Apply now for the 2018 Development Squad

Posted by Jon Garside on 10/10/2017
The 2017 Development Squad. Credit: Nick Pope

Applications are now open for those young climbers wishing to join the Development Squad in 2018

Please ensure you read ALL of this article before submitting an application.

If planning to compete at the forthcoming national competitions in Edinburgh and Sheffield, then do not submit your application until after those events.

However, an application can be started, with a draft saved until ready for submission. All applications must be submitted by 9am Monday 16 October.

 

Awesome Walls Sheffield will be the venue for selection days on 2 and 3 December to identify climbers to join the 2018 Development Squad.

The Development Squad provides the pool of climbers from which the GB Climbing Team is selected for international youth competitions. Some information about the selection process for 2018 is provided here.

The 2018 IFSC age categories for Junior, Youth A, B & C will be used for December's selection, and so the youngest climbers eligible to attend are those who this year are in the top of the Youth D age category.

2018 age category Youth C Youth B Youth A Junior
Year of birth 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999
Selection day Saturday 2 December Sunday 3 December

There is an online application for anyone not currently in the squad. This will identify climbers invited to December's selection. 

Squad members in the top end of the Junior category will be leaving at the end of the year. All other squad members are automatically eligible to attend December’s selection.

Almost a hundred young climbers attended selection in December 2016. Taking into account the older climbers leaving the squad, those attending selection in December are likely to be a 50:50 mixture of current squad members and non-squad members.

In 2016, the online application asked for a variety of information including indoor and outdoor climbing experience, current climbing grade, a personal statement, supporting information and competition experience.

The same information is asked for this year. However, when screening online applications to identify climbers to invite to December’s selection, competition results of most interest will be those of applicants in the following age categories at this year’s national climbing competitions.

2017 National Competitions Junior Youth A Youth B Youth C Youth D
1 April, Lead Cup, Reading Yes Yes Yes Yes  
2 April, Open Youth Bouldering, Wokingham Yes Yes Yes Yes  
29 April, Youth Climbing Series final, Ratho       Yes Yes
27 May, Scottish Youth Bouldering Championships, Glasgow Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
3 June, Welsh Climbing Championships, Caernarfon Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
17 June, Junior British Bouldering Championships, Manchester Yes Yes Yes Yes  
8 - 9 July, British Bouldering Championships, Sheffield Yes Yes      
9 Sep, Scottish Youth Lead & Speed Championships, Ratho Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
7 - 8 Oct, Junior British Lead & Speed Championships, Sheffield Yes Yes Yes Yes  

Climbers do of course compete at competitions not run by the BMC or Mountaineering Scotland, some of which have a very high competition standard.

However, as national competitions such as the youth opens are run in the same way as IFSC international competitions, they provide a very important way to identity competition climbers to invite to squad selection.

The online application form provides space for applicants to note other recent climbing competition results. Applications close at 9am Monday 16 October after the last national competition of the year. We will inform those both invited and not invited for selection by Friday 27 October.

Aside from current are squad members who are automatically eligible to attend selection (apart from the oldest Juniors) there are some automatic routes to December's selection days for those not currently in the squad which are outlined here.

There are three international open competitions for Youth C and D climbers. British climbers who have won previous events include Randy Roby in 2008 and squad member Toby Roberts in 2016.

Also of interest when screening Youth C and D online applications to identify climbers to invite to December’s selection will be results of applicants at the open international competitions listed below.

2017 International Open Competitions Youth C Youth D
3 - 4 June, Youth Colour Climbing Festival, Imst, Austria Yes Yes
7 - 9 July, Petzen Climbing Trophy, Petzen, Austria Yes Yes
24 - 27 August, Arco Rock Junior, Italy Yes Yes

We recognise that many young climbers will not be in a position to attend these international competitions. Not attending these competitions will not disadvantage Youth C and D climbers in the first stage of the selection process.

Climbers who are not current squad members but who perform exceptionally well this year, and so demonstrate potential to excel on the international stage, are automatically eligible to attend December’s selection events.

Any climber who comes in the top five in lead or bouldering in the age categories highlighted above in at least two of the 2017 national competitions listed is automatically eligible to attend December’s selection event.

Any Youth C or D climber who comes in the top five in lead or bouldering in any of the 2017 international competitions listed above is automatically eligible to attend December’s selection event.

All climbers wishing to join the 2018 Development Squad must complete the online application. This includes current squad members and any climber automatically eleigible to attend selection.

It is hoped that the information provided here will help those climbers wishing to join the Development Squad in 2018 to program their 2017 competition calendar.

Details about the BMC's 2017 competitions are available on our website. Mountaineering Scotland provides information about their competitions

Ranking of national competition results
Climbers who are not automatically eligible for December’s selection will have their best results in lead and bouldering competitions considered. For Youth C to Junior climbers this will be their best three results. For Youth D climbers this will be their best two results.

These results will then be multiplied together to provide a score, a system used by the IFSC. The scores will then be used to provide rankings, for example:


Climber

Result 1

Result 2

Result 3

Score

Rank

Niall

1

6

7

42

1

Harry

3

6

7

126

2

Zayn

4

6

8

192

3

Liam

6

6

7

252

4

Louis

6

7

9

378

5

These rankings will inform the decisions about which climbers to invite to December’s selection.

This ranking system does not mean that a climber who does not achieve automatic selection and attends very few 2017 competitions will be excluding themselves from being invited to selection. However, as the focus of the Development Squad is competition climbing, competition results naturally play an important part of the selection process.

How the selection days will operate
All those attending selection will be asked to climb two routes, eight boulder problems in a scramble format and a 10m speed climb. Points will be earned relative to a climber’s performance with the maximum score available being 100.

The three disciplines will be weighted with lead climbing and bouldering each contributing 45% of the total score and speed climbing 10%.

The opportunity to climb across all disciplines will allow each climber to demonstrate their strengths and provide them with multiple scenarios to demonstrate their tactics, technical skills, strength and stamina.

Speed has been included as this is a growing area and important to include due to combined international events now becoming more popular. The speed routes will be set for selection, see below. Standard IFSC speed routes will not be used.

Speed climbing also allows climbers to demonstrate skills such as leg drive, power generation and transmission through the lower body into the upper body, coordinated movement at speed and seamless linking of moves. All of these are important attributes to many climbing situations, especially during competition.

Volumes and dynos, traditionally associated with bouldering, are now featuring on lead routes in competition for example.

This weighting system also supports those climbers wanting to focus on lead or boulder, as highly performing lead or boulder specialists will still be able to qualify for the squad.

Each age & gender category will undertake their three climbing disciplines as a group during their selection day.

All climbers attending December’s selection will be asked not to visit Awesome Walls Sheffield between Thursday 30 November and their selection day. A climber who is found to have ignored this request will be ineligible for selection to the 2018 Development Squad.

How will each discipline be scored at selection?

1.    Lead climbing
Each climber will climb two routes as in national lead competition qualifiers. These will be climbed in flash format and the routes will have a video demo.

Rankings will be assigned in accordance with IFSC rules.

http://www.ifsc-climbing.org/images/World_competitions/Event_regulations/IFSC-Rules_2017_V1.2.pdf  (paragraphs 6.10.5 – 6.10.6)

Points will be then awarded relative to the climbers ranking; see example in appendix one.

The grades to be set are:

 

Route 1

Route 2

     

Youth C Girls

7b+

7b+

Youth C Boys

7b+

7c

Youth B Girls

7c

7c+

Youth B Boys

7c

8a

Youth A Girls

7c

7c+

Youth A Boys

8a

8a

Junior Girls

7c

7c+

Junior Boys

8a

8a+

2.    Bouldering
Climbers will have two hours to attempt eight boulder problems in a scramble format, as in national bouldering competition qualifiers. The problems will not be demonstrated.

Rankings will be assigned in accordance with IFSC rules.

http://www.ifsc-climbing.org/images/World_competitions/Event_regulations/IFSC-Rules_2017_V1.2.pdf  (paragraphs 7.10.1 – 7.10.4)

Points will be awarded relative to the climbers ranking; see example in appendix one.

The grades to be set are:

 

Easiest

Hardest

     

Youth C Girls

V3

V6

Youth C Boys

V3

V7

Youth B Girls

V4

V7

Youth B Boys

V4

V8

Youth A Girls

V4

V7

Youth A Boys

V5

V8

Junior Girls

V5

V7

Junior Boys

V6

V9

3.    Speed climbing
The speed climb will be a ten metre route set for the event on a five degree overhanging wall with each climber hitting a clapperboard to finish the climb. The grade of the route will be approximately 6a.

Each climber will have four minutes to practice the route prior to setting a time on it. Times will be recorded using three stopwatches with the middle score counting.

Points will be awarded for the time recorded, see below.

 

Score

   

Below 8 seconds

10

Between 8 and 9 secs

9

Between 9 and 10 secs

8

Between 10 and 11 secs

7

Between 11 and 12 secs

6

Between 12 and 13 secs

5

Between 13 and 14 secs

4

Between 14 and 15 secs

3

Between 15 and 16 secs

2

Over 16 secs

1

How will squad members be selected?
It is envisaged that the 2018 Development Squad will have a total of 40 to 50 members, consisting of male and female climbers from Youth C to Junior. 

To be considered for the 2018 Development Squad, a climber should attain minimum performance levels at selection in either bouldering or lead climbing. These are defined as completing at least one route or topping at least four boulder problems. Some climbers may achieve these performance levels in both disciplines.

Regarding the above, the selectors will be mindful of any setting anomalies that become apparent which may affect a specific age category. This issue is seen as an unlikely outcome as very experienced setters will be used for December’s selection.

The top two scoring climbers in each age category will be automatically invited to join the Development Squad, assuming they attain the minimum performance levels, making a total of sixteen climbers.

The remaining squad members will be identified based on their performance at selection. A climber’s domestic competition results, and where relevant their international competition results, from the previous twelve months will also be used to inform these decisions, including any exceptional performances.

See ‘Climbers unable to attend selection’, below, for how some squad members may be selected.

The selectors will meet in the week commencing 4 December to look at the scores for each climber and where they rank in their age category. The 2018 Development Squad will be published by Friday 8 December.

Membership of the squad is for one year only. The 2019 squad selection will take place in December 2018.

Climbers unable to attend selection
A climber invited to selection may be unable to attend due to illness or injury. Any climber in this position is at risk of not being selected for the 2018 Development Squad.

Climbers in this position will be asked to provide reasonable evidence as to why they are unable to attend selection.

In the event that a climber cannot attend, their 2017 competition results will be considered.

A climber who has suffered from injury or illness in 2017, and so not in a position to have competed fully, and who is also unable to attend selection, is very unlikely to be selected for the 2018 Development Squad.

Profiling
The lead and speed climbing selection elements of each climber will be filmed in December and used to profile squad members’ technical and tactical skills by the Development Squad coaching team. These scores will be discussed and shared with squad members at the first training weekend of 2018.

Physical profiling will also be undertaken during that first 2018 training weekend. Together with the technical and tactical scores, the profile of each squad member will be used to inform the coaching provided at Development Squad training. Profiling will not be used as a selection tool.

2018 Development Squad training weekends

Next year’s squad training weekends will be:

13 & 14 January
10 & 11 February
17 & 18 March
5 & 6 May

Venues to be confirmed.

Squad members are expected to attend January’s and May’s training weekends as a minimum. We hope to see all squad members at each weekend, but recognize that this may not always possible.

We are however providing the dates now, so anyone wishing to join the sqaud is in the best position to avoid clashes in 2018 should they be invited to join. There will be a single fee for squad membership, irrespective of whether two, three or four squad trainings are attended.

Appendix one
Below is a worked example of how discipline specific performances would be combined to provide an overall score from a field of twelve climbers.

At December’s selection days, some age categories may have more than twelve climbers and other categories fewer.


Climber

Speed time

Speed score

Lead rank

Lead score

Boulder rank

Boulder score

TotalScore
(S + L + B)

Final Rank

Vicki

9.1

8

3

39

2

42

89
1

Clare

10.5

7

1

45

6

30
82 2

Micah

8.7

9

5

33

3

39
81 3

Emma

7.7

10

4

36

5

33
79 4

Ella

8.7

9

2

42

8

24
75 5

Lily

14.9

3

9

21

1

45
69 6

Zoe

11.3

6

12

12

4

36
54 7

Danni

9.1

8

6

30

11

15
53 8

Freya

11.9

6

8

24

9

21
51 9

Chloe

12.4

5

10

18

7

27
50 10

Kate

10.2

7

7

27

12

12
46 11

Betty

10.4

7

11

15

10

18
40 12

 

 


 

The GB Climbing Team is supported by the BMC, Berghausthe Arch Climbing Wall and Rock Over Climbingand the GB Paraclimbing Team is supported by Birchall Blackburn Law. Many UK walls also support the British Climbing Team through free or subsidised entry.

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5
1) Anonymous User
10/03/2017
Finally, some transparency. Proof the YCS means nothing to older age groups and top 5 in 2 national comps...that clearly isn't the case for the 2017 squad.
2) Jon Garside (author comment)
10/03/2017
Glad you welcome the transparency.

All current squad members attended a selection day in December where they demonstrated their abilty to join the squad. That was the ultimate test, it you like.

To have two top five places in the national comps listed was not asked of current squad members and is not being asked of any future squad member.

The guidance provided here regarding two top five places in the national competitions listed simply identifies a direct route to December's selection, not a direct route to the sqaud - obviously.
11/03/2017
Thank you for a clear and helpful explanation of the processes involved in selection for the development squad selection days.
This will be helpful for the young climbers who have ambitions for selection and for us as parents in deciding which events to help them attend .
The clearer you are and more transparent the process the more confident everyone can be in the resulting decisions. The whole process can then be fair and (equally important for confidence) , be seen to be fair.
Thanks to all who put this together .
4) Anonymous User
07/08/2017
Hello, could i please ask when the online application for this will be available?
08/08/2017
Hi there, could you tell me when the online application will be available for this event? Many thanks :)

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