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Dumb Gym Rules

Original Post
Pete G. · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2017 · Points: 0

So I was at a gym today with my 7yo son. We were bouldering. An employee of the gym came up to us as said "No one under the age of 16 can boulder at this gym." My reply was "He is under my supervision. He is not doing anything crazy or dumb. Why can't he boulder?". I was told "Its a rule of the gym".

I have seen some pretty dumb gym rules in my time but this one takes the cake.

FrankPS · · Atascadero, CA · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 275

Here is a thread just for you, so you don't have to start your own!

https://www.mountainproject.com/forum/topic/116562185/ridiculous-climbing-gym-policieslets-hear-them

Bagel Sendwich · · Presidio Heights · Joined Oct 2019 · Points: 0

Some gyms are adult only, and quite popular. I prefer them this way--when its crowded, I find them safer. There's usually another gym option in most cities that allow children.

Will McCarthy · · Bend Oregon · Joined Jan 2017 · Points: 0
Pete G. wrote:"No one under the age of 16 can boulder . . ."
Empirically, that just isn't true. Whippersnappers!


Han Kim · · Seattle, WA · Joined Mar 2018 · Points: 0

Thank god for that rule.
 
You were not supervising him 100% if you were also bouldering. Safe thing to do in a bouldering gym is not always obvious, and kids (and even adults) can be major hazard for themselves and others.

Let's say I'm setting up for a dynatic traverse move. Your kid, who WAS under your supervision until you got on a route just 5 seconds ago, gets excited (or bored) and take couple steps back onto my fall zone, which isn't obvious since my fall zone maybe far from straight down in a sideway dyno. Kids are often not attentive enough to consider the full surroundings. That's a bad situation right there. And if you had the misfortune of having bouldered in a crowd gym with kids you'll likely have experienced this exact situation - kids literally running beneath your fall zone while you're pulling a crux move.

Now if you weren't bouldering, and if only the kid was bouldering I would say it's a bit unfair.  I'm also not accusing you or your son of the behavior described above. But rules don't apply in individual basis, and a blanket rule banning kids make perfect sense in a smaller, more confined gym.

Edit: There's a legal dimension too. Say I fall from 20ft onto a 18 yrs old. We're both messed up but the gym can point to our waiver in defense. Which may still not save the gym from the liability. But let's say I do the same to a 7 yrs old. Holy shit that's a nightmare. First off the injury would be far more severe. Also who signed off the kid's safety? The parents/guardians I suppose if the gym even let them do that. But I imagine there's limits to what a parent/guardian can sign off.

Bagel Sendwich · · Presidio Heights · Joined Oct 2019 · Points: 0

No kids—smart rule.

Trust me, if you fall on a toddler—you’ll get sued. (With the statute of limitations about 2 years after they turn 18)

Joshua Hunt · · clinton, ut · Joined Dec 2013 · Points: 0
Han Kim wrote: ...kids literally running beneath your fall zone while you're pulling a crux move.

Sounds like a great reason to dig deep and complete the crux move

Pete G. · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2017 · Points: 0
Han Kim wrote: Thank god for that rule.
 
You were not supervising him 100% if you were also bouldering. Safe thing to do in a bouldering gym is not always obvious, and kids (and even adults) can be major hazard for themselves and others.

Let's say I'm setting up for a dynatic traverse move. Your kid, who WAS under your supervision until you got on a route just 5 seconds ago, gets excited (or bored) and take couple steps back onto my fall zone, which isn't obvious since my fall zone maybe far from straight down in a sideway dyno. Kids are often not attentive enough to consider the full surroundings. That's a bad situation right there. And if you had the misfortune of having bouldered in a crowd gym with kids you'll likely have experienced this exact situation - kids literally running beneath your fall zone while you're pulling a crux move.

Now if you weren't bouldering, and if only the kid was bouldering I would say it's a bit unfair.  I'm also not accusing you or your son of the behavior described above. But rules don't apply in individual basis, and a blanket rule banning kids make perfect sense in a smaller, more confined gym.

Edit: There's a legal dimension too. Say I fall from 20ft onto a 18 yrs old. We're both messed up but the gym can point to our waiver in defense. Which may still not save the gym from the liability. But let's say I do the same to a 7 yrs old. Holy shit that's a nightmare. First off the injury would be far more severe. Also who signed off the kid's safety? The parents/guardians I suppose if the gym even let them do that. But I imagine there's limits to what a parent/guardian can sign off.

Just to be clear, the rule is not that your kid can't be in the bouldering area. It's just that your kid can't be on the wall.  It's dumb. My son still got to watch me boulder the whole time. And he got to rope climb. He just couldn't boulder. 

This happened yesterday morning (Saturday) at about 11 AM. There were maybe 10 people in the entire gym. I like taking my son at this time because it is empty and less dangerous. This is a gym in the suburbs, it probably makes more money off birthday parties, kids classes, and kids comps than actual memberships. So you regularly have kids running all over the place. When classes are being held generally one 18yo "Coach" supervises 6 kids. When its busy, I feel like the employees don't enforce the rules because its too hard. Kids are running all over the place. But it's easy to enforce though when the gym is empty.

As far as the liability thing goes, two words for you. Swimming Pools. Kids die every year even in shallow pools but the lawsuits generally get tossed out because the family signed a waiver saying that children must be accompanied by a guardian. Think about every hotel with a swimming pool in it. There are no lifeguards, just a couple of signs. How many kids ever die bouldering in a gym? I have never heard of it happening. It probably has happened once or twice but not enough to be a liability risk.
Tradiban · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2004 · Points: 11,605
Brad Gobright · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2017 · Points: 5

1. I can’t skip the first clip that’s a few feet lower then the top of the bouldering wall.

2. I need to hold the gri gri a specific way

3. I need six inches of tail on the figure 8

Then I go to the boulder area where I’m doing dynos thirteen feet off the ground with six year olds running underneath me.

amarius · · Nowhere, OK · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 20
Brad Gobright wrote: 1. I can’t skip the first clip that’s a few feet lower then the top of the bouldering wall.

In a typical modern gym mats in bouldering areas and roped climbing areas are designed to a different standard, build to different standards, costs vary quite a bit. Bouldering mats are pretty much installed by a dedicated crew while roped can be put by whoever.

Tradiban · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2004 · Points: 11,605
Brad Gobright wrote: 1. I can’t skip the first clip that’s a few feet lower then the top of the bouldering wall.
Couple possible reasons for this:
-Flooring is different in lead area from the bouldering area.
-Allowing skipping provides a bad example, people think it's ok to skip other clips.
-Second clip is higher than the bouldering wall


2. I need to hold the gri gri a specific way
Generally the manufacturers instructions on how to use a device makes the most sense.

3. I need six inches of tail on the figure 8
The line needs to set somewhere, one inch isn't enough, 6 maybe too much, but really gyms should require the barrel knot for visual verification purposes as discussed in the other thread.


Then I go to the boulder area where I’m doing dynos thirteen feet off the ground with six year olds running underneath me.

Dynos are banned for safety reasons. I'm going to have to ask you to leave the premises.

Logan Peterson · · Santa Fe, NM · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 95

Pete, if you are one of the parents who adequately supervises their kids in the gym, I thank you. The rule wasn't made for your kid, I'm sure.
I once visited a gym in SLC with a kid ban in the bouldering area, and found it quite liberating to not have to scan the mat below for stray children. To be fair, most kids at my local gyms have decent situational awareness, but it only takes one who doesn't for a tragedy to occur. I've had several close calls with tots--followed by tense exchanges with their disinterested parents.
Please understand that I don't favor kid bans out of hatred for kids. I favor them because I maiming a child would ruin my day, and killing one would ruin my life.
I doubt it will be long before most cities of any size have multiple gyms--some which cater to families, and others that don't. Not sure how I feel about this impending gym saturation, but it should help with your situation.

Pete G. · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2017 · Points: 0
Logan Peterson wrote: Pete, if you are one of the parents who adequately supervises their kids in the gym, I thank you. The rule wasn't made for your kid, I'm sure.
I once visited a gym in SLC with a kid ban in the bouldering area, and found it quite liberating to not have to scan the mat below for stray children. To be fair, most kids at my local gyms have decent situational awareness, but it only takes one who doesn't for a tragedy to occur. I've had several close calls with tots--followed by tense exchanges with their disinterested parents.
Please understand that I don't favor kid bans out of hatred for kids. I favor them because I maiming a child would ruin my day, and killing one would ruin my life.
I doubt it will be long before most cities of any size have multiple gyms--some which cater to families, and others that don't. Not sure how I feel about this impending gym saturation, but it should help with your situation.

Again, the ban was not that kids couldn't be in the bouldering area. This gym allows that. It was that kids can't boulder. My son was with me the whole time in the bouldering area. They just wouldn't let him climb.

Dante L · · Seattle · Joined May 2015 · Points: 15

Shit in my gym all the 5 to 10 year olds are campusing all the V10's -- Hell yea ban those kids...

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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