National Junior Disability Championships

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National Junior Disability Championships
Abbreviation NJDC
First event 1984; 33 years ago (1984)
Occur every Happens every year
Purpose Sports for disabled people
Headquarters St. Peters, Missouri, USA
Operation Manager Ralph Armento

The National Junior Disability Championships (NJDC) is an annual Olympic-style sports competition for physically disabled youth, including (but not limited to) those with spina bifida, cerebral palsy, amputees, visually impaired/blind, dwarfism, and any other similar physical disabilities that impede movement/the ability to participate in non-adapted sportswas. NJDC has become one of the largest junior sporting competitions held in the United State for youth with physical disabilities. Held each year in a different city/state of the United States, NJDC attracts more than 250 athletes from all over the United States including several foreign countries.

Typically, competitions are held in track, field events (javelin, shotput, discus, club, softball throw), weightlifting, table tennis, archery, swimming, and sometimes boccia and 3-on-3 basketball.

Athletes can be from 7 – 21 years of age. Several Paralympic athletes started their career as competitors at the NJDC.[1]


Junior disabled athlete Joey Chiavaroli, at the 2004 NJDC in Mesa, Arizona

Founded in 1984 by the Wheelchair & Ambulatory Sports, USA, witch held the first games in July of that year, with only three events The games are held every year in different host city in the United States. Each year Wheelchair & Ambulatory Sports, USA, who sanctions NJDC selects a host organization, who bids for or request to host NJDC in their home city the following year. [1]

Athletic events offered annually[edit]

Archery pictogram (Paralympics).svg Archery

Powerlifting pictogram (Paralympics).svg Powerlifting
The NJDC powerlifting competition or weightlifting competition consists of both power and bench styles. Participants taking part in ether the powerlifting or bench weightlifting competitions compete together in the same weight and age classes. The individual athlete's disability is not taken into consideration in determining the individual's classification placement. For example Ambulatory athletes can compete against wheelchair athletes in their respected age a weight categories.[2]

Swimming pictogram (Paralympics).svg Swimming
The NJDC swimming competition offers both individual and relay events consisting of two swim courses, the swimming long course and the swimming short course. The events are listed as follows:

Swimming short course events

  • Individual: 75IM, 100IM, 25 Breast, 25 Free, 25 Back, 25 Fly, 4X25 Free, and 4X25 Medley
  • Relay: 200yd Free Relay, and 200 yd. Medley Relay

Swimming long course events

  • Individual: 200m, 150IM, 200IM, 400IM, 100free, 50breast, 100breast, 50free, 50back, 100back, 200back, 50fly, 100fly, 200fly, 4X50free, 4Xmedley, and 400Free.[3][4]

Table tennis pictogram (Paralympics).svg Table Tennis
Athletes participating in the NJDC table tennis competition compete according to skill level not disability. For example a wheelchair athlete can be paired up with a amblatory athlete opponent. The NJDC table tennis classifications ternament events are as follows:

  • Individual
  • Open
  • Doubles
  • Open novice play [2]

Athletics pictogram (Paralympics).svg Track & Field (Athletics)
The NJDC Track and Field competition consist of both Ambulatory and Wheelchair events. Both the Ambullatory and wheelchair track events are held together based on event race. Typically, wheelchair athletes race together, preceded by the ambulatory athletes. The track events are listed as follows:

  • Track events: 60m, 800m, 20m, 100m, 200m, 5000m, 400m 1500m, Relays, & 100m Open

The NJDC field events are organized into two categories field events for Ambulatory athletes and field events for wheelchair athletes, which are held separate from each other usually on different days. The field evemts are listed as follows:

  • Ambulatory field events: discus, club throw, high jump, long jump, triple jump,javelin, softball throw, and shotput.
  • Wheelchair field events: discus, club throw, javelin, shotput, and softball throw.[2][3]

Athletic events offered occasionally[edit]


Boccia pictogram (Paralympics).svg Boccia

Cycling (road) pictogram (Paralympics).svg Hand Cycling
At NJDC, the hand cycling exhibition is event the offers particients the opportunity to try out hand cycling bike. Hand cycling bikes are usually provided by the event sponsoring organization or local adaptive sports/athletic organization. The hand cycling exhibition has been held as part of NJDC 2010 Deerfield, IL and NJDC 2014 Ames, Iowa.[5]

Sitting volleyball pictogram (Paralympics).svg Sitting volleyball
Sitting volleyball premiered for the first time at the 2013 NJDC in Rochester, Minnesota as a demonstration social event, led by former Paralympian Deb Vosler. The goal of the demonstration was to have youth learn to work together as team in a social setting while learning a completely new adaptive team sport at the same time. [6]

Wheelchair basketball pictogram (Paralympics).svg Wheelchair Basketball 3-on-3
NJDC Wheelchair Basketball 3-on-3 is a wheelchair basketball tournament utilizing half court play and consisting of three wheelchair athletes per team. The tournament was last held at the 2010 NJDC Games in Deerfield and Lake Forest, Illinois.[2][7]


Wheelchair Track Clinic
The Wheelchair Track Clinic or Track Camp is a two-day wheelchair racing track clinic held in partnership with Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF). The clinic is led by Adam Bleakney, Head Coach, Wheelchair Track & Road Racing, at the University of Illinois. During the clinic, participants work on the following aspects of wheelchair racing:

  • Top Speed & SS Acceleration (asphalt and/or tail)
  • Rolling Acceleration
  • Stroke Mechanics Goal Setting Session
  • Lactate & Speed Reserve
  • SS & Endurance & Stamina
  • Equipment Race Tactics

The Wheelchair Tack Clinic was last held at the 2015 NJDC held in Union County, New Jersey[8][9]

Past host cities[edit]

Edition Year Location city / county / state Venues Host
1st 1984 Delaware
2nd 1985 Fishersville, Virginia
3rd 1986 Valley Forge, Pennsylvania
4th 1987 Lawrenceville, New Jersey Rider College Children's Specialized Hospital
5th 1988 Johnson City, Tennessee East Tennessee State University
6th 1989 Cupertino, California De Anza College
7th 1990 Ft. Collins, Colorado Colorado State University
8th 1991 Princeton, New Jersey Princeton University Children's Specialized Hospital
9th 1992 Orlando, Florida Walt Disney World
10th 1993 Columbus, Ohio Ohio State University
11th 1994 Edmond, Oklahoma University of Central Oklahoma
12th 1995 Ft. Collins, Colorado Colorado State University
13th 1996 Birmingham, Alabama Samford University Lakeshore Foundation
14th 1997 Mesa, Arizona Mesa High School
15th 1998 Bellevue, Washington
16th 1999 Albuquerque, New Mexico
17th 2000 San Jose, California San Jose State University City of San Jose
18th 2001 Piscataway, New Jersey Rutgers University Children's Specialized Hospital
19th 2002 New London, Connecticut Connecticut College
20th 2003 New London, Connecticut Connecticut College
21st 2004 Mesa, Arizona Mountain View High School
22nd 2005 Tampa, Florida New Tampa YMCA
University of South Florida
Shriners Hospital, Tampa
23rd 2006 Tampa, Florida Freedom High School
New Tampa YMCA
Shriners Hospital, Tampa
24th 2007 Spokane, Washington Spokane Area Spokane Adaptive Sports
25th 2008 Piscataway, New Jersey Rutgers University Children's Specialized Hospital
26th 2009 St. Louis, Missouri St. Louis Area DASA - Disability Athlete Sports Association
27th 2010 Deerfield and Lake Forest, Illinois Deerfield High School
Hyatt Deerfield
Lake Forest High School
GLASA - Great Lakes Adaptive Sports Association
28th 2011 Saginaw, Michigan Saginaw State University TSWAA - Tri-State Wheelchair Athletic Association
29th 2012 Mesa, Arizona Mesa Community College Arizona Disabled Sports
30th 2013 Rochester, Minnesota Century High School
Rochester Recreation Center
UCR Regional Sports Center
Rochester Amateur Sports Commission
31st 2014 Ames, Iowa Cyclone Sports Complex
Gateway Hotel and Conference Center
Iowa State University
Adaptive Sports Iowa
Iowa State University
Ames Convention and Visitors Bureau
32nd 2015 Union County, New Jersey Union County, NJ Park System
Renaissance Woodbridge Hotel - Iselin, NJ
Children's Miracle Network Hospitals at Children's Specialized Hospital
Tri-State Wheelchair and Amputee Athletics (TSWAA)
33rd 2016 Middleton, Wisconsin Baumann Outdoor Pool complex
Madison Marriott West
Middleton High School
Middleton Parks System
Adaptive Sports USA
Madison Area Sports Commission
Middleton Tourism Commission
34th 2017 Middleton, Wisconsin Baumann Outdoor Pool complex
Madison Marriott West
Middleton High School
Middleton Parks System
Adaptive Sports USA
Madison Area Sports Commission
Middleton Tourism Commission


  1. ^ a b "History of the NJDC". Retrieved July 21, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d "2010 National Junior Disability Championships - Fact Sheet" (PDF). Retrieved September 12, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b "Wheelchair & Ambulatory Sports, USA - 2013 NJDC Results". Retrieved July 21, 2013. 
  4. ^ "2013 National Junior Disability Championships Rochester Minnesota, Schedule of Events" (PDF). Retrieved July 21, 2013. 
  5. ^ Demaris, Shann; Ungs, Shawne; Sternweis, Laura (2 July 2014). "Ames, Iowa State University Host National Junior Disability Championships July 5-12". Iowa State University. Iowa State University - Extension and Outreach. Retrieved 28 May 2015. 
  6. ^ "Social Events for NJDC 2013" (PDF). Retrieved August 12, 2014. 
  7. ^ "2010 NJDC Events - 3 on 3 basketball". Retrieved July 21, 2013. 
  8. ^ "NJDC2015NJ CAF Sponsored Wheelchair Track Clinic". 2015 NJDC Union County, New Jersey. NJDC2015NJ. Retrieved 8 May 2015. 
  9. ^ "CAF Track Clinic at NJDC2015NJ" (PDF). 2015 NJDC Union County, New Jersey. 2015 NJDC2015NJ. Retrieved 8 May 2015. 

External links[edit]