Sport climbing is a form of rock climbing that relies on permanent anchors fixed to the rock, and bolts placed on rappel and/or with cordless power hammer drills for protection. In contrast to trad climbing where the rock is typically devoid of artificial anchors for safety and climbers must place removable protection as they climb. The need to place protection is virtually eliminated and sport climbing places an emphasis on physical process of climbing and movement without the potential objective danger that might occur in a trad climb. Consequently sport climbing emphasises strength, endurance, gymnastic ability and technique over adventure, risk and self-sufficiency. For the majority of sport climbers sport climbing offers an easier, more convenient experience which requires less equipment, less in the way of technical skills (required to protect the climb) and lower levels of mental stress than trad climbing.

With increased accessibility to climbing walls and gyms more climbers now enter the sport through indoor climbing than outdoor climbing and the transition from indoor to sport climbing is much easier than the transition to trad climbing because the techniques and equipment used for indoor leading are nearly sufficient to sport climb (whereas trad requires significantly more in terms of techniques, experience and equipment).

On August 3, 2016, Sport climbing was added to the 2020 Summer Olympics program.