4-H Age Competition Policy Changes

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It is important to understand that the National 4-H policy on age and competition states that youth ages 8 – 18 are eligible for competitive events and activities. This position was implemented based on research regarding age appropriateness.

As of September 1, 2018, youth participating in North Carolina 4-H programs, events and activities will do so under the following guidelines:
4-H is open to all youth between the ages of 5 and 18, regardless of race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, immigration status, and marital status as determined by the following age criteria:
a. The first year of eligibility for participation in the 4-H Cloverbuds Program is the 4-H age of five (5).
b. The last year of eligibility for participation in the 4-H Cloverbuds Program is the 4-H age of eight (8).  Youth who wish to participate as a Cloverbud at age 8 may do so. However, as an eight year old, if they choose to participate as a Junior in any 4-H activity, they must participate as a Junior in all 4-H activities.
c. The first year of eligibility for the regular 4-H program is the 4-H age of eight (8).
d. The last year of eligibility is 4-H age eighteen (18).
e. Certain programs designed for children with special needs/disabilities may establish age limits outside of those stated above. This decision will be determined locally.
For more information please contact your county 4-H agent.