The Northern California YCL is a top-rope and bouldering competition league.

The competition season runs from January through the beginning of March. Climbing gyms throughout Northern California host competitions, and competitors attend five competitions. Competitors must attend at least four out of five competitions in order to qualify for league standings at the end of the season. The Championship event finishes the season in early March.

Ages and Categories

All young climbers between the ages of 7 and 18 are welcome to compete in the YCL. Teams and individuals who are not formally coached are also welcome. Competitors are broken into the following eight categories:

Boys: ages 7-9, 10-12, 13-14, and 15+
Girls: ages 7-9, 10-12, 13-14, and 15+
Competition Format and Rules

Competitors are given three hours to complete two top-rope routes, three boulder problems, and one speed climb.

Which routes/boulder problems the competitor tries is up to the competitor, and he/she can circulate freely throughout the gym to find ones that suit his/her abilities and styles. The competitor is allowed three tries per route/boulder problem, but must wait his/her turn for each attempt. Competitors, parents, coaches, and volunteers will belay, as long they are belay-certified by the host gym. Competitors, parents, coaches, and volunteers will also judge competitors. Initials of two different judges (on the scorecard) are required for each ascent/attempt. The speed climb is one specific route that all competitors are given two back-to-back attempts on during the three-hour period. The speed climb must be belayed by an adult gym-certified belayer.

Each route/boulder problem has a point value written at the starting hold. A competitor is awarded the total points for completing a route/boulder problem only if he/she is demonstrating control at the top and final hold(s).

Competitors are allowed to watch each other climb and get beta from each other as well as from coaches. All protests or problems must be voiced within five minutes of the incident. Unsportsmanlike conduct by a competitor, coach, or parent will not be tolerated and will result in dismissal from the event.

Scoring and League Standings

Individuals are awarded points for each climb. At each competition, after the climber's age group has climbed, scores are tallied and ribbons are awarded for first through fifth places. All scores are entered into a database of overall league scores in order to determine the season's individual and team winners. The scores from the Championship event count for double that of a regular competition event. Based on overall average score for the season, trophies are awarded to the top three individuals in each age/gender category and to the top three teams.