IM Bouldering League

League Starts Winter 2022

In lieu of our annual climbing competition, the Climbing Center has partnered with Intramural Sports to offer a 6-week bouldering league! The bouldering league implements a handicap system that levels the playing field so newer climbers can remain competitive with the more experienced. Details are below.

(deadline: TBD)

For information on creating or joining a team, please visit the Intramural Sports website.


The 6-week Intramural Bouldering League (IMBL) is a team competition.

IMBL is broken into 2 parts, a 4-week "regular season" plus a 2-week single-elimination playoff for the top teams.

During the regular season, participants will climb eligible boulder problems for points whenever the wall is open. These points will be used to establish a team leaderboard, updated weekly. The #1 placed team at the end of the regular season will be crowned the regular season champion and the team will receive a prize package from the Climbing Center.

The 2-week playoff will put the top 4 teams from the regular season into a bracket and will compete against one another with winners/losers determined by that week's team-points. The team that wins the 2-week playoff will be crowned the IMBL Champion which comes with a championship t-shirt, social media fame & major bragging rights.

The remaining teams that don't make the playoff will still be able to compete amongst themselves. The highest scoring team for each of the last 2 weeks will win a small prize!


  • Teams must be comprised of 4 students
  • IMBL is an open league. There is no male/female specific categories
  • Teams may contain climbers with mixed experience levels
  • To best enjoy the IMBL, participants should be able to complete bouldering problems at the V1 difficulty


Each participant's handicap is used to determine their weekly points.

Handicaps are based on our gym's Hueco (V-scale) grades. Each participant's handicap is established based on their V-max grade. The V-max is the hardest grade you can regularly complete in a single session, even if it takes a couple tries. This is not necessarily the hardest grade you onsight (climb first-try w/o previous knowledge) and is certainly not the route you projected for 3 weeks and finally sent with a fair bit of desperation, with a good night's sleep, having skipped lunch, on a low-gravity day, after meticulously brushing each hold, and warming up to the point of maximum skin friction. The V-max IS the route that might take you a couple tries if it's difficult to visualize or contains a hold-type or route style that doesn't play to your strength.

Handicaps will be established by the Climbing Center staff/ League officials based on the climbs completed during the first week of the season. 

League officials reserve the right to adjust participant's handicap for reasons that include but are not limited to: lowballing the first week or more likely, becoming a better/stronger climber. If it is determined that a handicap should be adjusted, it will be done after the week's scoring is completed. 

Routes and Ratings

Eligible climbs will span from V0-V8 and will be marked with a special tag, indicating it's part of the league

V-grades will NOT be posted on league routes. Instead, special tags will include a route number for documentation purposes and a color-coded range to allow participants to gauge appropriateness for their ability. Ranges will be as follows:

  • V0-V2: Teal tag
  • V3-V5: Green tag
  • V6-V8: Purple tag

Climbing Center staff will know the difficulty of each climb for scoring purposes, but it's intentionally left off the route to encourage participants to always try their best. Do not ask the staff what the route grade is. It will only end in disappointment.

Each week, our team of route setters will set 9 new boulder problems, 1 at each V-grade from V0-V8. 2x V0 climbs will be set during the first week out of fairness to the participants with a V1-max handicap

Climbs will be available for 2 weeks but maximum point values will only be awarded during the week a route is new.

In order to maintain a full wall of climbs for non-league climbers, boulder problems may occasionally remain on the wall longer than 2 weeks. However, it will only be eligible for league points while it has a league tag

Scoring Points

Typical competition rules apply for completing a climb. Specifically:

  • Climbers will gain points by completing a route without falling. 
    • Climbers must start on the hold(s) indicated by the tape, use only the rocks/ features indicated, and show control on the finish hold.
  • Hands cannot leave the start hold(s) until the entire body is off the ground. Static starts only (while touching start holds, cannot jump off the ground to higher rocks)
  • Natural chips embedded into the wall and features like cracks are off-limits unless specifically taped or indicated as "on" at the start hold.

Climbs can only be completed for points once per week. i.e. if you complete route #13 three times, you will only get points for it once. It may be climbed again for reduced points the following week.

A flash bonus of 5 points is in effect. i.e. if you complete a climb on the very first attempt, you get bonus points!

There is no deduction for falls.

After the first week, eligible routes may be re-climbed for a point reduction off the full-value.

  • All week-old climbs receive the reduction, whether a participant completed it previously or not.
  • A flash bonus will still apply to week-old routes. For example, if you don't attempt a route one week because it looks too hard or were out of town but try it and flash it in its second week, flash points will be added to the reduced value.

Climbs may be attempted for points at any available climb-time (open climb, FIT 128, Vertical Earth, or private groups, etc.)

Calculating Team Points

The points for each competitor's 3 hardest climbs for the week will be totaled. 

The 3 participants with the highest scores on their team will have their totals summed to form the team's weekly point total. The 4th participant's score is not counted that week. 

During the last week of the regular season, if there is a tie for 4th place overall, the tie-breaker will be determined by the points of the 4th team-member for that week.



V-Max (-2)

V-Max (-1)

V-Max (Handicap)

V-Max (+1)

V-Max (+2)





































Full Points






Flash Pts (+5)






Week-Old Pts (-3)






Week-Old Flash (+2)






Making Sense of the Points Chart


  • If your V-Max (handicap) is V2 and you climb a new V2 (not a flash), that gets you 100 pts
  • If your V-Max is V6 and you climb a new V6, that gets you 100 pts
  • If your V-Max is V2 and you climb a week-old V2, that gets you 97 pts (3-point reduction from full-value for being a week-old)
  • If your V-Max is V4 and you climb a V1, that gets you 0 points, try harder
  • If your V-Max is V2 and you climb a V4, that gets you 120 pts! For being such a boss, it also gets you audited for a handicap adjustment

Tracking Weekly Scores

Participants will be provided a log sheet to track their climbs each session. The log should be turned in to a Climbing Center staff member before leaving

IM League officials will log the climbs and maintain an official leaderboard each week. The Climbing Center will also strive to maintain an on-site leaderboard for reference