April Fools’ Day: Moving holds to be used in the World Cups

The International Federation has just announced that moving holds will be allowed in the World Cups during the 2018 season. This is the first time such holds are permitted in an official competition and marks a huge change in the nature of the sport.

Adam Ondra during La Sportiva Legends Only 2011

In a surprising announcement, the International Federation confirmed this morning that route setters will be welcome to use “non-fixed holds, such as ropes, rings, balls or spinning bars” in official international competitions, starting this season.

It will be up to the route setters to decide whether or not to use that kind of holds and they will be limited to a maximum of two moving holds per round. “We do not want to alter the sport radically, this will be just a small change to make competitions attractive to a wider audience“.

An Olympic medalist in the making

Officials stated that most competitions will be exactly the same, but perhaps we will get to see a spectacular, Tarzan-inspired move during the final. “Imagine a spinning bar as a top, it doesn’t get more exciting than that“. It looks like this season will be the testing ground and that more changes will be coming soon. “If this works as well as we expect, the future is wide open: moving holds, moving walls, team climbing…

Route setters seem to be on board, “this is truly refreshing and it frees our imagination, we will create very special problems, slabs won’t be boring anymore” said a Chief Setter. “This is the most natural way of climbing, monkeys grab moving branches all the time, I see this as coming back to the true nature of the sport” added a colleague.

Climbers seem to be divided, while some welcome the decision “climbing needed this, we must accept that the sport won’t grow without adding some tv-friendly flavor to the comps“. Others are more skeptical “first triple dynos, then run-and-jumps and now this. And I bet some of those balls will be dual-texture, f** this s**t” said a two-times World Champion.

So far only 4 examples of moving holds have been given (ropes, rings, balls and spinning bars) but the rules won’t limit setters to that. A World Cup organizer said “it will come down to what we can hang from the ceiling. As we saw at the BIFF, adding bigger elements such as refrigerators can really spice things up“.

The Olympic Council seem to be ecstatic about this decision “climbing is all about dynamic movement in a 3-dimensional space, there is no need to restrict it by using only fixed elements“. This new development seems to open exciting possibilities for the Olympic games of Paris 2024 “now that climbers will be using rings, we can envision a truly combined format, adding elements of gymnastics to the competition“.

A potential final problem?

Finally, if you made it this far, let me clarify that this whole article is nothing but an April Fool’s Day joke. It’s all good! No moving holds in the World Cups! Not now… not ever?


  1. Shouldn’t have chickened out at the last minute. Otherwise very good, well done.

    • AngelPalacio says:

      Hahaha you are right, I totally chickened out XD
      I was envisioning emails from the federation saying “your careless joke hurt the image of the sport, therefore you will not be granted any more press passes, EVER! MUHAHAHA”
      At least the article is quite long, so hopefully some will have their blood boiling by the time they read the disclaimer.

  2. Didn’t they have a moving volume in Munich ;-)

    • AngelPalacio says:

      ha, yes, moving volumes, breaking volumes… but they should move/break for all the climbers!

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