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Event update: QLD Youth Finals 2024

Posted on: July 23rd, 2024 by Mark Ravi No Comments

Bookings have now closed and the field is set for an exciting QLD Youth Finals 2024 at Urban Xtreme on Saturday, August 3. We can’t wait to see what our incredible athletes from QLD, WA and VIC can achieve on our challenging two-stage courses.

Below you’ll find the official run orders and a rough schedule for the day.

But before that, a quick refresher on the format for each stage and some other house-keeping matters:

Course rules & demonstrations:

Given the tight turnaround from my arrival to the day of the competition, courses and rules for each stage will be available on Friday, August 2 at the earliest. If we encounter delays, we may need to continue finalising filming of the demonstrations on the morning of Saturday, August 3.

We will publish the rules to our YouTube page and email you a link when they are ready, but be sure to subscribe to our channel just in case the email goes to junk or spam.

Athletes will be expected to have watched and understood the rules for each stage ahead of the competition – there will be no rules walkthrough on the day.

Stage 1:

In the first stage, competitors will face a speed course with a tight time limit, and must hit the buzzer to officially progress to Stage 2. If a competitor falls on Stage 1, their run will officially be over, but they’ll be able to attempt the remaining obstacles until their time limit expires.

If less than 10 competitors clear Stage 1, then unofficial runs will be given to the next best performing competitors until there are 10 runners in Stage 2.

Stage 2:

In the second stage, competitors will face a more technical, challenging course with a more generous time limit, with final rankings determined by furthest fastest.

Any unofficial runners will attempt Stage 2 first, followed by official runners.

If an unofficial runner fails on an obstacle on Stage 2, their run will be over and they will have to clear the course for the next athlete without attempting any remaining obstacles.

If an official runner fails on an obstacle on Stage 2, their run will officially be over, but they’ll be able to attempt the remaining obstacles until their time limit expires.

Results:

Live results for each stage will be posted on our website (we will share a link once it is available), but these will only be finalised after the conclusion of the event, to allow time for any reviews and challenges.

Schedule:

Run order:

Kids Division

  1. Henry Neill
  2. Lucas Tibaldi
  3. Edward Rafter-Sharpe
  4. Dominic Dows
  5. Callum Nagel

Mature Kids Division

  1. John Stanton
  2. Hartley Smith
  3. Julian Halsall
  4. Donovan Bennie

Pre-Teens Division

  1. Jett Woolnough
  2. Flynn Jones
  3. Dylan Cleary
  4. Theo Chambers
  5. Darcey Jenkins
  6. Quinn Healy
  7. Elliot Newman
  8. Isabella Allen
  9. Alison Szulc
  10. Christian Pitot
  11. Dominic Halsall
  12. Kobi Roberts
  13. Benjamin Dows

Teens Division

  1. Elsie Koch
  2. Miles Janes
  3. Zachary Willis
  4. Bailee Myers
  5. Lily Farley
  6. Stevie Klein
  7. Stephen Rogers
  8. Jai Whitby

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask – otherwise we’ll see you in just under two weeks!

All the best,

Mark Ravi
NCL Commissioner

The Australian Ninja Open explained

Posted on: July 1st, 2024 by Mark Ravi No Comments

With the field of NCL Finals competitors set, we can open up all remaining spots for the Australian Ninja Open to anyone born in 2011 or older – no qualifying required!

That’s right, as long as you have a 2024 NCL Membership and meet the minimum age requirement, you can sign up to take on Stage 1 of the NCL Finals to secure a spot in the Ninja Draft and be part of a team in the Australia Ninja Open.

Now, if you weren’t at the NCL Adult Finals in 2023, you might be wondering what the Australian Ninja Open is… don’t worry, we’re happy to explain it for you in a question and answer format.

What is the Australia Ninja Open?

The Australian Ninja Open is the Ninja Challenge League’s team competition format – a high-octane relay competition that requires strategy, skill and strength to succeed.

When is the Australian Ninja Open?

The Australian Ninja Open takes place alongside the NCL Finals on October 5&6, 2024. Stage One and the Ninja Draft will take place on Saturday, October 5, while the team competitions will take place after the conclusion of Stage Three on Sunday, October 6.

Where is the Australian Ninja Open?

This year’s Australian Ninja Open will be hosted at Geelong Ninjas in Victoria.

Do I sign up as an individual or as a team?

As an individual – as part of the Australian Ninja Open’s unique format, teams are formed as part of the competition itself.

What do I get with my Australian Ninja Open ticket?

An Australian Ninja Open only ticket guarantees you a run on Stage 1 of the Ninja Challenge League Finals course. If you finish in the top 90 competitors on Stage 1, you will join a team and you will be guaranteed a minimum of two team runs, up to a maximum of six team runs if your team makes it all the way to the championship round. More details on team selection and qualifying below.

What makes the Australian Ninja Open different from other team competitions?

What sets the ANO apart from other team ninja competitions is the way teams are formed. We’ve all been to team competitions where you show up to the event and one team is absolutely stacked with the best ninjas in the country who train together that almost always wins.

The ANO solves that problem by borrowing from a tried and true approach to parity used in most professional team sports (and fantasy sports leagues) – an athlete draft!

Instead of the signing up as a team, athletes enter the Australian Ninja Open as an individual and captains take turns picking ninja athletes to fill out their teams on the day of competition.

Using a snake draft system where the draft order reverses every round, it means if the captain chooses wisely, every team should have a fair chance at success – making for a much more fun competition.

It also means that each year of competition is unique – as teams will be different every year.

How does the relay format work?

The Relay Format sees four athletes from each team work together to defeat an eight-obstacle course.

The team captain assigns each athlete to a starting spot at the beginning of the 1st, 3rd, 5th, and 7th obstacles.

The athletes will attempt to clear their pair of obstacles in order and tag the next team member. Once an athlete tags the next competitor on their team, they cannot attempt any further obstacles.

If an athlete fails an obstacle, the next athlete in the order will have to make their way to the start of the failed obstacle from their starting platform and attempt to complete those obstacles in addition to their own until they reach the next athlete’s starting position.

If the replacement athlete also fails an obstacle, the next team member in the order attempts the obstacle until all athletes have failed an obstacle or completed the course.

Teams have to think carefully about where they place each athlete – do you put your best athlete at the end so they can bail out the rest of the team or do you put them on the obstacle they are best at regardless of where it sits on the course?

The relay format is about strategy as much as it is about strength and skill.

That all sounds a bit confusing, can I see it in action?

Absolutely! We promise it will make sense once you see it – here are some of our favourite runs from past events:

You can also check out the Australian Ninja Open 2023 or 2021 in full:

How many rounds will there be this year?

There will be a minimum of two pool rounds for each team, followed by four rounds of team vs team elimination matches using a bracket system:

How many spots are available?

We’ve set the cap at 150 total spots across the NCL Finals and Australian Ninja Open. With 80 NCL Finals competitors confirmed, there are 70 spots available for non-Finalists.

Do I automatically get through to the Australian Ninja Open with my ticket?

No, you’ll get a chance to earn a spot in the Ninja Draft by taking on Stage One of the Ninja Challenge League Finals – whether you’re a Finalist or not.

Then how many people get through from Stage One and how many teams will there be?

A massive 90 competitors! That includes team captains and four team members for a massive 18 teams! Of the 90 total spots, 18 are reserved for team captains, with the remaining 72 for team members. That means that more than half of the maximum number of competitors will be eligible to participate in the Australian Ninja Open.

How will the captains be chosen?

Last year, we made the top-performing Young Adults from Stage One captains as it was the first year they were included as a separate division. This year, we’re making the top-performing Masters Division athletes from Stage One the team captains.

There are only 13 Masters Division aged athletes in the NCL Finals, which means as of right now they will all automatically qualify for the Australian Ninja Open as team captains.

And if you don’t mind a bit of math, that means that five more Team Captain spots are available for automatic qualification for the Australian Ninja Open.

So if you’re turning 40 this year or are older, you have a pretty good chance of automatically getting through as a team captain for the Australian Ninja Open!

What happens if there aren’t enough Masters Division competitors for each team to have a captain?

Any shortfall in Masters Division athletes will be filled by the best performing competitor born in 1985 until all gaps are filled, and then in 1986, and so on.

Where can I sign up?

Through the NCL website, or right here: TICKETS

Where can I find more information?

Full details on the Australian Ninja Open 2024 are available here: https://www.ninjachallengeleague.com/australian-ninja-open/2024-australian-ninja-open/.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to contact@ninjachallengeleague.com.

State Youth Finals Update #1

Posted on: June 29th, 2024 by Mark Ravi No Comments

With the first State Youth Finals event just over a month away, it’s time for an update on the State Youth Finals series generally and to answer some questions we’ve received from parents.

Bookings

Firstly, orders for Finals t-shirts have been placed, so tickets that include a Finals tee can no longer be booked.

However, bookings for competition entry (no t-shirt) are still available until two weeks before each event or until the event/division sells out (full list of registration closing dates below).

Whether you have booked a Finals ticket plus t-shirt or a regular ticket at your local event, or haven’t booked a Finals ticket of any sort yet, you can now book a competition entry only ticket at any State Youth Finals event until bookings close.

You can attend as many events as you like – and we encourage you to travel to test yourselves against ninjas from other regions in lieu of a true national Youth Finals this year.

Last season’s Teens Grand Champion Jai Whitby will be doing just that – booking in for every State Youth Finals competition to test himself against the best Australia has to offer – we hope to see some of our best and brightest ninjas do the same.

Registration closing dates

Event format

The State Youth Finals will have a few differences from our qualifier events that you might be familiar with. The first difference is that each event will consist of two stages with different courses, instead of just one. Competitors will need to hit the buzzer on the first stage to progress to the second stage.

If less than 10 competitors in an age division clear Stage One, then as many non-finishers as needed to reach 10 competitors or half the total number of competitors (whichever is fewer) will advance to Stage Two for unofficial runs, based on furthest-fastest on Stage One. For example, in a division with 10 competitors, only three competitors clear Stage One. In this case, two competitors would be permitted to do unofficial runs to bring the total number of Stage Two competitors to half the number of Stage One competitors (as this is the lesser of 10 competitors and half the total number of competitors).

Unlike our qualifiers, each stage at the State Youth Finals will have a time limit, so competitors will not only have to beat the obstacles, but the clock too!

The first stage will be designed as a speed course with easier obstacles but a tight time limit. If a competitor fails an obstacle on the first stage, their official run will end, but they’ll be able to attempt the remaining obstacles until their time limit runs out.

The second stage will be designed as a technical course with harder obstacles to test the athletes’ strength and endurance. If a competitor fails an obstacle on the second stage, the competitor’s run will end and they will have to clear the course for the next competitor.

Unlike our qualifiers, the courses and rules will not be revealed until the weekend of the competition, as the NCL Commissioner will be overseeing the course set-up and design and will need to test and modify the courses when he arrives in town.

Courses will be uploaded to YouTube and sent out to competitors ahead of the competition.

However, unlike our qualifiers, competitors will not have a rules walkthrough, so must study the official rules video carefully to ensure they know the rules. We know this is a lot to ask for youth competitors on short notice, so rest assured we’ll be designing the courses/rules with this in mind and will make the rules as intuitive and easy to follow as possible.

Event schedule

The schedule for each event will be released after bookings have closed, but typically the order of operations would be as follows:

Medals/Prizes

Prizes and medals will be awarded to the top three overall competitors in each division at each event.

As we’re sure some of you have seen on social media, one of our major prize sponsors, OZIGRIP, has had an unfortunate setback with a fire at their factory.

As a result, the status of prizes from OZIGRIP for the State Youth Finals series is uncertain. This may result in no OZIGRIP prizes being awarded, or simply a delay in prizes being delivered.

Goodman Grips will be supplying prizes as normal.

World Ninja League Championships qualification

The 2024 World Ninja League (WNL) Championships just wrapped up in North Carolina last weekend, with some of Australia’s top ninjas smashing buzzers in the green and gold and placing highly against the world’s best.

If you want to be a part of the WNL Championships in 2025, the road to qualification starts at the State Youth Finals series. Each event will act as a qualifier for the 2025 World Ninja League Championships, with the top male and female competitors in each division earning an opportunity to don the green and gold and represent Australia on the world stage.

WNL Premier Series Qualifier

Earlier this month, we sent out invitations to some of our top ninjas to participate in the WNL Premier Series Qualifier being hosted at The Compound Training on Saturday, August 31.

We remind you that all queries about this event should be directed to Clem Vertigan at trainer@thecompoundtraining.com.au as we won’t have capacity to respond with our focus on the State Youth Finals series.

If you have any questions that haven’t been answered here, please don’t hesitate to ask.

All the best,

Mark Ravi
NCL Commissioner

Results: WA Ninja Challenge #3

Posted on: June 10th, 2024 by Mark Ravi No Comments

The official results for WA Ninja Challenge #3 sponsored by OZIGRIP and Goodman Grips at Ninja Academy Perth on Sunday, 9 June 2024.

Click the images to enlarge.

See how these results have affected the national leaderboard here.

Well done to all who participated!

Qualifying athletes will receive their official invitation to the NCL Finals 2024 via email and some of the top runners will be featured on our social media channels.

Results: NSW Ninja Challenge #3

Posted on: June 10th, 2024 by Mark Ravi No Comments

The official results for NSW Ninja Challenge #3 sponsored by OZIGRIP and Goodman Grips at OCR School on Sunday, 9 June 2024.

Click the images to enlarge.

See how these results have affected the national leaderboard here.

Well done to all who participated!

Qualifying athletes will receive their official invitation to the NCL Finals 2024 via email and some of the top runners will be featured on our social media channels.

New member of the NCL family on the way

Posted on: June 10th, 2024 by Mark Ravi No Comments

For the past eight years, the Ninja Challenge League has been my baby. I couldn’t be prouder of what the NCL has become in this time. I’ve poured hours and hours into helping it grow, adapt and thrive – juggling full-time work and my own training to do so. In many ways, the NCL has been my top priority for almost a decade.

This November, that is going to change. Summer and I are happy to announce that the NCL family will grow by one, when we welcome our son into the world.

This is something we’ve wanted for a long time, and we’re already looking forward to the day that our baby ninja steps up to the starting line for his first NCL competition (if that’s what he chooses to do!)

While we couldn’t be more excited, it will result in some changes to the NCL as we navigate this next stage in our lives.

In the coming months we’ll be asking for input from the ninja community to help shape the path forward for the league.

With your help, we’re confident that we can create a system where both the NCL – and our actual baby – can thrive well into the future.

Until then, we remain focused on delivering an amazing end to the 2024 season, so be sure to make the most of the opportunity to prove your moves at this year’s Finals events and the Australian Ninja Open.

All the best,

Mark Ravi
NCL Commissioner

Course reveal: NSW Ninja Challenge #3

Posted on: May 21st, 2024 by Mark Ravi No Comments

The official courses and rules for NSW Ninja Challenge #3 at Obstacle Course Racing School on Sunday, June 9 have dropped!

Check out the courses and rules:

Sign-ups close at midnight on Sunday, June 2 – so be sure to get your ticket before then to secure your shot at qualifying for the NCL Finals in Geelong this October, or the State Youth Finals series, being hosted at Ninja Kids Erina in August.

This is our last qualifier event in NSW this season, so be sure to secure your spot early so you don’t miss out on a last chance to qualify, earn points or win awesome prizes from Goodman Grips and OZIGRIP.

TICKETS HERE

Contact OCR School directly for information on when and how you can train the course ahead of the competition.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.

All the best,

Mark Ravi
NCL Commissioner

Results: SA Ninja Challenge #3

Posted on: May 21st, 2024 by Mark Ravi No Comments

The official results for SA Ninja Challenge #3 sponsored by OZIGRIP and Goodman Grips at SA Base Camp on Sunday, 19 May 2024.

Click the images to enlarge.

See how these results have affected the national leaderboard here.

Well done to all who participated!

Qualifying athletes will receive their official invitation to the NCL Finals 20

Results: QLD Ninja Challenge #2

Posted on: May 21st, 2024 by Mark Ravi No Comments

The official results for QLD Ninja Challenge #2 sponsored by OZIGRIP and Goodman Grips at Urban Xtreme on Saturday, 18 May 2024.

Click the images to enlarge.

See how these results have affected the national leaderboard here.

Well done to all who participated!

Qualifying athletes will receive their official invitation to the NCL Finals 2024 via email and some of the top runners will be featured on our social media channels.

Course reveal: WA Ninja Challenge #3

Posted on: May 14th, 2024 by Mark Ravi No Comments

The courses and rules have been released for WA Ninja Challenge #3 at Ninja Academy on Sunday, 9 June 2024.

Check out the courses and rules:

Sign-ups close at midnight on Sunday, June 2 – so be sure to get your ticket before then to secure your shot at qualifying for the NCL Finals in Geelong this October, or the State Youth Finals series, being hosted in WA by Ninja Academy on August 18 and in other states throughout the remainder of August.

This is our last qualifier event in Western Australia this season, so be sure to secure your spot early so you don’t miss out on a last chance to qualify, earn points or win awesome prizes from Goodman Grips and OZIGRIP.

TICKETS HERE

The courses will be available for training until the day of the competition, so contact Ninja Academy Perth directly for more details on coming in to train.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.

All the best,

Mark Ravi
NCL Commissioner

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