WSL Changes Age Of "Juniors" From 18 to 20 - Stab Mag

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Joel Vaughan now has a couple more years to perfect his craft. Photo: WSL

WSL Changes Age Of “Juniors” From 18 to 20

And the 2021 World Junior Championships is canceled.

elsewhere // Sep 3, 2021
Words by Stab
Reading Time: < 1 minute

The WSL recently announced that its 2021 World Junior Championships, scheduled to run from December 4 – 10 at Jinzun Harbour, Taitung, Taiwan, has been canceled “due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic”.

Not surprising given recent flare-ups, but a bummer for the juniors all the same.

“Points from this season’s regional Pro Junior events will be rolled over to next season’s regional rankings, which will determine who qualifies for the 2022 WSL Junior Championships,” the WSL states.  

This decision comes with another major caveat — one that hopefully is representative of the WSL’s core beliefs rather than a reaction to the cancellation of their 2020/21 World Junior Championships.

Along with the cancellation, the WSL Tours and Competition office is increasing the age limit for the Pro Junior tour to 20-and-under from the current age of 18-and-under. 

“This change will allow young surfers to continue competing at the Junior level until they’re ready to move onto the Regional Qualifying Series,” continued Miley-Dyer. “The new age limit also gives surfers who missed out on the World Junior Champions this year, and would have otherwise aged out of the Junior Tour, another opportunity to qualify for the World Junior Championships in 2022.”

The WSL originally changed the junior age from 20 to 18 back in 2016, despite opposition from certain members of the competitive surfing community. Our Stab CUSP co-host Stace Galbraith has been a vocal opponent of the 18-year-old cut-off, as he felt it didn’t allow kids enough time to grow before being fed to the QS sharks. Mick Fanning has stated similar concerns.

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