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Short Track Speed Skating

Skaters participate in both Long Track and Short Track Speed Skating according to the Speed Skating Canada Long Term Athlete Development model: Short Track and Long Track are complementary disciplines and skaters do not specialize until later in their development. 


Short Track Speed Skating takes place on an NHL or Olympic size rink using a 100m or  111.12m oval track. Club Skaters and Youth Skaters (ages 13 and under) skate on the 100m Track while Neo-Junior and older skaters (14+) skate on the 111m track. Meets will often run both tracks at the same competition. 


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 as it combines strategy, speed, and technique. For safety, rink boards must be covered with protective mats. 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 1500m.


Short Track Ability Meets


The majority of Short Track Meets hosted by Clubs in Alberta are Ability Meets. An Ability Meet seeds (places) skaters based on Ability and not based on Gender or Age, thus Male and Female skaters of different ages will race in the same group based on their Ability (using Seed Times). 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. These times are used to place skaters in the right group so it is important that they be accurate. 


Ability meets feature an equal number of races for all participants in a mass start format (usually up to 6 skaters racing at once). Ability Meets usually award medals based on accumulated points with respect to other skaters in a given Division (a group of skaters placed together based on their Seed Times/Abilities). 


Short Track Age Class Meets


At age class meets, skaters race against others in their own age class; they are further divided by gender (Males and Females). Canadian Youth Short Track - West is an example of an Age Class Meet for Youth Skaters (ages 11-13). 


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 Start


This form of racing, used in both short and long track, has up to six skaters (sometimes 8 skaters) race against each other on a single lane/track.

Learn more about Short Track Speed Skating from Speed Skating Canada:

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