When Season 12 of American Ninja Warrior returns on September 7th, expect to see some changes to the format for the season, first reported by American Ninja Warrior Nation. Due to the global pandemic, the show was not able to film across the country, cancelling the LA filming days before it was scheduled to take place. Instead, the production team quietly assembled 150 ninjas to film the entire season in a two week period in St. Louis. As a result, Season 12 will have only eight episodes, and a modified format – featuring four qualifying rounds, two semi finals rounds, a finals, and then a bracket/playoff style competition on the Power Tower. The winner of the final Power Tower competition will win $100,000.

American Ninja Warrior Season 12 2020 Qualifying Rounds Format & Rules

The first four episodes will be qualifying rounds, which will be a six obstacle course. From each episode, the top twelve ninjas will advance to the the semi-finals. Unlike a normal season, hitting a buzzer in the qualifying round does not guarantee your advancement to the next round. If more than twelve ninjas hit a buzzer in an episode, then the fastest twelve ninjas who completed the course will be the ones who advance. In addition, the top three ninja women from each qualifier advance to the semifinals.

The one new twist comes with the “ninja teams”, or “ninja groups”. 50 of the ninjas competing were invited by producers – and each of them in turn invited two other ninjas, completing the group of 150 ninjas in the season. The top two ninjas in each qualifier will compete against each other in the Power Tower. The winning ninja on the Power Tower then has their two teammates move on with them to the semifinal round, even if they weren’t one of the fastest twelve ninjas (or fastest three females).

American Ninja Warrior Season 12 2020 Semi Finals Format & Rules

The next two episodes will be the semi final rounds, which will be a ten obstacle course. Somewhere between 48 and 62 ninjas will compete in the semi finals. The top twelve ninjas from each semi final episode will be the ones who advance to the next round, the finals. In addition, the top two ninja women will advance to the finals.

American Ninja Warrior Season 12 2020 Finals & Playoff Format & Rules

The final two episodes will be the finals, and a playoff-style bracket on the Power Tower. The finals course will be 10 obstacles. The fastest 8 ninjas from the finals will advance to take part in the head to head races on the Power Tower. Whichever ninja ends up winning the Power Tower tournament will win the season’s top prize of $100,000 for the season.

Curious which ninjas you’ll see competing in Season 12? You can check out the list of Season 12 competitors here.

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