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, 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 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.

2018 Jr. Nationals

July 21–28, Ft. Wayne, IN.

Visit the Jr. Nationals Website
View the press release

Want to support the 2018 Jr. Nationals?

National support please contact Susan Rossi at director@adaptivesportsusa.org or call 719.439.3823.

Local support, please contact Rena Burden at rena@turnstone.org or call 260.483.2100.


2018    Ft. Wayne, IN
2017    Middleton, WI
2016    Middleton, WI
2015    Union County, NJ
2014    Ames, Iowa
2013    Rochester, Minnesota
2012    Mesa, Arizona
2011    Saginaw, Michigan
2010    Deerfield and Lake Forest, Illinois
2009    St. Louis, Missouri
2008    Piscataway, New Jersey
2007    Spokane, Washington
2006    Tampa, Florida
2005    Tampa, Florida
2004    Mesa, Arizona
2003    New London, Connecticut
2002    New London, Connecticut
2001    Piscataway, New Jersey
2000    San Jose, California
1999    Albuquerque, New Mexico
1998    Bellevue, Washington
1997    Mesa, Arizona
1996    Birmingham, Alabama
1995    Ft. Collins, Colorado
1994    Edmond, Oklahoma
1993    Columbus, Ohio
1992    Orlando, Florida
1991    Princeton, New Jersey
1990    Ft. Collins, Colorado
1989    Cupertino, California
1988    Johnson City, Tennessee
1987    Lawrenceville, New Jersey
1986    Valley Forge, Pennsylvania
1985    Fishersville, Virginia
1984    Dover, Delaware