The Australian Ninja Open is coming back

The COVID-19 pandemic was a difficult time for the entire world, and the ninja community was not immune.

It meant leagues like us had to scramble to adjust to constantly changing border statuses and manage a great deal of uncertainty.

For the first time in its history, the NCL did not hold an NCL Finals in 2020 and in 2021 we were forced to hold separate events in each state as we were unable to bring our community together.

One of the rare bright spots for the Ninja Challenge League was the creation of the Australian Ninja Open.

A fresh approach to team ninja competition, it aimed to bring the same level of fairness that most professional team sports seek to achieve in terms of talent distribution.

In other team ninja competitions, a group of elite ninjas who train together could simply team up and the results could be fairly one-sided (has there ever been a stronger collection of talent than the Peninjas circa 2019?).

To address this, we took a common mechanism in team sports and applied it to the sport of ninja: a draft.

Instead of the top ninjas being free to create a “super-team”, the top ninjas would be distributed amongst the teams, yielding combinations of athletes that might never have even trained together, but knew each other by reputation alone.

The original intent of the Australian Ninja Open was to serve as an alternative format to the NCL Finals in 2020, as we were unable to hold qualifiers for much of the year and, as the name suggests, the Australian Ninja Open was open to anyone.

Unfortunately, we were unable to proceed with this original version, but in 2021, with the smallest of field of Finalists in our history due to the closed borders, we incorporated a scaled-back version of the Australian Ninja Open into the NCL Finals 20-21.

It was one of the most fun experiences we’ve had, seeing the drama of a live draft and the bragging rights doled out as teams progressed through each round.

You might be asking, if it was so great, how come you haven’t done it again?

For the past two seasons, our focus has been on re-establishing the momentum we had before the pandemic and re-establishing our core league and NCL Finals as the premier ninja event in the nation.

But with that achieved – participation rates are the highest they’ve ever been in our youth divisions – we are revisiting this exciting format and are working on bringing the original vision of a national field of competitors to life in the future.

Until we can make a formal announcement around this, we wanted to give you a chance to experience the inaugural Australian Ninja Open to get a sense of what the format looks like.

To that end, we have edited the livestream to remove the gaps in the action and present it in a series of four episodes, making it publicly available for free for the first time.

We hope you enjoy and look forward to giving you a chance to participate soon!

Episode 1: The Draft + The Relay Round

Episode 2: Knockout Round – First Match

Episode 3: Knockout Round – Second Match

Episode 4: Championship Round

© 2024 Ninja Challenge League | Website Design by Twymedia