Our sport requires a lot of volunteers. I know if you’re a non-climber, it can be very intimidating to raise your hand in order to help out at a local and even more so at national and beyond. As someone who has judged at the national level, I have to say, that despite the pressure to get things right, it sure is a lot of fun to get involved.
Training required volunteer positions (high quality necessary to ensure youth safety and fair competition):
No training volunteer positions
• Runner (coordinates the movement of climbers from place to place)
• Scorecard runner (runs… scorecards)
• Iso monitor (monitors… isolation)
• Iso check-in
And of course, our super stars, who do gym venue coordination, social media, judging and management, scorekeeping, etc.
Volunteering is also a great way to get to know people in our awesome community, local parents as well as parents from around the country through volunteering. We really do have something special in our sport.
If you’ve spent time wondering why we need so many volunteers (even though registration seem spendy), check out the article below.
In part, this is because climbing competitions involve a new, unique “field of play” every time:
Most other sports use the same standardized, unchanged fields/venues over and over. Although these fields/venues require maintenance, it isn’t many thousands of euros to build the “field of play” each and every event. Climbing comps require a large route setting crew and 6-7 days of shutting down all/part of a revenue-generating climbing gym, followed by a competition in a sport requiring serious liability insurance for the gym and Cyprus Climbing.
Most other sports don’t have the human resource requirements either. The entire onsight format depends heavily on having iso run properly, and well-trained judges to make fair and clear assessment of a climber’s achievement. To run a fair and safe comp for 50 competitors, that respects the effort that our climbers have put into training, requires almost 50 slots to be filled, nearly a 1:1 ratio. In comparison, a swim meet for over 200 competitors at an 8-lane poll needs less than 15 volunteers + officials; a soccer tourney with 200 players requires 20-40 volunteers + officials. A climbing competition therefore requires 5X to 10X the number of volunteers as these other sports. While other sports can have a small fraction of families helping at the competitions, youth climbing events need to have most families involved in at least one volunteer role.
The quantity of volunteers is partially driven by the need for coverage — to ensure volunteers have the ability to watch their climber, and their climber can be watched. It’s important that they can briefly step away from their assignment to watch, while still ensuring a level of consistency in judging. The number of slots are sized to allow this coverage, and to meet the standards of quality and fairness expected.
That’s a quick outline of some reasons why the climbing comps require a registration fee AND require heavy volunteer participation from the parents. A reasonable expectation is that each climbing family provides at least one volunteer in each of the bouldering and sport seasons.
Thoughtful planning of judge pairing so that volunteers can watch their climber, as well as putting less experienced judges with experienced judges, requires time. The earlier the signups are filled, the earlier that process can start.
The reality is: