The International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC) recently announced that an adapted World Cup will be held in Briançon, France on August 21 and 22. The upcoming World Cup in Briançon was originally scheduled for July 18 and 19, but starting in early March, as the COVID-19 pandemic was sweeping the globe, the IFSC began to postpone or cancel all climbing competitions. The rescheduled dates mark the return of international climbing competitions.
The competition in Briançon will also be the first operation under the updated IFSC rulebook, which includes an Addendum to be used during the coronavirus pandemic. The Addendum—written by the Climbing During COVID-19 Working Group—outlines regulations that will be in place at climbing competitions to ensure the safety of athletes and staff by helping prevent the spread of the virus. Such measures include: temperature checks, hand sanitizing before and after climbing, belayers wearing masks, and the use of personal ropes. The decision to allow spectators will be left up to each event's local organizers.
The IFSC will not be attributing points to climber’s World Cup 2020 ranking or their World Ranking because some athletes will be unable to participate due to varied travel restrictions in different locations around the world. Starting July 1, the European Union is opening its borders to 15 nations outside the bloc, with the United States—a country with 2.6 million COVID cases to date—excluded from that list. It is unknown at this time whether or not American athletes will be able to travel to France this August.
IFSC president Marco Scolaris said: “I have seen an extraordinary willpower to move on in several organizers. We are aware of the difficulties, the challenges, and the uncertainty. However, the world needs a message of hope. The health and safety of our athletes, officials, staff, and volunteers will always be our top priority, but looking at the passion living in Briançon, today we are confident that, together with FFME [the French mountaineering association] and in full compliance with the French laws and regulations we will be able to deliver a good competition. We trust the same could happen soon in other countries.”
The IFSC has also announced the following World Cup competitions:
- Salt Lake City (USA) from September 11 to 14: Boulder and Speed
- Seoul (KOR) from October 7 to 11: Boulder, lead, and speed (dates to be confirmed)
- Chongqing (CHN) from October 23 to 25: Boulder and Speed
- Wujiang (CHN) from October 30 to November 1: Boulder and Speed
- Xiamen (CHN) from December 4 to 6: Lead and Speed.