SYCAMORE, Ill. — Tune in to ESPN2 on Wednesday, August 7th at 6 pm EST to see competitors battle for the title of top Electrician. The IDEAL National Championship will be featured on ESPN2 during a special day of programming. ESPN2 will become “ESPN8: The Ocho” for one day to showcase seldom seen sports from around the globe. The event will also be made available on demand on the ESPN App.
On this day, ESPN2 will air coverage of the 2018 IDEAL National Championship, with commentary provided by a team of sports and electrical experts: Jason Benetti (ESPN), Chip Wade (HGTV), and Scott Caron (This Old House).
“We are excited that Electricians and this great trade will be honored on this platform, to celebrate the skill, critical thinking and athleticism displayed on jobsites every day,” said Doug Sanford, Group President of IDEAL Electrical.
The IDEAL National Championship was Established to Celebrate and Attract Electricians
IDEAL Electrical established the IDEAL National (U.S.) Championship four years ago to showcase the skills and professionalism of today’s electricians. “The U.S. is facing a significant shortage of electricians in the next few years. The U.S. Labor Department reports the gap will reach 60,000 electricians by 2026. We created the IDEAL National Championship to honor the trade community and help attract young men and women into satisfying careers as electricians and contractors,” stated Sanford.
“I think we have an opportunity, and a responsibility, to powerfully demonstrate how pivotal this skilled trade is to powering and connecting the rest of us at work, at home and at play. Without ‘Sparkies,’ technologies don’t move forward. Buildings don’t fully function. Homes don’t meet expectations. And cars don’t anticipate problems.”
The 2019 Competition Qualifying Rounds are Currently Underway
IDEAL® Electrical has launched its fourth annual national competition to find the best electricians in the United States and Canada. “This year, we believe more than 100,000 professionals, apprentices and students will compete across the United States alone,” said Sanford.
Qualifying and Championship Weekend competitions will include professional and student/apprentice individual competitors, as well as Contractor and School teams.
Qualifying round events are held through October 4th across the U.S., and in China, Canada, Australia, and Mexico. During these events, competitors will need to demonstrate both their problem-solving and physical skills around, cutting, stripping, crimping, terminating and more – using IDEAL tools through a challenge judged by time, craftsmanship, termination, connectivity, and safety.
All tools will be available at each qualifying round event, but competitors have the option to use their own IDEAL tools, which can be purchased in advance to practice by visiting a local distributor or IDEALnationals.com.
Contractors and Schools Assume New, Bigger Roles in this Year’s Championship
“We’re always looking for ways to make the event better, more challenging for the competitors and more inclusive of the entire trade,” said Sanford. “So this year, we have launched the Contractor Challenge and School Challenge to showcase the quality of talent each contractor and school brings to the profession.” Contractors and schools are being invited to register teams at IDEALnationals.com. “We believe this change will inject some additional fun and friendly rivalry into the competition,” Sanford added. He expects over 100 contractor teams and over 150 school teams to compete this year.
What’s on the Line at Championship Weekend?
“Only 174 electricians will make it to Championship Weekend,” said Sanford. “During the 2019 IDEAL National Competition season, we will award over $600,000 in cash and prizes. So, this is a big recognition not only for individuals, but also the contractors they work for, and the schools they represent.”
IDEAL® National Championship Weekend Will Include an International Competition
“We now have IDEAL National Championship competitions in the U.S., Canada, China, Australia and Mexico. So this year, we’re bringing the national champions from each of those countries to Championship Weekend in Orlando, Florida, November 7-9 at Disney’s® Coronado Springs Resort.”
Sanford continued, “After we crown this year’s North American champions, we’ll have a special ‘International Round’ to determine the top electricians in the world. Champions from the U.S., Australia, Canada and China will compete.”
Wild Card Opportunities
The professional and student/apprentice with the best scores in each state/territory will advance to Championship Weekend. The top three individual competitors, from both the Professional and Apprentice categories, from 2018 will automatically return for a chance to defend their titles.
There are also 14 Wild Card slots available for professionals and students/apprentices respectively. These will be filled by the three best scoring individuals from each U.S. region (North, South, East and West) who do not win their state/territory’s bid and two additional top scorers from Canada.
Those advancing will receive travel accommodations to compete in Championship Weekend at Disney’s® Coronado Springs Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida on November 7-9.