Competition Overview

Ninja competitions are the perfect way for athletes to test the endurance and techniques they have gained from training various obstacles. Today we will focus on the general structure around most ninja competitions starting with where to find them! This fundamental understanding will help coaches prepare athletes for their first ninja competition.

Ninja competitions are similar to track meets. Competitions can feature many different events or scoring formats. We will cover these differences in a later section. Today we will focus on some commonalities found across all ninja competitions.

  • Athlete ID
  • Waiver
  • Registration
  • Rules
  • Warm Up
  • Run Order

Athlete ID

Each competitor who competes in the World Ninja League is assigned a unique NinjaWorks Athlete ID. This six-digit ID allows you to register for competitions, and allows all of your competition results to be tracked together. Also, every individual who wants to complete the WNL Coach Certification process needs their own NinjaWorks Athlete ID.

Each time you register for a WNL competition, you’ll be asked to provide your NinjaWorks Athlete ID as part of your registration information.

You’ll also be asked to provide your NinjaWorks Athlete ID when you sign the WNL Waiver at the start of the season.


The safety standards obstacle competitions is always increasing. Better equipment, training and resources provide a comfortable environment for athletes to train the obstacles they love. Regardless, all sports can be dangerous and even lead to serious injury or death in extreme circumstances. It is important athletes obey all posted and articulated safety rules.

All athletes must fill out a liability waiver to verify they understand the risks involved before competing. Additionally, our waiver covers sharing competition images, results and videos.


Athletes can register for a competition once they have located their Athlete ID and completed their waiver for the recent season. Currently registration for all World Ninja League competitions are handled by individual organizations. However, all sanctioned competitions and their registration links can be found in the compete tab on our main site.

When viewing the compete tab you may notice a lot of different options available. We cater to a wide variety of regions and skill levels. We will cover the different competitive tiers, competition levels and ninja formats in a later section. For now, we will primary focus on the waves and divisions found on an individual competition page.

Ninja competitions typically group athletes into different waves based on the number of athletes registered for a competition.

Typically one wave consists of all the athletes from a single division.(more on divisions next) However, it’s possible single wave can contain athletes from multiple age divisions.

Similarly a single division at large competitions can be spread out between multiple waves. This helps consolidate the time athletes and families need to be at the competition!


Athletes are grouped into different divisions based on their age and gender when scoring competitions. Some ages are offered the opportunity to compete in a few different divisions depending on the level of competition they are seeking. An athletes age in determined by the league wide cut off date of Jan 1st. The athletes age On or Before this date will determine how the league places them.

The below table indicates the different divisions and their corresponding ages:

Division NameAge
Kids6 – 8
Mature Kids9 & 10
Preteens11 & 12
Teens13 & 14
Young Adults15 – 17
Elite15+ (No Tier 2)

Note for simplicity and readability we combined male and female divisions for all age groups but each age group has it’s own male and female division. For example Kids Male is one division and Kids Female is a separate division.

Understanding Waves and Divisions will help ensure athletes are registered to compete at the right time.


Competitions typically request athletes arrive 30 mins prior to the wave start time in order to check all athletes in before they start competition rules. Sometimes, competitions make a rules video available online but its more common to see in person rules. We recommend reaching out to the competition if you are unsure we what the expectation is for rules or check-in times.

Regardless of how rules are communicated, competitions rules are given by course ref prior to the competition. The rules will cover things like the obstacles in the competition. We will cover different competition rules as we progress through this training. For now it’s only important to know the two ways rules may be communicated to athletes.


The competition referee(ref) is the official who watching the competition closely to ensure that athletes follow the rules of the competition.

Warm Up

Typically athletes and their certified coaches are invited to the warm up area after rules are communicated. Athletes will have a few mins to warm up before the line manager will start bringing athletes to compete!

Line Manager

This competition staff member title is given to the individual verifying the right athletes are competing at the right time. They typically use a tablet to assign the next athlete to the competition timer.

Run Order

Any ninja competition you attend will feature a “run order”. The run order is the order athletes are assigned to compete. The athletes first in the run order will compete first! In most cases, the run order is completely random. However, certain larger competitions order athletes to compete based on past performance. We won’t cover these more complex run orders here. This section is intended to cover competition basics!


That concludes this section. At this point, you should feel comfortable with the basics of competitions. You should know what an athlete ID is and where to find it. You should be able to explain what the waiver covers and what competition waves, divisions and rules are. Finally, you should know the most common practice for creating run orders.