The World Junior Figure Skating Championships ("World Juniors" or "Junior Worlds") is an annual figure skating competition sanctioned by the International Skating Union, in which younger figure skaters compete for the title of World Junior Champion. The ISU guidelines for junior eligibility have varied throughout the years; the current requirements are for the competitor to have reached the age of 13 by the previous July 1st, but not yet 19, except for men competing in pair skating and ice dancing, where the upper limit is 21.
This event is one of the four annual ISU figure skating Championships and is considered the most prestigious international competition for juniors. Skaters compete in the categories of men, ladies, pairs, and ice dancing.
The first World Junior Figure Skating Championships were held in March, 1976 in Megève, France, and were originally named the "ISU Junior Figure Skating Championships". In 1977 the championships were held again under the same name at the same place. In 1978 these championships were officially renamed the "World Junior Figure Skating Championships", and held once again in Megève. Since then, the location has changed each year.
Since 2000, the competition has generally been held in early March, but for some years previously it was held in late November or early December of the previous calendar year.
Skaters qualify for the World Junior Championships by belonging to a Member nation of the ISU. Each country gets one entry in every discipline by default. The most entries a country can have in a single discipline is three. Countries earn a second or third entry for the following year's competition by earning points through skater placement. The points are equal to the sum of the placements of the country's skaters (top two if they have three). Entries do not carry over and so countries must continue to earn their second or third spot every year. If a country only has one skater/team, that skater/team must place in the top ten to earn a second entry and in the top two to earn three entries to next year's championships. If a country has two skaters/teams, the combined placement of those teams must be 13 or less to qualify 3 entries, and 28 or less to keep their two entries. If they do not do so, they only have one entry for the following year.
There are exceptions if a skater is forced to withdraw in the middle of the competition due to a medical emergency or equipment problems.
Which skaters from each country attend the World Junior Championships is at the national governing body's discretion. Some countries rely on the results of their national championships while others have more varied criteria. Selections vary by country.