Plywood Masters

We would like to say a big than you to everyone that competed or supported which made this our biggest and best Plywood Masters to date.



Results can be found on our blog, by clicking here

Check out the 2020 gallery and live stream below


Live Steam





What is plywood masters?

The Plywood Masters is one of the most long-standing bouldering-only competitions in the UK. The first event was held back in 2003, when Boulder UK Blackburn first opened. The Plywood Masters is much more than just another bouldering competition; it is a community event, where new and experienced climbers have the opportunity to climb alongside some of the biggest names in indoor and outdoor climbing in the UK.

The problems are also set by two very experienced and legendary route setters, Ian Vickers and Jamie Cassidy; both have an impressive route-setting CV, having set at numerous national and international competitions. With Ian and Jamie setting, this event has become renowned for its basic pulling and outdoor-style of problems that you just don’t find at other climbing competitions.

Finally, the Plywood Masters event is also well-known for having a fun, friendly Lancashire atmosphere and now that we have settled into our new premises at Walton Summit, it is about to get even bigger and better!

So why don’t you come down and experience this great event for yourself by entering this year’s competition.



The format of the qualifying round is based on the standard bouldering league format, with problems to be attempted within a set time period with no isolation. The semi-final and final has an isolation period and problems are to be attempted on-sight, with a set number, sequence, climbing period and rest period.


All rounds

  • Each problem has a predesignated starting position, consisting of two fixed positions for both hands and optionally two fixed positions for both feet. Starting holds will be clearly marked.
  • The finishing hold will be clearly marked.
  • A bonus point will be awarded for holding a specified hold in a controlled manner. This hold will be clearly marked.
  • Brushes may be used by competitors to clean holds that may be reached from the ground.
  • Other holds may be cleaned by competitors as long as there is no tactile inspection of the holds.
  • Only starting holds may be held before making an attempt at a problem.
  • An attempt is successful when the finishing hold is held controlled with both hands.

Qualifying Round

  • There is no isolation for this round. Competitors may watch and communicate with others.
  • Competitors mark their own score card. Any cheating will be dealt with in an incredibly embarrassing way for that person.
  • Competitors are allowed three attempts on each problem.
    • first attempt is worth 10 points,
    • second attempt is worth 7 points,
    • third attempt is worth 4 points.
    • holding the bonus hold is worth 1 bonus point.
      • This point does not get added to the score but is a tie break if competitors are tied on points. I.e. if a competitor flashes 18 problems and gets a bonus on problem 19 then they will have 180 points and 19 bonus points.
  • A technical incident is defined as; a broken or loose hold, or any other occurrence that results in a disadvantage or unfair advantage to a competitor, which is not the result of an action on the part of the competitor. The problem must be repaired and the competitor allowed another attempt on the problem.
  • After the qualifying round the competitors shall be ranked according to the total number of points scored.
  • The top 20 male and female competitors will progress into the semi-final.


The semi-final round will follow the standard 5 on 5 off format. (Click here for link to documentation)

Final Round

The final will be the same format as a final in a World Cup bouldering competition with the rules set out on the IFSC (click here for link to documentation)


competitor categories

Senior Male: ages 16 +

Senior Female: ages 16 +

Male veterans: ages 45 – 59

Female veterans: ages 45 – 59

Super veterans: ages 60 +


provisional Schedule


  • Saturday 22nd February:

Doors open: 8:30am

Registration for qualifying session 1 opens: 9am

Qualification session 1: 10am-1pm

Registration for qualifying session 2 opens: 1:30pm

Qualification session 2: 2:30pm-5:30pm


  • Sunday 23rd February:

Doors open 8:30am

Isolation for semi-final opens-closes: 9am-9:30am

Semi-final: 11am-1:10pm

Isolation for Final opens-closes: 2:30pm-3pm

Final: 4pm-6pm



Senior male and female:

1st place: £1000

2nd place: £500

3rd place: £250

4th place: £125

5th place: £75

6th place: £50

There will be product individual prizes for the top 3 places in the vets 3 categories.




If you have a really good reason for not participating, then we invite all our customers to come and join us on Sunday 23rd to watch the semi-finals and finals where you will get to see some of the best climbers in the UK battle it out for the title of the Plywood Master! It is free to come along and watch the event and there will be food and ale available to purchase too. The centre will be closed to everyone except competitors for the qualification sessions on Saturday 22nd.

Please note the centre will be closed for public climbing on 22nd, The centre will be open to the public on Sunday at a reduced entry price to climb of £5 due to areas of the wall being closed for the competition. These will include the La Sportiva competition wall and the steep board and skip area at the far end of the centre, which will be used for isolation..