New ‘Mini’ Scramble Youth C/D - FAQ
To encourage more climbing from the younger categories:
First of all: What and Why?
The boulders available to Youth C and D competitors have increased from 6-8 to 10-15. In previous years many younger competitors have completed what they can of their designated boulders often with with half the time or more remaining. At such a young age, experience is everything, maximizing their time climbing during competitions to gain as much experience as possible would be beneficial to their development.
15 seems like a lot
15 is the maximum, often times, there may not be the full 15 boulders. There is such a large range of competitors in Youth C and D, with kids aged 13 and potentially as young as 7, 10 - 15 boulders would better serve this range of age/ability. Looking at the abilities within that age range and the spread of boulders, it is estimated that each competitor will be challenged by roughly 6 or 7 of the total boulders, while the rest of the boulders will be of no consequence, providing little challenge or being too difficult, both costing little time. Compounded by the fact that younger competitors don’t need as much rest as older competitors (for physiological reasons) they can easily work more problems than older categories.
Will they all be as hard as before?
The route setters will be taking into account that there will be 15 boulders and “only” 3 hours. The boulders will be in roughly the same difficulty range, there will just be more of them in specific difficulties depending on the field.
This doesn't prepare them for the Youth B format and beyond
It does in terms of valuable climbing and competition format experience. Format specifics are surprisingly easy to adjust to if you have competition experience.
Is this logistically challenging to put on?
It adds a roughly 7 more boulders to the competition, which can be
broken down into 1 extra boulder per wall. A team of route setters will have no
trouble adding these boulders in.
Why not just give half the boulders to Youth C and the other half to Youth D?
The needs of Youth C and D climbers are very similar though within a wide range of ability levels. By leaving the categories together, the climbers have access to twice as many problems within their difficulty range. More boulders means more experience for our young climbers.