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Alberta Standards

PROVINCIAL COMPETITIONS 2016-2017 

OVERVIEW

Swim Alberta has undertaken an extensive review of its provincial competitions to ensure it intentionally aligns with Swimming Canada’s Competition Improvement Plan and Long-Term Athlete Development Model. Our Provincial Competition Format ensures that all athletes benefit from developmentally appropriate competition. 

WHY WAS A COMPETITION REVIEW NECESSARY? 

As a leader in advancing swimming in Canada, Swim Alberta needed to ensure that our provincial competition structure was aligned with the Swimming Canada Competition Improvement Plan and the changes being rolled out by Swimming Canada over the next several years. In addition, updating our competition structure was a priority in our strategic plan, which was created in consultation with our members. 

WHAT PROCESS WAS USED? 

Our competition review was led by a team of highly skilled people from our swimming community that worked together over the past year to ensure our competition structure met the principles of LTAD, aligned with LTAD and where appropriate aligned with Swimming Canada’s competition structure. 

WHAT WILL THE NEW PROVINCIAL COMPETITION STRUCTURE LOOK LIKE?

Early exposure to high levels of competition is viewed as a contributing factor towards poor training habits, which can lead to burnout in young athletes. It is also a contributing factor towards the development of a focus on the achievement of short term performance outcomes which is counter to the philosophy of coaching towards an individual’s long term potential (LTAD).  
To address this, progressive minimum ages for each “tier” of Provincial competitions have been introduced. There is no suggestion that younger swimmers should have no access to any competition.  On the contrary, there is a clear need for good quality development meets for young age group swimmers as part of their development and positive experience in the sport which is best delivered by skilled coaching using club invitational and programs such as the Junior Circuit and in-club competitions.  
It is recognized by many coaches that racing with a high degree of skill in short course (SC) competition forms a key stage in the process of learning to maintain skill when racing under pressure in long course (LC) events.  The SC season runs September – December and this has been incorporated into the plan through the introduction of a provincial competition in December. The proposed provincial competition format ensures that all athletes benefit from developmentally appropriate competition. The provincial competition program has a clear performance pathway for athletes interested in advancing their skills and an updated competitive provincial meet structure that aligns with various stages of LTAD

North and South Provincials 

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This will be used to qualify for the Northern Alberta Provincials and Southern Alberta Provincials.

Ages Girls 10& under 11-13yrs 14 & over Boys 11& 12-14yrs 15 & over

Alberta Spring Championships and Alberta Summer Championships

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Ages Girls 12 & under/12-14yrs/15 & over Boys 13 & under/14-15yrs/16 & over

This will be used to qualify for the Spring Championships, Summer Championships & the Swim Alberta Cup*
*Only the 15 & over female / 16 & over male standards will be eligible to qualify for the Swim Alberta Cup.