Skaters participate in both Long Track and Short Track Speed Skating according to the Long Term Participant and Athlete Development Plan.
Short Track Speed Skating takes place on a 30m x 60m rink using a 111.12m oval track. Involving tight corners and high speeds with numerous skaters on the ice at the same time, Short Track Speed Skating is an exciting sport to watch. For safety, rink boards must be covered with protective mats with a minimum thickness of 20cm. At international competitions, athletes race distances of 500m, 1,000m, 1,500m, and 3,000m with relay races of 3,000m (women) and 5,000m (men). For our younger skaters, Ability Meets include shorter distances of 100m to 400m.
Short Track Ability Meets
An ability meet pits skaters of equal ability against each other in a mass start format (up to 6 skaters racing at once). Thus, it is very important that seed times be accurate. Seed times are personal bests (PBs) for a skater in a given distance. If you are ever asked for a seed time on a meet entry form and you don’t know what to put, ask your coach. Do not put in a time that has not been skated.
Ability meets feature an equal number of races for all participants. They usually award medals based on accumulated points with respect to other skaters in a given age class, even though a given skater may not be racing against other members of their age class. Ranking is based upon higher ability levels being awarded higher numbers of points for their finishing positions.
Short Track Age Class Meets
At age class meets, skaters race against others in their own age class; they are further divided into A and B skill level groupings. Some provincial and national age class championships run on this mass start format. Each skater races four distances (pre-determined for their age class) at each age class meet. Whether they race more than four times depends on whether there are enough competitors to warrant heats and semi-finals.
Skaters are grouped according to their seed times. The majority of meets in Alberta are Ability meets. If you are ever unsure about where you or your child should be classified, please consult one of the coaches on this matter well before a meet.
Short Track Mass StartThis form of racing, used in both short and long track, has up to six skaters race against each other on a single lane/track.