For an introduction to Climbing Reimagined start HERE.
As we navigate into the gateway of a brand-new climbing based sport, several questions arise. These early steps will focus on the broad strokes, but as the details emerge, the finer points will come into light.
For Phase 2 of Climbing Reimagined the focus will be on the following.
- Who will be competing?
- What will a season look like?
- Where will the teams be based?
Who will be competing?
Ideally the inaugural season would include 12 teams of 10 climbers, thus bringing 120 climbers into the new world of professional Climball1. Teams will also include ownership, staff, coaches, and trainers. All serving in their professional capacity with a goal of bringing home a championship trophy at the end of the season.
Player salaries and contracts will be negotiated and determined based on expected values/margins of league revenue and worth. Team salary caps will be instituted to ensure equity among competing teams.
What will a season look like?
Like most pro sports leagues The National Climbing Association2 (NCA) will have a regular season to determine seeding, and a post season playoff to determine the league champion. There will be two conferences divided among teams based on proximity. Each team will compete against every other team in the league one time, and then play the teams in their conference a second time, thus totaling 16 matches per season.
After the first 8 matches, fans will vote their favorite climbers into an all-star game to be held at the arena of the first-place team. After the final 8 matches the top 4 teams from each division will qualify for the playoffs.
The playoffs will be a single loss elimination tournament culminating in a match between the winner of each conference. The winner of the final match will be crowned NCA champions.
The season will run from the beginning of December through the end of February in what is widely considered to be the outdoor rock-climbing off-season.
Where will the teams be based?
Now, of course all of this is hypothetical, but I would imagine that teams would be based in and around popular climbing destinations. This goal would have several advantages, especially bringing in fans who not only know and appreciate the sport of climbing but may also have personal relationships with some of the climbers themselves.
I’ve tentatively created 12 original teams, with the goal of expansion to 16 teams for season two. Team names and mascots should harmonize with the location and personality of their home court.
The original 12!
The teams we are looking at for expansion include the Seattle Grind, the Squamish Yettis, the Fayetteville Sasquatch, and the Wisconsin Bluff.
Our league is taking shape, the broad strokes have been made, and coming soon are the finer details of a new sport, a new league, and a new way to look at the sport of climbing.
- Climball is a place holder and not yet a settled name.
- NCA is a place holder and not yet a settled name.