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Categories serve two purposes: they

  • provide a ranking independent of other categories, and
  • define which boulders are available for participants in the respective category.

If you create a new competition, there will be two categories by default: "Female" and "Male". If this is left unchanged, both will not have finals and they will share ascent counts in case of dynamic evaluation (meaning if one person from the "Male" category tops a boulder, it will be worth less points in the "Female" category as well.)

In case you don't want the ranking separated by groups, you can reduce the number of categories down to one. Although, a competition is required to have at least one category.

If there are more than one category, participants must choose a category during registration. With only one category present, all participants are automatically assigned.

The competition results will show the participant's category and it every category will have their own first, second, third place ... and so on.

A boulder needs to be assigned to at least one category. Every participant will only see boulders of their respective category on their ticklist. It is not possible to tick off boulders from separate categories.

Category settings


A category has two name fields, one for the English name and one for the German. Depending on the browser setting and the website language, either one will be displayed.

Separate ascent counts

Since a boulder can belong to more than one category, the question arises whether we want to count all ascents across all categories when calculating the boulder value - or whether we want to have independent values for each category for this boulder.


Separating ascent counts only applies in dynamic evaluation. There's no way to set a boulder's points for each category individually in static evaluation mode.

Generally, it is a good strategy to have categories share ascent counts if one of the categories has a low number of participants. In that case, a more precise boulder value calculation can be achieved by counting all ascents across categories.

However, if there are enough1 participants in all categories there is no good reason to link the calculation of boulder scores between the categories. After all, there is a separate ranking for each category, so the bouldering scores should be unaffected by each other as well.

The boulder value calculation can be switched from 'separate' and 'shared' and vice-versa during a running competition.

How separate ascent counts are determined

In general, all ascents of a boulder in all categories are included for its value determination, excluding ascents in categories with separate counting.

For a boulder in a category with separate ascent counts, only those ascents done in this very category are counted. If the boulder is also available in another category, those ascents are not considered.

In the following example, we have three participants and two boulders. Both boulders are available in every category. Each person participates in a different category and tops every boulder. Category C has separate ascent counts (denoted by *) and Category A and B share their ascent counts.

Category A Category B Category C*
Boulder 1 ✅ ✅ ✅ *
Boulder 2 ✅ ✅ ✅ *
Participant 1 Participant 2 Participant 3
Category A B C*
Boulder 1 Top Top Top
Boulder 2 Top Top Top
Boulder 3 Top Top Top
Category A Category B Category C*
Boulder 1 2 2 1
Boulder 2 2 2 1

Has finals

This checkbox determines for which categories there will be finals after the qualifying.

If it is checked, the form for managing the final participants will include participants from those categories. They cannot be selected otherwise.

Furthermore, the category list on the competition detail page will show which cateories will have a final:

So if the final ranking table doesn't include a particular category or if you cannot find participants from a category, make sure that the checkbox is checked.


Easy & Difficult

In a competition with two difficulty levels, boulders of higher grades are assigned to the Difficult category, and those of lower grades to the Easy category. Medium grade boulders are assigned to both categories and it is specified that at least one of the two categories has separate ascent counts. In this way, boulders that are considered the easiest in the hard category and are therefore topped particularly often are not devalued in the easy category.

Men & Women

In a competition with categories for different genders, all boulders are assigned to both categories. However, the ascents of a boulder are recorded separately by category. This means that a boulder climbed more often in category A than in category B is worth less points in category A than in category B (although it is the very same boulder).

The following example shows why it can lead to bad experience when ascent counts are not separated:

Two women manage to top exactly the same number of boulders with one exception: each of them tops one boulder that no other woman could top and thus has only one ascent in the women's category.

If in the men's category, however, one of the two boulders has been climbed more often than the other. The men's performance and their bouldering preference now defines which of the two women performs better in the ranking (although both showed exactly the same performance in their category).

  1. Unfortunately, I cannot tell you how many participants are enough to warrant a separate ascent count calculation. You just have to try and experiment a bit.