Encyclopedia of Sport: Every sport from around the world

Rope Climbing

Rope Climbing is a sport in which competitors climb up a vertical rope using their hands only. The fastest to the top of the rope is the winner.

Rope climbing has been part of the Olympic Games on several occasions as one of the gymnastics events, but it has not been on the program since 1932. Currently, there is a regular rope climbing competition at the World Police and Fire Games, and competitions are held in the Czech Republic where national competitions on the 8 meter rope have been held since 1993.

The length of rope used for competition has varied a little. Early last century, competitive climbing events in the USA were regularly held on both 20 ft and 25 ft length and 1.5 inch diameter natural fiber ropes. At the Olympic games, competitors climbed a 25 ft (7.62m) rope, or the metric 8 m (26.3 ft) rope was used.

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The usual starting position is with the participant seated on the floor. Stopwatches can be used to time the climb, though nowadays an electronic timing device is used for competitions.

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