The Australian Ninja Open explained

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:

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to

© 2024 Ninja Challenge League | Website Design by Twymedia