgh in October. It is a fantastic opportunity to head along to the EICA and see some of Europe’s best climbers in action. The largest indoor climbing arena in Europe is right on our doorstep, and this prestigious competition is a chance to see the stars of the sport compete before they head to the Olympics next year.”

Zoe Spriggins, BMC Competitions Programme Manager said: “We’re super excited to be able to assist Edinburgh in hosting this event. It will be a great competition and the last chance to see GB athletes competing on home soil ahead of Tokyo 2020.

Jamie Smith, Climb Scotland Team Leader, said: “Mountaineering Scotland are excited to welcome the IFSC European Championships to Scotland this year. It is great to see our National Centre being host to the competition which will see some of Europe’s top climbers battle it out over the two days of competition. This event is a great opportunity to inspire our next generation of young climbers as well as helping raise the profile of the sport nationally. This is an exciting time for climbing now being an Olympic sport and Tokyo 2020 just around the corner.”

Junior and adult tickets are now available to buy from £15.00-£20.00 from   A limited amount of free tickets will be available for 3 – 5-year olds.  Babies are free.

Parking at Ratho will be limited to 250 cars per day and there will be a £5 charge for parking on-site. 

Sport climbing will make its debut at next year’s 2020 Olympic Games after approval was made by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as part of a package of five youth focused sports, which is at the heart of the vision for Tokyo 2020.

At the Games, 40 athletes – 20 males and 20 females – will compete in three specific disciplines of climbing: Lead, Speed and Bouldering. The overall podium finishers will be determined by combining the results of the three disciplines. 

Twenty-five million people climb regularly worldwide and there has been a rapid rise in popularity of climbing worldwide, a sport that draws diverse climbers from rural and mountain as well as urban areas.

Anyone with an interest in volunteering at the event should register their interest at

Media wishing to register for press accreditation at the IFSC World Cup Edinburgh from 4-6 October, should apply online -

Facebook:      EICA.Ratho or EdinburghLeisure
Twitter:           @eicaratho or @Ed_Leisure
Instagram:      @eicaratho or @ed_leisure
Hashtag:         #eicaec19


Key Climbing Facts

Sport climbing is booming: more and more athletes are attracted by vertical challenges, both indoor and outdoor.

Climbing not only trains 656 muscles, it challenges the mind too.

The IFSC has 91 member federations over 5 continents:  Africa (6); Asia (22); Europe 43); Oceania (4); Pan-America (16)

In 2018, there were 2,500 licensed athletes

40% of these licensed athletes were women

Athletes represented the 5 continents and 66 countries

Median age of elite athletes was 19 years.

About Climbing

climbing competition, sometimes shortened to comp, is usually held indoors on purpose built climbing walls. There are three main types of climbing competition: lead, speed, and bouldering.

In the European Championships only lead and speed will be showcased. However, sport climbing (all three disciplines) will be in the Tokyo Olympic Games for the first time in 2020.

Lead – height, endurance and strategy

Athletes climb secured by a rope, one at a time, on an overhanging route with a 6-minute time limit. The athlete who reaches the highest point wins.

In Lead, the aim for the competitors is to go as high as possible in an individual attempt on a 15m wall.

The competitors have a limited amount of time (six (6) minutes) for their attempt.

The Lead ranking is set based on the height (hold number) achieved by the competitors. A competitor gets a “+” added to his score if moving in the direction of the next hold.

The routes are reset between the Qualification, Semi-finals and the Final.

Competitors can preview the route during a collective observation time (six (6) minutes) but cannot attempt the route (no observation in the Qualification round).

Competitors are kept in an isolation room before they perform their “on sight” attempt (no isolation in the Qualification round).

There are different routes for men and women competitors.

Speed - 15 metres in just a few seconds

  • Secured from above, climbers run up standardised parallel routes. The fastest climber wins.
  • The aim of Speed is to be the fastest to reach the top of a 15m wall.
  • Since 2007 the IFSC has created a standard wall for the world record. The climbing time is determined by mechanical-electric timing.
  • Men and women compete on identical routes which are not modified between rounds.
  • The competitors compete (race) in pairs on identical routes.
  • The winner is the first to reach the top of the route.
  • The current speed world records are held by:
    Men’s – Reza Alipourshenazandifar (IRI) – 5.48 – IFSC World Cup Nanjing, China (30.4.17)
    Women’s – Yling Song (CHN) – 7.10 – IFSC World Cup Chongqing, China (26.4.19)

Bouldering competitions consist of climbing short problems with the emphasis on the number of problems completed.

Sport climbing will be in the Olympic Games for the first time in 2020.

About EICA: Ratho

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