The National Ninja League has announced several rule changes & additions in preparation for their upcoming Season 6, to take place in the fall of 2020 & spring of 2021. Several of these are based on competitor feedback, while others are changes due to the global pandemic
National Ninja League Season 6 Schedule
The schedule is due to start being released over the next few weeks. However, For Season 6, the RNL & NNL will run simeltanously. The Rec Ninja League will be from September – November, with regionals in early December. The National Ninja League season will run from September through February 2020.
Regional Qualifying & World Championship Qualifying
For Season 6, more focus will be on regional qualifiers. The plan still is to have a world championship if conditions allow, but it is not a guarantee. The goal would be to return to a large convention style event for world championships for Season 7 in 2022. That will not happen for Season 6. If a world championships event can happen, it will be scaled back, with only the top 3 competitors from each division (top 2 for elite) from each regional advancing to the world championships. The top 3 ninjas from each division (two for elite), will advance from the regular season competitions to regionals. Ninjas WILL be allowed to qualify and compete in multiple regional competitions.
New NNL Elite Division
The National Ninja League is adding a new Elite division for Season 6, open to anyone ages 15 & over. Any athlete may opt into the Elite division – it is not based on your performance in previous seasons or previous world championship events. The elite division will now have the biggest prize money. However, rather than the other divisions where 3 athletes per division will advance to regionals or world championships, only the top 2 athletes will advance. Additionally, the Elite division is now the only one where athletes are required to leave the course after they fail an obstacle. Finally, once you pick your division for the season, you remain in it for the entirety of the season.
New Coaching Certification & Requirements
NNL is instituting a new rule that during youth runs, the only person allowed on the floor is the ninja’s certified coach. In addition, for the youth, only the certified coach (or referee) can request a video review.
The cost of the coaching certification is around $50, and NNL is saying that there is little to no profit margin built into the price – most of the money goes towards the 3rd party conducing the background investigation.
The NNL has stated the goal of the coaching certification is to align the sport with others, like gymnastics, that have similar coaching requirements. The end goal is to protect the athletes, with a large portion of the training related to preventing abuse before it happens.
The certification can be taken by anyone 18 & over, even if you aren’t a coach at a ninja gym. This means parents can be the certified coach of their own child.
National Ninja League Pro Series
The rollout for the pro series is temporarily on hold
Ninja Pro Tournament
Every Friday night, there will be a live streamed head-to-head tournament between hand-picked ninjas pros. There will be 8 male ninjas and 8 female ninjas involved in the tournament. Each week 2 ninjas will compete head to head, taking part in competitions & events virtually against each other from their home gyms. More details will be released in the coming weeks.
Completing the Course After Failure
For Season 6 and onwards, both the the adult & masters divisions can now complete the course after their first obstacle failure. The Elite division will still end runs after the first failure.
Skills Competitions During Regular Season
Gyms will now have the option to host skills competitions alongside the normal competitions during both the NNL & RNL season. The top 3 competitors from each division (2 for elite) will advance on to either the regional or world championship events.