The American Fire Sprinkler Association will host its 16th Annual National Apprentice Competition Oct. 16, 2009, in San Diego during its annual convention and exhibition, Oct. 14-18 at the Manchester Grand Hyatt. Seven of America's finest fire sprinkler fitter apprentices will face off in an intense, one-day, head-to-head skills contest in the national competition.

The finals consists of two parts: a three-hour written examination and a practical examination in which the apprentice must cut, thread and install a steel and plastic piping system with sprinklers and perform a pressure test. Participants will be judged on their accuracy, craftsmanship and safety.

To compete in AFSA's national competition, contestants first must take a written examination June 27, 2009. The top seven contestants will advance to the national competition. Each of these seven finalists will receive an expense-paid trip to compete in the national finals in San Diego, tools and cash prizes ranging from $5,000 for top honors to $1,000. In addition, the employer of each of the seven finalists will receive one complimentary registration to attend AFSA's Convention & Exhibition to cheer on their apprentice in San Diego.

To enter AFSA's 16th National Apprentice Competition, the apprentice's employer must be a member in good-standing with AFSA; the apprentice must be actively participating in the AFSA Apprenticeship Courses or be currently enrolled in the Contren® Learning Series Course for Sprinkler Fitters; the apprentice cannot have worked in the sprinkler trade, hanging pipe, for more than five years; and the apprentice must live within the continental United States to have expenses paid to the competition. Also, an apprentice who has won first, second or third place at AFSA's National Apprentice Competition and/or ABC's Craft Championship is not eligible to compete. Employers may enter as many apprentices as are eligible from their company.

Apprentices interested in participating must submit their application to AFSA by Friday, April 3, 2009. Application forms and entry guidelines may be obtained at the "Apprentice Competition" page of the AFSA Web site,; in the pages of AFSA's official publication,Sprinkler Agemagazine; or by calling 214/349-5965 ext. 132.

For more information or to download an entry form, visit the Apprentice Competition page directlyhere.

Source: The American Fire Sprinkler Association