I am back from coaching at the SCS Midwest Divisional climbing competition this past weekend in Cincinnati. Overall my team did well and I was really proud of how all the kids did. We even had a few kids make it to Nationals which is awesome.
Overall the way the comp was run was a bit underwhelming but coming from someone that has helped run a comp like this before it is always easier to be negative about these sorts of things. Despite some issues with the routes (qualifying routes being way too easy for some divisions leading to several superfinals after many kids fell at the some spot during finals) and the incredibly long wait for results on Sunday the comp was in general very fun to watch. I would have liked to do a bit more coaching but due to not being a perfect disciple of USA Climbing regulations I was barred from being in ISO with the kids.
In general I am not a big fan of the atmosphere that is being created by many of the people running these SCS comps. I think climbing more so than other sports is one to be enjoyed competing with yourself although I am not against competitions as a rule. However, each year these youth comps becomes less and less about climbing and more and more about parents needing to have their kids be better than somebody else’s kids (and not necessarily because their kid is a better climber). The past 2 years that I have been at these comps I have observed many instances of parents constantly looking for ways to DQ other kids or looking for ways to get over on the convoluted USA Climbing rules system so that their kid can advance to the next round. The level of narcissism on display is hard even for me to comprehend. Thankfully, this problem is more or less isolated to a certain segment of our division and while it’s really unfortunate to see this sort of activity happening I am happy that this is not the sort of problem that plagues my team or many of the other teams.