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PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2014 4:02 pm 
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Why is top rope competition climbing a valid option for young children in the competition climbing circuit of SA?

My reasoning why I see this as a fools idea is:

Ashima Shiraishi aged 13, out ranks all South African climbers from the age of 11.

I somehow don't think its because of top rope climbing?

Surely if adults teach kids to top rope, you teach them your fear as well, where if you teach them to lead, then you teach them to over come the fear and at the same time you building a competent strong minded individual.

This question is directed at people in charge of these comps

Ebert
Just a thought


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PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2014 9:31 pm 
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Top Roping is the purest form of climbing (next to free soloing) :thumleft:

I'm not setting up any comps but I have been involved in quite a few (going all the way back to when the MCSA was funding the National Circuit - where everyone lead climbed).
So perhaps we have stepped back a bit?

A couple of reasons:
Liability - there is less risk to organisers
Comp setup - easier / quicker
Not many kids lead climb - Leading would create a barrier to entry (which coincides with your original post)
Cheaper - less wear and tear on gear

As a guide/instructor I do find that some people put too much emphasis on lead climbing (both from a safety point of view and socially i.e. 'to really do the route, you must lead it!).

Forket wrote:
Surely if adults teach kids to top rope, you teach them your fear as well, where if you teach them to lead, then you teach them to over come the fear and at the same time you building a competent strong minded individual.

Not necessarily, in my opinion it depends who is doing the teaching.

Below: 1993 - Waterfront Climbing Comp


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PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2014 12:40 pm 
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Apparently there is an u14 devision toprope in arco now as well(since 2013).

:thumbdown

maybe its just me that sees the problem with this:(

eT


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PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2014 1:24 pm 
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Forket wrote:
... maybe its just me that sees the problem with this :(


Don't let it bug you, when you have your kid(s) - you can train them to lead climb from any age ;)


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PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2014 7:42 am 
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Hence the real issue...

Ebert it all has to do with who takes responsibility. This is logical to us grown ups.

If you climb with your kid & are happy for them to take numerous whippers & bouldering groundfalls then that's up to you (& possibly child services :shock: )

For any climbing competition organiser there is no choice with regards to minors. If an adult signs an indemnity then they can lead and fall & do whatever they want. For kids it's a whole different ball game because even if the parent says (&signs) that they accept responsibility, as soon as that kid breaks their arm or decks its the competition that gets the bad name.

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PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2014 10:07 am 
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Real Name: Neil Margetts
Hi

I think if the climbs and the training are done correctly, lead can be just as safe and better in the long run. My experience from running the SANCF for a few years and being involved in many primary school comps is that there is a huge lack of manpower and skill. Teachers have over 30 kids and only one assistant. Schools do not prioritise climbing over other more conventional sports. So there is limited funds and other resources. Many of the school walls do not have adequate lead facilities. We also found it hard to set difficult climbs required for the high standard of some of the u11 and u13 climbers on top rope, which is limited in many ways, and then at the same time to accommodate a very much lower standard of many other kids.

In general the time primary school kids are taught to lead is when they are in grade 7 at the end of the season to prepare them for the high school comps which require leading. Then the first few comps done in the year these newbies are given very easy climbs to ease them in to leading safely.

Thus the problem is more one of resources and less of liability.

Neil


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PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2014 7:56 am 
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Cute clip, Justin!


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PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2014 8:36 am 
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tygereye wrote:
Cute clip, Justin!

Thanks Brenda. Kid will do anything for lollipop :)

It's interesting to see that many of the play parks (public and private) here in Austria have climbing wall grips attached to them!
Below is one of the more basic ones, I have also seen slack lines at parks.


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PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2014 9:42 am 
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My son has been leading since he was 9 (and with a beginner Dad as "coach", but as a parent this was scary as the under 20 routes are graded for adults so the in between bits are sometimes much harder than the grade suggests and the injury risk this at these grades is high. I let him top rope as much as possible - he has "on sighted" Paws 26 easily at Oudshoorn and the as the rock suits him. He would have completed the Quickening 28 if we were there for more than 2 days (but this was a family holiday too)

He has started leading on 22 plus now, leading is easier especially as the draws are set and the fall is perfectly safe if the 1st draw is pre-clipped. Semi professional kids in America and Europe get to this level very quickly and have ideal routes chosen for them by professional coaches or climbing parents. As with every sport except for swimming the opportunity is not the same in SA.

Anyway I am not sure I want a 12 year old professional. So top roping is perfect for kids. It is unfair to see the climb as insignificant just because it is on top rope. I would rather Alistair flash high grades on top rope than be intimidated on lesser grades. Also the kids can rack up many more climbs and gain much more experience on top rope.

My take is that until they are 15 they should be given the grade even on top rope. They can then lead the climbs they know and are comfortable with for the practice. Alistair has not fallen on lead until this year. We need to be sensible. To illustrate the point there is a fun U-tube video of Alistair top roping an "easy" 18 at Wonderwall which illustrates the point very well. Ask if you want your kid top roping this one!! Search "Alistair Stubbs"
Ed edit: Video inserted below

If any parents with super keen kids want guidance I would be happy to help. Matthew 0826530218



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PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2014 10:22 am 
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Justin wrote:
It's interesting to see that many of the play parks (public and private) here in Austria have climbing wall grips attached to them!


UK too. Also quite popular in the UK are fibreglass artifical boulders in the parks, especially round Sheffield. Some of them have quite challenging problems.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/mjjtlee/s ... 452447861/

One near us (Arbroath) has been shaped and coloured like the local seacliffs.


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PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2014 10:52 am 
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The IFSC maintain the standards that the SANCF follow. For under 13 that standard is top rope.

There is a bit of LCD in all of this, and on that basis I think top rope is fair. The top end U13 kids do complain that the have to climb top rope, but often they simply bump up to U15 for more of a challenge.

For those that are interested youth nationals will be happening at City Rock in ealy October.

Ebert, are you involved in youth competition climbing, or are you just curious?

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