YCS 2023 Rule Change

Scotland Talent Squad eligibility for YCS – ClimbScotland Decision

In response to the change made by GB Climbing (and BMC) to the ‘eligibility’ rule in a revised 2023 version of the Youth Climbing Series (YCS) Rules, which allows the England (and also indicated Scotland) Talent Squad members to compete at that competition, Mountaineering Scotland undertook an internal assessment of the impact of this change on our pathway followed by a parent and athlete online survey and consultation meeting. We would like to thank all those who took part in whatever way in this consultation process.

As the governing body of Sport Climbing (competitions) in Scotland, it is Mountaineering Scotland’s responsibility to manage the Scottish athlete performance pathway and the associated range of competitions we organise (and those that are part of the pathway in the UK we operate with other UK NGB partners).

Mountaineering Scotland is committed to being athlete-centred and intent to deliver upon that in partnership with sportscotland & the Scottish Institute of Sport (SIS). ClimbScotland recognises the role of competition in the development of athletes but against the backdrop of a broader set of developmental experiences athletes may go through as they navigate the pathway. Our approach therefore is to develop a pathway system and structure that fosters coherence across environments and between athletes, parents, practitioners, and coaches. Equally, we will aim to have greater levels of integration through time; meaning, each stage of the pathway both domestically and on an international level are mutually supportive. The GB dimension, and the potential for Scottish athletes to compete at an Olympics means that in the course of supporting climbers who wish to do so we need to strike a delicate balance between what is age and stage appropriate and presenting the right level of challenge at the right time. Underpinning these principles of development is a need to safeguard athletes through ethical coaching practice, professional judgement, and decision making. We will therefore ensure coach development processes closely align to the needs of our athletes.

Following our assessment of the impact of the proposed changes by GB Climbing and taking into account the feedback both from the online survey and from the consultation meeting we are proposing the introduction of the following rule to the YCS series in Scotland.

“Scotland Talent Squad athletes (2023) in Youth A and Youth B categories (*Junior athletes do not take part in the YCS) will not be eligible to compete in the Scottish YCS unless it is deemed appropriate for their performance development.”

As part of our athlete-centred approach we will judge individual athlete needs in making decisions regarding this rule on their 2023 competition performance in relation to their Individual Athlete Development Plans, alongside coach reports. In order to do this we will operate the following formal process prior to the 2023 YCS:

  • STS Members wishing to take part in the YCS should submit an application to Mountaineering Scotland
  • Applications will be reviewed by a ClimbScotland Panel

Application form

Please download the Application Form, complete it as fully as you can and send it to  Jack Davis (Talent and Pathways Officer).

The consultation meeting also raised some other issues regarding the selection, and support available, to athletes at other tier levels and we will be reviewing these with sportscotland and the Scottish Institute of Sport in time for implementation in the 2024 season. Any changes made may affect the Mountaineering Scotland Squad Selection documents, which will be available soon.