Safety • Consistency • Professionalism
USA Climbing competition belaying requires qualities above and beyond excellent belay skills. Competition belayers must provide a consistent and professional experience, allowing competitors to achieve success based on their abilities and preparation while never compromising the safety of our athletes and support personnel.
Belaying for competition is a specific type of belaying and is very different from recreational and outdoor belaying. Competition belaying demands a psychological and physical rigor that is unique to the sport. Belayers are challenged to perform consistently for every climber while at the same time, every climber performs differently. Every belay is its own unique experience.
Over the years we have developed a world-class cadre of experienced and professional belayers that have formed a strong community within the greater USA Climbing family. Belayers are critical to the success of speed and lead/top rope events and integrate closely with a variety of competition roles including judging and routesetting.
National Belay Coordinator: ty hardaway
USA Climbing has six levels of Belayers; Level 1 Local Belayers –– through Level 6 Head National Belayers.
There are two pathways:
Most belayers advance from Youth Series Qualifying Events through higher level Championships and some ultimately work Elite Championships. Many rising belayers serve as Assistant Head Belayers under veteran Head Belayers.
Level 4 Belayers, Head Judging Officials, and Youth and Collegiate Coordinators may endorse belayers for Level elevation.
Competition Belay Handbook
Competition Belay Handbook Companion Video
Belay Volunteer Guide
Belay Interest Form
National Belayer Roster (Public)
Belay Plan Template
Belayer Evaluation Form
Belay Video Archive
Belay Clinic Materials
American Alpine Club – Belaying
IFSC – Daily show: is it stressful being a World Cup belayer?
IFSC – World Climbing Club #8
The Climbing Doctor – Injury Prevention – Belayer’s Neck
Climbing – How to Inspect Your Climbing Rope
Climbing for Women – What Does It Take to be a Belayer at National Level