UNAA Rules for the 2023-2024 SEASON 9
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Are listed at the bottom of this page.
New or Adjusted Rules are in Bold.
This guide helps summarize UNAA rules and guidelines so that UNAA Gyms and members have an easier time knowing the key points to being in the UNAA!
Area Qualifiers will be held by all UNAA (Ultimate Ninja Athlete Association) qualified gyms at dates of their choosing based upon scheduling availability with UNAA. Each Area qualifier will advance the TOP 3 OR 50% of each class, whichever is Greater.
Regionals will advance the TOP 3 or TOP 20% from each class to World Finals. UNAA requires that all gyms who are accepted into the UNAA abide by our rules.
One big change for Season 9, is UNAA no longer has the $25 Membership fee. From now on , when you sign up for a Competition , the entry fee includes the membership/participant fee. So from your first comp going forward, it will track all your comps and points in Ninja Master for the Leaderboard and qualifying! We are looking forward to an incredible Season 9. And Now EVERYONE who competes has a chance to qualify!!
Ninja Gym Competition Format
In order to be considered for an Area Qualifying gym, each gym must have a minimum of at least 7 of the following obstacles: Please note that this list can be updated at any time.
Quintuple Steps, Salmon Ladder, Double Salmon Ladder, Lache Bars, Rope Climb, Rolling Log, Cliff Hanger, Unstable Bridge, Warped Wall, Rock Wall, Floating Doors, Rope Swing, Jumping Bars, Pipe Slider, Peg Board, Balance Tank, Cargo Net, Devil Steps, Ring Toss, Jumping Spider, Swing ladder, Body Prop, Rumbling Dice, Spider Flip, Door Knob Grasper, Flying Bar, Spider Climb, Grip Junction, Invisible Ladder, Pole Graspers, Balance beam, Slack Line, Silk Sliders, Balance steps, Wing Nuts, Flying Squirrel, Ring Hop, Spinning log, Balance bars, Fidget spinners, Flywheel, Dragon Back, Board hopper, Ring Hopper.
Gyms are expected to have a waiver, insurance and an acceptable level of safe and padded fall areas.
Each Area Qualifying gym may create their own course using between 10 and 15 obstacles total. All gyms MUST use Ninja Master Scoring system. www.ninjamasterapp.com and MUST use Ninja Master REGISTRATION. Here is the link for Details: registration system
Ninja Master info– set up instructions NO additional Cost to add Registration.
The Reason: to better manage the scoring and leaderboard. With over 100 gyms entering in athletes, misspelled, nicknames, wrong names…etc, it became too difficult to track. By using Ninja Master REGISTRATION, it is a simple click of a button after setting up your event. Then ALL athletes register and are automatically entered into the competition, NO manual entries needed. This eliminates mistakes and coordinates all entries through one uniform system. Once again meeting Ninja USA requirements.
ALL gyms MUST have at least ONE Coach from their gym take the UNAA Ninja Coach Certification. This will INCLUDE the Protect Youth Sports child safe program. We are trying to make our sport as safe for our kids as possible and this is one way we can be sure to make that happen. Here is the link to the Ninja Coach Certification: https://ninja-coach-certification.teachery.co/ninja-coach-certification?fbclid=IwAR0QYMG8Vz7qIWVSMpZnKTjL0hjH-a3lYBiL9duYPJcfg-YQTxJMKGFlR9k
By taking the NCC program , this gives gyms a discount on Insurance for your Ninja Gym through FL Dean insurance. Use the Code UNAA for the discount. Contact Bob Clark for more details.
The UNAA has a point system for scoring.
There will be a maximum of 3 Fails per course. After 3 Fails, the athletes run is over. They many finish the course but will not receive a score for the remaining obstacles. Their time will end with last Obstacle Completed. Each Obstacle will be worth 1 point for full completion. For more difficult obstacles, each obstacle can be worth 2 points and have a halfway point, which must be clearly marked with a tape mark or other. Completion of halfway is worth 1 point and NOT considered a Fail. But a 1 point Completion.
Score is then determined by points gained, and time of full run. Points are the highest priority when determining final score with time being second priority. Most points, with fastest time wins. We no longer will offer a RETRY. Finish or fail an obstacle and move on to the next.
Some examples of halfway mark: worth 1 point.
Salmon ladder- 3 rungs out of 6 rungs
Peg Board- Peg in the 10th hole out of 20 holes
20 ft Rope Climb- hand goes past 10ft mark
It is up to the discretion of the gym to determine 2-point obstacles, but we Highly recommend trying to incorporate as Many as possible, up to 50% of the course. This is to create boundaries of Fair Play and more opportunities to incorporate harder obstacles without worry of all athletes failing it…. But to push those athletes to attempt those more difficult obstacles.
This deters athletes that want to Skip the difficult obstacles but will reward those that at least TRY to get one point.
If athlete times out before completing last obstacle, time is reverted to last obstacle completed.
ALL athletes must begin at the starting point of each obstacle (i.e. trampoline; box; platform; starting line) before moving on to next obstacle.
What is a Fail?
If it is a 1-point obstacle, and they do NOT complete the obstacle, it is a FAIL.
If it is a 2-point obstacle, and they do NOT get to the Halfway Mark, it is a FAIL, but if they get to or surpass the halfway mark and fall before completing obstacle it is NOT a fail. It is awarded as a 1-point completion. Complete obstacle, 2 points.
Qualifying Rules: Areas
Top 3 or 50% of each class will advance to Regionals.
In the case of an odd number we round down so that athlete must beat 50% or more of the class
Qualifying Rules: Regionals
Top 3 athletes or Top 20% from each class will advance from Regionals to World Finals. 20% will NOT be rounded up. 20 athletes = 4, 25 = 5, 30 = 6, etc.
In the Event of a TIE , all athletes in a qualifying position will move on and those that move into a qualifying position because of the TIE will also move on.
Gyms at their discretion may set their own maximum time for the entire course.
Participants may go to Any location and as many Area Qualifiers as they choose, as well as attending any Regional they wish, once qualified. Once qualified, you may still compete, but your time will not bump another participant.
Participating Athletes (All Classes)
You must be 6 or older to compete in UNAA. Age is determined on how old they are on January 1, 2024 for ALL age groups. This is in coordination with Ninja USA, the NGB to meet the requirements of Olympic inclusion.
All athletes for the 2023-2024 Season 9 shall compete in their appropriate class. Any athletes in the Age group classes may move up to the next age group if they so choose. Once they have moved up to that class, they MUST remain in that class for the duration of the year. Each course is age appropriate and if an athlete competes up – no accommodations will be made for height adjustments.
Athletes must CHOOSE ONE Class to compete in and will remain in that class for duration of the season. 13+ may compete in Amateur or Pro class if they so choose, but will HAVE to remain in the that class for duration of season.
Competing in multiple classes in NOT allowed!
7 and Under Boys
7 and Under Girls
9 and Under Boys
9 and Under Girls
11 and Under Boys
11 and Under Girls
13 and Under Boys
13 and Under Girls
15 and Under Boys
15 and Under Girls
(16+ now go to Adult classes)
Over 40 Men (limited to only competitors age 40 and over)
Over 40 Women (limited to only competitors age 40 and over)
Any Adult (13 or older) may compete in Pro Class or Amateur class but MUST compete in PRO if athlete in the last THREE years has been to the National Finals on ANW, been in the Top 10 Pro class at UNAA Finals, WNL Finals, FINA Finals, or NSN Finals. If you meet any ONE of these requirements you are considered PRO.
Amateur to Pro – If you were an Amateur in UNAA and made Top 5 at the UNAA World Finals, you must now compete as a PRO.
If any qualified PRO athlete violates these rules and is “competing down” into the Amateur classes, they will be disqualified from the competition and required to forfeit all earnings.
Gym Personnel (owners, and employees) can compete in UNAA Area and Regional qualifiers at their own gym. Any gym personnel competing in their own Area Qualifier or Regional MUST run FIRST in their own competition AND must not test or be involved in design of course.
Transgender athletes are welcome in UNAA. Any transgender athlete competing in UNAA Competitions must compete in their gender assigned at birth and follow The Fairness in Womens Sports Act: 461
All UNAA gyms will have at least 2 judges on hand for each athletes’ run. One Judge (Head Judge) will have one reliable timer and focus on the athlete’s full completion of each obstacle. The other Judge will be responsible for keeping time using Ninja Master. Head Judges can pause the runs for emergencies, course malfunctions, or equipment malfunctions only.
UNAA gyms will have obstacles marked clearly with a marking device to determine the start and finish of each obstacle and halfway mark, to ensure competitors full knowledge of the course, and will also provide a walk-through of each course. Athletes will need to CLEAR the end-marker, this decision resides with the Head Judge at each qualifier. UNAA gyms will be responsible for having enough staff on hand to judge if one of the judges is competing.
World Finals will be judged by designated personal of the UNAA.
Note for UNAA Head Judges. A head judges’ purpose is primarily two tasks, one ensuring athletes complete the obstacle in a fair manner. Two, the head judge is there to determine if an athlete “clears” the end marker. A head judge may make a call at any time utilizing the “ask it or risk it rule”. The “ask it or risk it” rule means the responsibility of asking if something is legal is on the athlete or risk being called for it. Judges also do not have to allow a loophole once it is found. Judges reserve the right to make any call they deem necessary in order to complete the obstacle as it was intended.
General Course Rules:
Courses must contain at least 3 upper body, 3 lower body obstacles and one balance obstacle.
Each course must have a minimum of 10 total obstacles and up to 15.
COURSE DESIGNERS are not allowed to compete in their own competitions. Courses are not to be revealed until the day of competition. 7U, 9U and 11U must have separate courses. 13U and 15U may compete on adult course, with adjustments for age appropriate. So a Kids course and Adult course is required at each UNAA competition, but each gym May have as many different courses for age and skill level as they choose and are able.
Max times can be set. This will be determined at the beginning of the competition.
Inadvertent collisions with safety material or other obstructions within the course can be forgiven, however this decision remains with the Head Judge
Supporting Structure of obstacles may not be used at any time. This is defined by the Head Judge. Some examples of support structure are, chains supporting grips, material holding obstacle together, Eyebolts holding grips to chains, or anything else that would be considered NOT part of an obstacle.
Performance Enhancement Items
The UNAA allows general climbing chalk and general athletic tape to assist competitors. Gloves and sticky finger products are NOT allowed. Competitors will be allowed to wear chalk bags on the course. However, each chalk bag will be considered part of your persons. Gyms may also provide chalk.
Obstacles listed on Page 1 under Ninja Gym rules are considered “standard obstacles”. UNAA Gyms can format their course in any order that they wish. Use of not listed, also known as “non-standard” obstacles, are permitted in competition. Non-standard obstacles should be deemed fair and safe to all athletes, by the Gym in charge of the competition.
UNAA follows the guidelines of World Obstacle and IOC for Ethics – and Safe Sport
Q: If there is a Tie for a qualifying position, does the next person move up?
A: In the Case of a Tie both competitors qualify and the next person in line may be moved up also. (accept at World Finals)
Q: If there are 13 competitors in a class at an Area Qualifier and 3 are employees, how is that handled?
A: If there are 13 competitors, 6 qualify. But if 3 of those 6 are employees, then you may move up 3 more since employees cannot take the place of another competitor, therefore 9 would qualify.
Q: If a competitor is an Employee, does he have to run 1st in the class or 1st for the day?
A: Employees Must run 1st in the day, so that ANY competitor not from the gym can see how an employee will run the course.
Q: How many qualify if someone that places in the top and has already qualified at another competition?
A: If an athlete places in a Qualifying position but has already qualified, then the next person in line moves up to that position. If there are 12 in class, 6 qualify. If one of those 6 has Already qualified, then 7th place moves up into qualifying position.
Q: How do the league points on the leaderboard get calculated?
A: You can find an explanation of leaderboard points here:
The UNAA reserves the right to change these rules at any time in order to keep the sport safe and fair. For questions contact us here: https://ultimateninja.net/contact/