American Ninja Warrior: Ninja vs Ninja (formerly known as Team Ninja Warrior) Season 1 is a new spin-off of American Ninja Warrior airing in spring of 2018 on USA Network. The 16-episode season premiered on March 1st, and is expected to run weekly until the completion of the series. An announcement regarding if American Ninja Warrior: Ninja vs Ninja will be renewed for Season 2 in 2019 has not yet been made. This show is the replacement for what would have been Team Ninja Warrior Season 3.
The competition features 36 different 3-person teams (two men and one women) who compete head to head against each other. Unlike the normal American Ninja Warrior TV show, in Ninja vs Ninja the teams and competitors are racing side by side at the same time on a specially designed course. To generate more excitement, the course has been designed so that in one or two spots, the competitors paths may cross or they may run into each other, adding another element of strategy as ninjas might be reaching for the same grips or trying to avoid collisions.
With the new name of the show, the rules have also slightly changed. Each episode will feature 4 teams, with 2 different teams facing off in the first two rounds. The winner of those rounds will race against each other in the final round of the night. That winner will advance to the playoffs at the end of the show, while all of the other teams who lost go home. This is a change from last year where you still had a chance to advance even if you lost your first round.
In addition, the relay and point system has been tweaked. This year, within a round, there will be up to 5 races between the teams. The first team to 3 points wins. Each race is worth a single point. The first 3 races will have a single ninja taking on the front half of the course (the first 6 obstacles). If no team has 3 points at that point (they would have to win all 3 races to do so), there are up to 2 more races in that round. The final 2 races in the round are relays, with each member taking on 2 of the 6 obstacles.
For the final matchup of the night (between the 2 teams that won their first round), the course extends to a full 9 obstacles. Besides that, the rules are the same for the final round – each race is worth 1 point, the first 3 are solo ninjas, and the last 2 rounds, if needed, are relay races.
Full details about the playoffs at the end of the season are still to be announced.