I’ve recently got into bouldering and been watching a lot of world championships.

I understand how the “zone” hold is used when you don’t top a Boulder but I have seen a couple of things mentioned that I’m curious about.

  1. There was an appeal against someone getting the zone on their first attempt and it was moved to their second attempt. But they had topped the boulder anyway. So, does that change have any effect on them at all?!

  2. That same zone was mentioned because it was in an awkward position and they said they had to use it with their hand not their foot. What would happen if they topped the boulder without using the zone hold? Does that count against them?


If you get the top without the zone you get given the zone.

However in 1. if they topped it in their third attempt (say) then their score for that boulder would be

1 1 (1 top, 1 zone) 3 2 (3 attempts to get to the top, 2 attempts to the zone).

If I took 3 attempts to reach the top but reached the zone on my first attempt then I would be ahead of them on zone attempts which is the final tie breaker. This appeal would add 1 to their attempts to zone score overall.

For 2. No difference. There is some added risk in that if you fall off you will add to your zone attempts (or risk not getting the zone). However since getting the top will give you the zone it may be worth while if the zone is risky.

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