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.


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.

Click to visit the official 2017 Jr. Nationals Site


1984  Dover, Delaware
1985  Fishersville, Virginia
1986  Valley Forge, PA
1987  Lawrenceville, NJ
1988  Johnson City, TN
1989  Cupertino, CA
1990  Fort Collins, CO
1991  Princeton, NJ
1992  Orlando, Florida
1993  Columbus, Ohio
1994  Edmond, Oklahoma
1995  Fort Collins, CO
1996  Birmingham, AL
1997  Mesa, Arizona
1998  Bellevue, WA
1999  Albuquerque, NM
2000  San Jose, CA
2001  Piscataway, NJ
2002  New London, CT
2003  New London, CT
2004  Mesa, Arizona
2005  Tampa, Florida
2006  Tampa, Florida
2007  Spokane, WA
2008  Piscataway, NJ
2009  St. Louis, Missouri
2010  Lake Forest, IL
2011  Saginaw, Michigan
2012  Mesa, Arizona
2013  Rochester, MN
2014  Ames, Iowa
2015  Union County, NJ
2016  Middleton, WI
2017  Middleton, WI