Yank-N-Yard: The USA National Cup kicks off in New Mexico

The first stage of the USA National Cup Series is taking place in Albuquerque, New Mexico, at Stone Age Climbing Gym. Many of the best competition boulderers in North America are taking part and the final will be streamed live in a few hours (5.50 pm, UTC-6).

In the final, we’ll get to see crushers like Alex Puccio, Sean Bailey, Brooke Raboutou, Nathaniel Coleman, Kai Lightner, Kyra Condie, Carlo Traversy, Sierra Blair-Coyle or Maya Madere.

You can check the starting order for the final here.

Live scoring here.

This year the National Cup will have 4 events:

  • October 20-21, 2017: Yank n’ Yard; Stone Age Climbing Gym; Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • November 10-11, 2017: Battle of the Bay; Dogpatch Boulders; San Francisco, California
  • December 15-16, 2017: The Violet Crown; Crux Climbing Center; Austin, Texas
  • January 5-6, 2018: Southern Grit; High Point Climbing Birmingham; Birmingham, Alabama

Here you have a couple of videos from the qualification round:


  1. Interesting scoring. Compared to IFSC scoring, ‘bonus’ holds (5, 10, 15 points) are more important than number of attempts (-0.1 pts) and two 15 pts bonuses are worth more than one top (25 pts)…

    • AngelPalacio says:

      Yeah, they are using the Cup to try this new system. I like the fact USA Climbing is always trying to innovate and come up with a better scoring system. Personally, I don’t like systems in which the top is not the most important criterion. But I haven’t thought too much about this system. What do you think? Do you like it? In my ideal world there wouldn’t be any “zone” holds, just tops and attempts (but without a “zone” hold and just 4 boulders you risk having a lot of ties).

      • I’m not sure at the moment if I like it (more than IFSC or previous US scoring) or not ;)
        But probably this are the (dis)advantages:
        — numeric scores in 0–100 range are probably more clear for general public than e.g. ‘2t7 4b14’, even if you don’t know how it is calculated (same ‘problem’ as in e.g. decathlon, but probably nobody really cares). At the same time for insiders IFSC scores are probably more informative, or at least in US you need more time trying to figure out e.g. how may tops have someone reached with a final score of 54.6 (unless you look at the individual problems).
        — similarly, collecting points (5, 10, 15, 25) in US is clearer than collecting tops, bonuses and ‘discollecting’ attempts in IFSC scoring. Although attempts are important in both systems, in US they only break ties if two climbers has collected exactly same (basic) points. So you only count total no. of attempts in US, while you must do it separately for tops and bonuses in IFSC, which is more complicated. Put it another way, in IFSC you produce rankings by sorting on four criteria (tops, attempts for tops, bonuses, attempts for b.), while in US you only need two (basic points, attempts).
        — contrary to IFSC, number of attempts is not really important in US, i.e. in IFSC score of 2t3 2b3 is better than 2t4 4b4, in US second one is much better. So persistence (lot of attempts) is less penalised in US than in IFSC, which is probably good, but maybe too extreme (one point would probably be a better choice than 0.1 pts, e.g. 5 pts hold in 1st attempt would be equally worth as 10 pts in 6 attempts).
        — probably most important is the question of fairness: as you can see at http://www.usaclimbing.org/scoring-and-results/results.htm?CEID=112 in some cases the two systems would produce different rankings, e.g. on places 5 and 6 in women’s finals or 7 and 8 in men’s finals. And I’m not sure which ranking is more ‘fair’, as though in a second case I prefer to see Traversi with two flashes in front of Lightner with 2t5…
        So I guess the best solution would be to join the two systems and make some ‘fine tuning’…

Speak Your Mind