A competition showcasing superior skills is always exciting. But electricians competing against each other is not something most people expect to show up on their ESPN channel. However, on Nov. 22 the 2020 IDEAL National Championship Invitational was held featuring six of the country’s top professional and student apprentice electricians, who were paired up in three teams. The competition consisted of four challenges:
--a conduit door trace and cut
--overhead service challenge
--wiring door code challenge
These tasks were created to demonstrate problem-solving as well as physical skills across categories such as workmanship, safety, efficiency and teamwork.
"This was the ultimate skills competition and I was honored to be part of it," said professional competitor, Kristen Clayton of San Francisco, Calif. in a statement. "My strategy was to approach this competition like it was any other workday. I knew I had to work hard, get the job done and get it done right."
In previous years the competition consisted of over one thousand qualifying rounds with more than 60,000 contestants but was modified this year due to the pandemic. The event was held earlier this year in Chicago.
The competition was created as a way to highlight the skills that the trades require and “gamify” the field in the hopes of attracting more talent.
"Our goal is to help those who keep the lights on and the world humming, while also growing mainstream interest in their craft," said Carmen Cardillo, general manager, IDEAL Electrical, the sponsor of the competition, in a statement.