American Ninja Warrior Junior
GenreSports entertainment
Sports competition
Created byUshio Higuchi
Presented by
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons3
No. of episodes52
Executive producers
Camera setupMulti-camera
Production companiesA. Smith & Co. Productions, Tokyo Broadcasting System
Original release
NetworkUniversal Kids (seasons 1–2)
Peacock (season 3)
ReleaseOctober 13, 2018 (2018-10-13) –
December 9, 2021 (2021-12-09)
American Ninja Warrior
American Ninja Warrior: Ninja vs. Ninja

American Ninja Warrior Junior is an American sports competition reality show on Universal Kids that premiered in 2018.[1] It is the children's edition of American Ninja Warrior and American Ninja Warrior: Ninja vs. Ninja, which themselves are based on the Japanese game show Sasuke.[1] As with the rest of the franchise, the series is produced by A. Smith & Co.[2] In May 2021, it was announced that the third season would be moving to Peacock.[3]


American Ninja Warrior Junior is a head-to-head competition with multiple rounds and triple-elimination in each episode. There are no teams, and each child contestant competes for themselves. Contestants are divided into age groups (9+10, 11+12, 13+14). Each age group has four contestants, with a total of 12 contestants per episode. Boys and girls compete with each other without segregation. Five runs in each age group are played to determine the episode's winner in each age group, for a total of three winners per episode, one per age group.[1][2] Within each age group, the first two runs are seeding races without risk of elimination. Each run's winner then faces the other run's loser, with the two winners then facing each other to determine that episode's winner in that age group.


Obstacles are modified versions of those found in the two adult editions, to take account of the smaller size and strength of the young competitors.[1][2] Obstacles in season 1 for the 9–10 age group include Sonic Swing, Tic Toc, I-Beam, Floating Tiles, Spin Cycle, and the Warped wall. Obstacles for the 11–12 age group include two new obstacles: The Ring Toss and the Fly Wheels. Obstacles for the 13–14 age group include three new obstacles: The Archer Steps, Devil Steps, and Flying Shelf Grab.[2]

Obstacles in season 2 for the 9–10 age group include Shrinking Steps, Little Dipper, Spider Walls, Block Run, Flying Squirrel, and the Warped Wall. Obstacles for the 11–12 age group include two new obstacles: The Double Tilt-Ladders and the Wingnuts. Obstacles for the 13–14 age group include three new obstacles: Floating Steps, Crazy Cliffhanger, and the Sky Hooks.

Obstacles in season 3 for the 9–10 age group include Hopscotch, Lunatic Ledges, Liquid Pipes, Broken Bridge, Flying Saucers, and the Warped Wall. Obstacles for the 11–12 age group include two new obstacles: Spike Crossing and Spring Forward. Obstacles for the 13–14 age group include two new obstacles: Sideways and Spinball Wizard.


SeasonEpisodesOriginally released
First releasedLast released
120October 13, 2018 (2018-10-13)April 27, 2019 (2019-04-27)
217February 22, 2020 (2020-02-22)June 12, 2020 (2020-06-12)
315September 9, 2021 (2021-09-09)December 9, 2021 (2021-12-09)


Season 1

Season 1 premiered on October 13, 2018, on the Universal Kids television network. Season 1 was announced in late spring of 2018 [4] and was filmed in Los Angeles. Matt Iseman and Akbar Gbajabiamila, who host the adult editions of the franchise, served as play-by-play and color commentators respectively, with Laurie Hernandez as the on-course reporter. Contestants from the adult editions served as mentors to the Young competitors. This season these included Kevin Bull, Drew Drechsel, Natalie Duran, Meagan Martin, Najee Richardson, and Barclay Stockett.[1][2]

The winners were Collin Cella (Ages 9+10), Kai Beckstrand (Ages 11+12), and Vance Walker (Ages 13+14). 2nd, 3rd and 4th place for 9–10 were, 4th Taylor Greene, 3rd Jacob Goldman, 2nd Sean Arms. 2nd, 3rd and 4th place for 11–12 were, 4th Caleb Brown (fell on the Ring Toss), 3rd Ella McRitchie, 2nd Tate Allen. And 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place for 13–14 were 4th Jeremiah Boyd (fell on the Flying Shelf Grab), 3rd Johnathan Godbout, 2nd Nate Pardo.

Season 1 was licensed in Canada by Family Channel.[5]

Season 2

Season 2 premiered on February 22, 2020, on Universal Kids. It was filmed in the summer 2019.[4] Paralympian Victoria Arlen replaced Hernandez as an on-course reporter while Iseman and Gbajabiamila returned as color commentators.[6][7] More than 140 children competed this season.[7]

Among the competitors for Season 2 was the son of U.S. Olympic gold medalist gymnast Dominique Moceanu, Vincent Canales.[8]

Like season 1, it was licensed in Canada by the Family channel.[5]

The winners were Nathanael Honvou (Ages 9+10), Jack David (Ages 11+12), and Vance Walker (Ages 13+14). With his defeat of Kaden Lebsack in the championship round, Vance Walker became the first reigning champion of American Ninja Warrior Junior. (Ages 9+10) 2nd 3rd and 4th places were 4th Owen Pham 3rd Daniel Woods 2nd Reeder Smith Fell on spider walls (Ages 11+12) 4th Sienna Perez 3rd Tate Allen 2nd Naccsa Garemore (Ages 13+14) 4th Kai Beckstrand Fell on Crazy Cliffhanger 3rd Devan Alexander 2nd Kaden Lebsack.

The success of the format allowed the adult version in season 13 (aired in 2021) to drop the minimum age from 19 to 15. Kaden Lebsack, who was defeated by Walker in the championship round in the episodes taped in the summer of 2019, participated in his first year of eligibility and became the Last Ninja Standing, failing on the final stage at 70 feet into the 75-foot rope climb. Vance Walker participated in season 15 and scored Total Victory.

Season 3

In May 2021, Peacock picked up the series for Season 3 with a 15-episode order. The broadcast crew remained the same this season, with Iseman, Gbajabiamila, and Arlen returned as play-by-play, color commentator, and an on-course reporter respectively.[3] Season 3 was filmed during June 2021,[4] and premiered on September 9, 2021.[9]

The winners were as follows: Max Salebra (9 and 10), Bella Palmer (11 and 12), and Jackson Erdos (13 and 14). Bella Palmer was the first girl ever to win a championship in American Ninja Warrior Junior history.

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e "The Next Generation of Ninjas". American Ninja Warrior Junior. Season 1. Episode 1. 2018. Universal Kids.
  2. ^ a b c d e Otterson, Joe (July 25, 2018). "'American Ninja Warrior Junior' Sets Premiere Date, Adds Olympian Laurie Hernandez as Co-Host (Exclusive)". Variety. Archived from the original on July 29, 2018.
  3. ^ a b White, Peter (May 13, 2021). "Amy Poehler's 'Baking It', Spinoffs From 'Top Chef' & 'Below Deck' Cooked Up For Peacock". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 13, 2021.
  4. ^ a b c "American Ninja Warrior Junior Kids Seasons".
  5. ^ a b "American Ninja Warrior Junior official website". Family. 2018. Archived from the original on May 14, 2020. Retrieved October 15, 2018.
  6. ^ Bucksbaum, Sydney (February 19, 2020). "Watch 10-year-olds absolutely dominate the American Ninja Warrior Junior course". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on February 20, 2020.
  7. ^ a b Nordyke, Kimberly (July 8, 2019). "'American Ninja Warrior Junior' Taps Victoria Arlen as Co-Host for Season 2". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on July 10, 2019.
  8. ^ Studor, Chris (May 8, 2020). "Flying squirrel, spider wall – no problem for Hinckley Ninja Jr". The Post. Medina, Ohio. Archived from the original on June 11, 2020.
  9. ^ Pedersen, Erik (August 19, 2021). "Peacock Sets Premiere Dates For 'American Ninja Warrior Junior' Season 3, New 'Frogger' & 'Top Chef Family Style' – Watch The Trailers". Deadline Hollywood.