Competition speed climbing as governed by the International Federation of Sport Climbing takes place on 10m or 15m artificial walls. Competitors climb a slightly overhanging IFSC certified wall, with belaying from the top. Since 2007 the IFSC has created a standard wall for the world record. The holds and order are always identical, and the difficulty rating is around F6b, which is a level most recreational climbers could complete.

The climbing time is determined by mechanical-electric timing (the competitor strikes a switch at the top of the route). As of 12/09/2014, Ukrainian climber Danyl Boldyrev holds the men's 15 meter speed world record; 5.60 seconds. Iuliia Kaplina from Russia holds the women's 15-meter speed record at 7.53 seconds.

Speed climbing World Champions 2016 are Marcin Dzieński from Poland (5.83 seconds) and Anna Tsyganova from Russia (7.52 seconds). IFSC Climbing World Championships took place in Paris, France.