Fired Up for FINA – Federation of International Ninja Athletes

This is part of our series, Ninja League Knowledge, where we share everything you need to know about ninja leagues around the country and the world. 

In today’s post, we are sharing a recent chat with Roy Krauthamer and Patrick Hall, Founders of the Federation of International Ninja Athletes (FINA). Pat is a gym owner (Hybrid Ninja Academy), an athlete and ninja parent. Roy is a ninja parent, business executive and is passionate about the ninja community. Together they founded FINA, an up-and-coming ninja league designed to focus on the strengths of individual athletes.

With Season 1 firmly underway, we wanted to learn more about what FINA is about. Here is what we discovered.

Ninja League Knowledge – Federation of International Ninja Athletes (FINA)

What is FINA?

FINA is a new ninja league (founded in the fall of 2019) which offers athletes another option for showcasing their skills. Just like other leagues, events are held all season long with a huge finale at the end (Season 1 World Championships will be held in June 2020, more below). Athletes can choose to do a Speed course, an Endurance course or both. At World Championships the winner of each division for each event will have one final showdown on a course designed for both skills, to be crowned All-Around Champion.

There are no podium finishes throughout the season, however all finishers of each course are awarded points and a badge, and qualify for World Championships.

Roy and Pat have a mission to pack a ton of value into each event by allowing athletes the ability to pick whichever type of course suits them, or the ability to run two courses to give them even more bang for their buck!

How FINA Came To Be

Just like many other ninja businesses, FINA evolved from the passion of ninjas who love the community (ahem). Roy and Pat met at a NNL comp in Buffalo, NY a few years ago and connected as ninja parents. One thing they had in common was a desire to bring a new option for athletes to grow and compete in the sport of ninja. They realized many ninja athletes excel in either speed or endurance, so they created the league based on that simple concept.

Their pillars are:

  • Quality
  • Value
  • Growth

They said…

Let’s give fast athletes a place.

Let’s give strong athletes a place.

Let’s offer tremendous value.

So they did.

FINA Qualifying Events

FINA events for Season 1 are currently underway and held from now until the end of May. Get their ninja event schedule here.

Age Structure

Both FINA Speed and FINA Endurance athletes will be permitted to compete in the following age groupings

  • 6-8 Year Olds
  • 9-10 Year Olds
  • 11-12 Year Olds
  • 13-15 Year Olds
  • 16-40 Year Olds
  • Masters, 40+ Years Old
  • Heroes, Active or Veteran military, or first responders

Athletes can elect to compete in the age group of which their age falls on July 1 of the year of the start of the season. Additionally, an athlete can choose to compete up one age grouping, except into Masters. A Masters athlete must meet the minimum age of 40 by July 1 of the year of the start of the season. An athlete can petition to the FINA board to compete in a grouping that exceeds one age grouping up. Masters athletes can choose to compete in either the Adult or the Masters division. For all athletes, the age grouping for the entire season will be determined by the age grouping competed in during their first competition of the season.

Accruing Points

The point model they developed essentially allows for an athlete to have a decent run in 3 different events, and that will give them enough points to qualify.  All Speed courses are 8 obstacles and 21 total Speed points are needed to qualify for finals if a course is never finished.  All Endurance courses are 12 obstacles, and 31 total Endurance points are needed to qualify for finals without a finish.

 

FINA World Championships

World Championships will be hosted at Ninja Citi in Columbus, OH on June 26-28, 2020.

There are two ways for athletes to earn a spot to compete in the FINA Speed or FINA Endurance at  World Championships:

  1. COURSE COMPLETION: Athletes who successfully complete an individual speed or endurance course within the pre-determined time frame will automatically earn a spot to compete in the World Finals concluding the season.
  2. POINTS ACCUMULATION: Athletes will be awarded a single point for every obstacle completed prior to expiration of time on the respective course. Points can accumulate throughout the season from competition to competition. Athletes that earn 31 points throughout the season, will also earn a spot to compete in the World Championships concluding the season.

Visit FINA’s Rulebook here.

In addition to a Speed Champion and Endurance Champion there will be one All-Around Champion. Here’s how that will be determined:

The Round of Champions is the final round for the FINA World Championships.  All athletes that complete either the Speed or Endurance Course will be seeded into a bracket-style competition.  Athletes will race in a one of a kind, head-to-head course combining the greatest elements from the Speed and the Endurance course. The races will continue until one athlete remains, and that athlete will be crowned FINA All-Around Champion.

The Ninja Passport is happy to announce we are now a FINA partner.

Thank you Roy and Pat, we look forward to a highly successful season!

Many of the FINA gyms are members of The Ninja Passport. Be sure to try out a comp and let them know we sent you!

Visit FINA – online, Facebook or Instagram.