Junior Nationals is a weeklong national sport championship event for young athletes with a physical disability and/or visual impairment through the age of 22. A number of events are also open to athletes with an intellectual disability as determined by the International Sports Federation for Persons with Intellectual Disability (INAS).

The sports contested at the event include archery, powerlifting, swimming, table tennis and track and field. Exhibition sports are often included as well as educational and social opportunities provided for the athletes, parents, coaches, and officials during the week of Junior Nationals.


Junior Nationals is an avenue for young athletes to showcase their abilities through sport and to promote physical activity and socialization. Additionally, the Championships serve as an opportunity for individuals to advance along the athlete pipeline that may one day lead them to compete at the international level and the Paralympic Games.


Athletes must be classified by sport according to their functional ability and must meet qualifying standards according to classification and age divisions.

A national classification opportunity will exist annually at Junior Nationals.

Qualifying standards are listed by sport on our website. Check out each sport specific page for more information. Standards can be achieved at one of the many Adaptive Sports USA regional sanctioned events as well as other competitions as noted by each sport. Again, check our sports pages for more information.

Complete requirements include:

  • Be under the age of 23
  • Be an amputee, a dwarf, have cerebral palsy, a visual impairment or be a wheelchair athlete who is classifiable under the International Paralympic Committee classification system.
  • Achieve required qualifying standards in event(s) at least once during the designated qualification period of August 1 of the year prior to the applicable Junior Nationals event to the applicable Junior Nationals registration deadline
  • Qualifying standards must have been met or surpassed at an Adaptive Sports USA sanctioned event (link to Events and calendar), an NGB or High school Athletic Association sanctioned event or others as approved by Adaptive Sports USA.
  • Be a current member in good standing of Adaptive Sports USA (Athlete and Coach)
  • Be classified (link to Sports) by sport according to the athlete’s functional ability and be nationally classified or apply for national classification at the application Junior Nationals event.


Junior Nationals began in 1984 with three sanctioned events for wheelchair athlete’s ages 7 to 19 and is now the largest annual multi-sport event for juniors with physical disabilities and/or visual impairments in the United States.

Junior Nationals is contested in a different city annually in July. This provides an opportunity for athletes to explore diverse areas of the country, travel costs to remain neutral and allows various Local Hosts the opportunity to gain experience in event management and build a legacy. Below is a history of the host cities:


Adaptive Sports USA seeks progressive sport cities and local organizations with experience in event management to host Junior Nationals. We are focused on acquiring a strong host city and sport partner to deliver an outstanding event for athletes and their family members and coaches. We seek to build a partnership, expand on the success and history of Junior Nationals and bring fresh ideas and concepts to the competition, particularly in regard to athlete identification and recruitment.

Adaptive Sports USA invites you to express interest in hosting Junior Nationals, begin an initial discussion and/or gain further information by connecting with Susan Rossi,
Adaptive Sports USA Executive Director, at director@adaptivesportsusa.org or 719.439.3823.


2016 Junior Nationals

Adaptive Sports USA is pleased to announce Greater Madison, Wisconsin as the site of the 2016 Adaptive Sports USA Junior Nationals.

July 16 – 23, 2016

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