How Does the Series Work?
As climbers travel from competition to competition they will accrue individual points. These points are tallied throughout the season. After the final event, the male and female climbers with the most points win. In addition to our individual race, team points are awarded to colleges/universities based on category placing. Again, after the final event, the team with the most points wins.

How does NC3 Scoring work?

Categories are no longer pre-selected by competitors prior to each event. Categories are determined solely on how each competitor scores. In order to make that possible, each event uses a pre-determined category score break formula to determine the score range for each category. This formula is (the five highest scoring problems + flash bonus for all 5 problems) + 10% of the first sum. We do use actual grades to create those score breaks. They are as follows:


Women’s Men’s


V5 on up V6 on up




Recreational Up to V2

Up to V3

These are bouldering grades on the V scale, and the few events that have rope routes are allowed to determine their own category grades on the YDS scale. This may all seem very confusing, but in reality is a fair, hassle-free, and efficient process. Here is an example of how the Women’s category score breaks could be determined with a 50 point flash bonus per problem:

Category Top 5 Scoring Problems For Each Category Total Flash Bonus 10% Score Break
Advanced 1195 1180 1165 1150 1135 250 608 6683
Recreational 990 975 960 945 920 250 504 5544

If a competitor scores above 6683 they are in the Open category, between 6683 and 5544 they are in the Advanced category, and below 5544 they are in the Recreational category.

Individual Points
At each event a climber will accumulate points for each route that is completed, and those scores will be recorded on their scorecard. The climber with the highest accumulated score in his/her respective category wins. At the series level, points are accumulated based on a climber’s overall event score regardless of category. First place receives 100 points, second place 99 points, third place 98 points, all the way down to 1 point which repeats until all eligible climbers have received a point. These points are awarded for each gender. Easy enough, right? While it’s more advantageous for a climber to attend all the competitions, it is not required. If a climber attends more than five NC3 events, their top five point values will determine their final NC3 score (the max score is 500).

Team points
Team points are awarded within the three categories for both genders. First place in each category receives 10 points for their school, second receives 9, and so on. However, only the top two finishers from each school score points. When a school has a third (or more) climber  in that category, they will not earn team points and those points will be awarded to the next eligible climber and team up to the 15th place. Just as with the Individual Points, only a team’s top five NC3 event scores will determine their final NC3 score.

Event Format
The series has established a basic format. It should be noted that each event is given the ability to add “House Rules” to their format. Visit each hosting school’s website
to find out more on an event’s house rules. Also, be sure to consult the score card and listen at each event’s rules meeting. The premise behind this bare-bones formatting is to preserve or promote competitions that reflect the climbing culture of the area hosting the competition. The easiest way to understand the concept for NC3 formatting is to reflect on your typical experience in a climbing gym. Routes are labeled with a grade, or in our case a point value, which is assigned to that climb. As climbers we all strive to finish a route on the first try, in other words redpoint the route. Follow this concept and you will fair well at each of the events.

Within the NC3, two formats for judges are allowed; staff-judge and self-judge. In a staff-judged competition, the event will provide judges. These judges are trained in both the series-wide rules and any site specific rules as well. Self-judged competitions are essentially the same principle as staff-judged; however the competitors are required to observe each other as witnesses of an ascent.

NC3 Rules
1. Judges have final say on all rulings.
2. A competitor must be established on the start and finish to be awarded full value.
3. If there is a technical difficulty with a route (e.g., a hold spins or breaks) and the climber may return to the ground immediately to retry that route without penalty. If the climber proceeds past the diffi-culty and falls later in the route, they forfeit the opportunity to try without penalty.
4. Unsportsmanlike conduct will not be tolerated. If a student is removed from the competition, they will be dropped from the NC3 and 100 points will be deducted from his/her school’s overall NC3 score.
5. If a climber dabs on the floor, pad-surface, spotter or an off-route hold, an attempt at the route is recorded and they are required to step off the route.
6. Spotters must be used for an ascent to count.
7. In order for a climb to count towards a competitor’s final score, there must be a judge/witness(es) signature.
8. Incomplete scorecards will not count, and the score will not count towards individual and team NC3 points.

Remember it’s all in good fun and the event coordinator’s rulings are final. When in doubt error on the side of good sportsmanship.



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