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Bouldering Wall Games


Games on the bouldering wall are fun and create interest. They can add to the value of the workout by creating an enjoyable atmosphere and usually extend the length of the workout. Here are a few games that can be played on a bouldering wall.

Game Title: Add-on
Teams of climber and spotter can play this game since only one person is climbing at a time anyway. Best if climbers of with similar ability are paired up. Begin by agreeing on the first two starting hand holds. The first climber gets on the wall climbs using the first two hand holds and adds in two more hand holds. Next the spotter trades places with the spotter who climbs the same holds and adds two more hand holds. All foot holds can be used. The moves can be marked by chalk, tape or memorized. Each time a climber completes the sequence he/she adds on another two moves. You can play "hands only" where any foot hold can be used, or specify both handholds and footholds. Continue to repeat this pattern until exhaustion. Great game for building endurance and memorizing sequences.

Game Title: Pointer
This is mostly a traversing game since it requires a partner to "point". The person designated as the pointer will use a broom handle or any pole to point out the next hold. The game begins as soon as the climbers feet are off the ground. The pointer taps the next hold. This should be timed so the next hold is tapped just ahead of the person climbing. A good pointer makes it challenging but not beyond the climber's ability. The game ends when the climber falls. The climber and pointer then switch positions. This excellent practice for developing your on-sight ability. A challenge to this game is for the pointer person / spotter to then climb the same route to see if it is in fact ‘climbable’.

Game Title: Memory
The first person points out a sequence of 4 to 10 moves. There are no markings placed on the wall. The second person has to climb the route remembering each hold. The value of this game is it teaches you to remember the holds in the route, making it an easier transition from preview to climbing.

Game Title: Take Away
Create a route of about 20 holds. Mark the holds with chalk marks. Each climber climbs the route. After each successful climb/traverse the finishing climber rubs out a chalk mark. If the next climber cannot climb/traverse it without falling the turn is passed to the next person. If no one can do it the original climber must prove it can be done. If he cannot do the move the mark is put back on.

Game Title: Bouldering Tag
Several people on a bouldering wall play tag. The first person is "it" and tries to climb to another person and touch them. The person being "tagged" then must tag someone else excluding the person just touched. The previous person earns a rest and can climb down until the next person is tagged. Greatly improves endurance/stamina.

Game Title: Dyno
Dyno stands for dynamic, where a climber jumps from one hold to the next with their body completely leaving the climbing surface. Place one or two foot holds and one or two hand holds. Place a large hold higher above the handholds. Each person takes turns "dynoing" to the hold. The dyno can be vertical, off vertical or even horizontal. Improves dynamic climbing.

Game Title: One Arm / One Foot
Two or more climbers decide on a sequence and attempt to climb it using only one arm (and both feet). This can be done as an add-on or take-away game. This game improves dead-point ability and greatly strengthens your arms/legs. The version of the game using one foot will greatly improve body tension and trunk strength. This game can be done where the teacher yells out a limb and the students then are not able to use that limb.

Game Title: Ringette Transfer
Designate a goal location either at the other end of the wall or a few sections down the wall, draw a line from top to bottom, the holds must be transferred to the other side of this line hung on holds (you could also attach a bucket or a hook to the wall for the rings to be hung on or put in). Person must climb back and forth from the pile of rings, taking one ring at a time to the goal location. This also makes players think about strategy, whether to go for the far away goals first or last. Improves Endurance, Strength.

Game Title: Round-About
One person is 'in'. They select a place with quite a few good holds. The other partner has to try to climb around then in circles while the person 'in' has to try to stop them by getting to the holds before they do. When the person goes for more than 10 seconds without changing a hand or foot they swap places.

Game Title: One Arm / One Foot
Two or more climbers decide on a sequence and attempt to climb it using only one arm (and both feet). This can be done as an add-on or take-away game. This game improves dead-point ability and greatly strengthens your arms/legs. The version of the game using one foot will greatly improve body tension and trunk strength. This game can be done where the teacher yells out a limb and the students then are not able to use that limb.

Game Title: Climbing Blind
Blind fold a climber. Start to climb by feeling with hands and feet all around the wall. See who can use the most holds, move the farthest without falling. Improves awareness and sense of touch for feet and hands.

Game Title: Get Dressed
Hang different items on the wall, or throw different pieces of clothing to the kids while they are climbing (hats, gloves, pants, shorts, jackets, shoes, pinnines, etc.) or even put them on the ground. The idea is that the climber must move from one area to another on the wall and whenever they come across a piece of clothing, or are thrown a piece of clothing, they must put it on! Try the same thing but now undressing. It is a great game to work resting positions and endurance.

Game Title: Dodgeball One Arm / One Foot
The game is where 1 person boulders from 1 point to another. Other people from a set distance throw a dodgeball at the climber. If a limb of the climber is hit then climber can no longer use that limb. If the climbers head is hit they lose. If climber is hit 3 times they lose. If climber falls they lose. If climber gets to the last point then climber wins. A spotter returns the ball to the throwers. Works strength, balance, and endurance. This game is similar to a dunk tank in that there should be one ball and some time between throws, not a barrage.

Game Title: Twister
Lay out a section of the wall just like a play field for the game "Twister" (™). It has the same rules as normal twister. Improves endurance and balance.

Game Title: Hoarse
Works with two or more people and is basically the same as the basketball version. The first person chooses a point to begin and a point to end. They then roll a dice to see how many holds they can use in between the starting and ending holds. If the first person completes their route then the rest of the players must complete it, getting letters for failure. If the first person doesn’t complete the problem, then it goes to the second person and so on. Training Value: strength, balance

Game Title: Lapping
This game includes many players as wanted. The first climber traverses across the walls and makes the most laps as he can. Then the second climber breaks the record of laps the first climber completed. If they do then they win, and if not, they lose. Training Value: endurance/stamina

Game Title: 4x4
Pick four routes you know you can do on the bouldering wall. Do each one four times, make a loop and see how many times you can do each one. Training Value Muscular Endurance.

Game Title: Time's Up
For as many players as desired. Start with a ten second time limit. First player gets ready, and a time keeper says when to go. The climber gets to as many holds as he/she can before the time keeper yells, "Time". Second climber tries to beat that number, (same path if you want to make it harder). If the climber does, he /she wins, that's the new goal. After everyone goes, end of round one, add time, start round two. Games continues until one remains, or everyone is tired. Training Value: endurance, stamina, fluidity, memory, recognition.

Works best with a maximum of four players. Find a route each of the players can do. The first player chooses a hold to take away. If you come off you have 3 chances. The first player then goes to the back of the queue and this goes on until there is only 1 player left or no holds left. Works best with fingery holds. Training Value: strength, perseverance.

Game Title: Shark Attack
This game can be played with as many climbers as you can fit on the wall. It is very similar to musical chairs. The climbers start in a circle in the middle of the floor facing inwards - when you shout "Shark Attack!" they must get onto the wall as quickly as they can. The last person on the wall is the looser. The looser is either out of the game, or "looses" an arm or leg. You can add many variations to this game e.g. climbers may not use legs, etc. A great game! Training Value: A bit of fun and competition!

Game Title: The Mystery Word
Each team is given a colour, students start all over the wall and climb to the notes that are their teams colour. Lifting the note reveals a question or answer. The student must then jump down and run over to their group to share the answer or question. The answer or question on the wall could be an expression or a phrase or an answer to a math problem that is on their group sheet. The students must then match the answer with the questions on their sheets. The items found might relate to Nutrition, Science, Math etc…

*These games have been provided to us by various climbers who likely found them on the internet, in books or made them up themselves, Rockcreation in no way wishes to take credit for the creation of any of these games.

If you know a good game please it to us so that we might add it to our list.