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General Rules and Regulations


Athletes from any organization and region are welcome at any NPAA event. All competitors are required to be 18 years of age or older (excluding Junior Division) and must be current members of NPAA to compete in NPAA events. NPAA memberships are $70.00 per year.  NPAA Membership forms are available in the Membership section of


All NPAA Bodybuilding, Physique, Figure, Fitness, and Bikini Model contests are to have an odd number of judges (with five being the minimum number of judges for every contest).


Divisions offered at NPAA events are based on age and level of experience. Divisions offered can vary from each NPAA competition.  Please view a particular contest’s entry form for the specific Divisions offered.

QUICK LINKS: Men's Physique, Men's Classic PhysiqueMen's Bodybuilding, Women's Bikini Model, Women's Fitness Model, Women's Figure


Junior Division: Open only to those Men's Physique athletes aged 16 - 18 years of age within the year that they compete.  

Novice Division: Open only to those Bikini, Fitness Model, and Figure athletes who have not placed top 5 and Bodybuilders who have not placed top 3 in the Novice Division in a NPAA sanctioned event. 

Masters Division: Open to those aged 35 and over in female competition or aged 40 and over in male competition.

Grandmasters Division: Open to those aged 46 and over in the bikini category.

Open Division: Open only to those Bikini, Fitness Model, and Figure athletes who have placed top 5 and Bodybuilders who have placed top 3 in the Novice Division in a NPAA sanctioned event.  Also open to Men's Physique athletes who have not won the Open Division in a NPAA sanctioned event. 

Elite-Pro Division: Winners of Open Division in a NPAA sanctioned event.   As of January 2016, all NPAA Elite-Pros must compete within 2 years to achieve a lifetime bye in the Elite-Pro Division.  If an NPAA Elite-Pro athlete is unable to compete within that timeframe, a special application must be submitted to

Elite-Pro Masters Division: Winners of the Masters Fitness Model Division in a NPAA sanctioned event.  All NPAA Elite-Pro Masters must compete within 2 years to achieve a lifetime bye in the Elite-Pro Division.

IPE-Pro Division: See “IPE Pro Qualifiers” section 

Note: NPAA reserves the right to cancel divisions that have only one entry. Competitors have the option of participating in another class, or being refunded, whenever a division is cancelled.  Any professional photography/photographer (other than the Official NPAA Photographer) is strictly prohibited at NPAA events without the written consent from the President(s) of Natural Physique & Athletics Association.


Formation of classes within divisions at a show is at the NPAA’s discretion. Height or weight ranges may be used; classes may be formed by splitting divisions into equal portions by height or weight based on total number of entries in a division.


A "crossover" is entering more than one division. For example, someone may enter the Masters Division, if eligible, and also elect to crossover into the Open division and compete in it as well.

Select events are designated as IPE (International Pro Elite – Pro qualifiers. The overall winners in the Elite-Pro Division for Men’s Bodybuilding, Figure, and Fitness Model* at these events become eligible for IPE competitions and the overall winners for Men's Masters (40+) Bodybuilding and Figure Masters (35+)* become eligible for IPE Masters competitions.

Should a competitor who has previously won a Pro qualifier win his/her class at an IPE qualifier, the second place finisher in the respective class will have the choice to advance to the Elite-Pro division overall judging. Should the competitor who previously won a Pro qualifier win the overall, the Pro card being offered at the IPE qualifier can be offered to the competitor who placed 2nd in the overalls.

If urine test results reveal positive results for an overall winner at a Pro qualifier, the competitor who was ranked 2nd in the overalls will be recognized as the overall champion and become eligible for IPE  competition.

Select events may be designated as IPE Double or Super Pro qualifiers. The top two overall finishers in the Elite-Pro Division become eligible to compete as IPE pros for Double Pro qualifiers. The Elite-Pro Division's class winners become eligible to compete as IPE pros for Super Pro qualifiers.

Special note about Fitness Model Division at the IPE Level:

The IPE (International Pro Elite), Pro affiliate to NPAA/OCB/NANBF, offers Pro Bodybuilding and Pro Figure and (as of 2012) Pro Bikini categories.  Hence, the IPE will consider Fitness Model division winners of all NPAA competitions (and all Bikini Model Division winner of all OCB and NANBF competitions) that are designated as IPE qualifiers as being eligible for IPE Bikini competition at any point in the future that it may be offered, in all cases where there were 10+ Fitness Model participants in the respective class of those NPAA competitions (ten or more in the Elite-Pro Division for IPE eligibility) or 10+ Bikini Model participants in the respective class of those OCB/NANBF competitions (ten or more in the Open Division for IPE eligibility) . This is applicable to all NPAA, OCB, and NANBF pro qualifying events.

Special note about Masters Division at the IPE Level:

Winners of Masters Division in a NPAA sanctioned event that are designated as IPE qualifiers may be eligible to advance to the IPE Masters Pro Division* via application to the NPAA representatives (include competitor name, name of event, date of event, placing at event, official photos from other organization’s event if applicable) at 

*Given minimum event requirements are met. Minimum requirements are that the Elite-Pro Division of Men’s Bodybuilding must have at least 10 competitors. The Elite-Pro Division of Women’s Figure must have a minimum of 10. If turnout is less than the minimums, winners may or may not be offered pro cards. The IPE makes the decision on whether or not winners can become eligible, based on quality of the winners’ physiques and their presentation at the competition.


Each competitor is ranked by the judges. Ranking is accomplished by comparing the physiques of each competitor of each class and ranking them from highest to lowest. The best competitor should be assigned a rank of 1, the next highest competitor should get a rank of 2, and so on.

The highest and lowest rank for each competitor is discarded as a safeguard against favouritism and to protect against human error. The remaining scores are added, and the lowest total receives first place in the class. Second lowest total receives 2nd place, and so on.  In the event of a one point differential between 2nd and 3rd place at Pro Qualifier competitions, evaluation of scoring will take place during results management to determine if an additional pro-card for 3rd place is warranted. 

Should a tie occur, the competitor ranked higher by the majority of judges is to be awarded the higher placement.

Should a three-way tie occur, the competitor with the highest placements from the judges will receive the higher placement, and the two remaining competitors' placements will be determined in the same manner described for 2-way tie-breakers (the competitor who was ranked higher by the majority of all judges on the panel is placed higher).

In the event a 3-way tie cannot be broken in the above manner, the head judge will determine placements.


Drug testing may include polygraph testing, urinalysis, voice stress, blood, saliva, hair testing or other means of detection.

Competitors are ultimately responsible for substances they take. If urine test results reveal a positive result for any banned substance, competitors are disqualified regardless of what may have been responsible for the positive result and are banned from competing in the NPAA/OCB/NANBF/IPE for the disallowed duration for detected substances.

Please refer to IPE banned substances list and drug testing guidelines for more information here

Testing is also based on the World Anti-Doping Code 2017 Prohibited List

Please note that it is the athletes' sole responsibility to refer to the above lists regarding current supplements he/she may be taking.  NPAA will not check the list on behalf of the athlete.


Natural Physique & Athletics Association (NPAA) is a proud amateur affiliate of The International Pro Elite (IPE).   IPE is a professional level natural federation that awards cash prizes at all events. Competitors must meet IFPA eligibility requirements in order to participate in IFPA events. Those requirements include being free of all banned substance use for at least the stated durations in the IPE Drug Testing Guidelines and having qualified to compete as a Pro in one of the ways listed in the IPE General Guidelines. Competitors who do meet eligibility requirements must also have current IPE Membership for any date of IFPA Pro show participation (the term “Pro Card” used frequently refers to IPE Membership cards).

In simple terms, one can qualify for IPE competition by winning competitions that are designated as being IPE qualifiers.  Competitors who win NPAA Elite-Pro division overall titles at IPE Pro qualifiers, and whose urine tests are negative, become eligible for IPE open competition. If those competitors’ ages fall into Pro Masters ranges (age 40 and over for men, age 35 and over for women), they may also participate in IPE Masters events.

Competitors who win Masters division overall titles (with 10+ competitors), and whose urine tests are negative, become eligible to compete in IPE Masters competition only (not IPE Open competition).

For complete IPE guidelines, please visit