Changes to Swim Ontario Competition Structure

A process was set in motion over a year and a half ago that has culminated in major changes in the Swim Ontario competition calendar and qualifying standards.

One objective was a greater emphasis on ‘senior’ swimmers. A true Provincial Championship was created that included an open category for senior swimmers. To help prepare these swimmers for national and international levels, two long course meets were added to the calendar.

Overall, the program has been divided into three streams, by age and ability. For all streams, the season has been divided into three phases or ‘macro-cycles’.

Team Champs has been retained in its usual format, but moved to December, to the end of the first macro-cycle.

Replacing Junior Provincials are Festivals (13 and under), Ontario Age Groups (17 and under) and Provincials (to include an open category). Here is ROW's Swim Ontario meet schedule for the 2012-13 year, divided by stream.

Each of the above three types of meets has its own time standards, replacing previous Ontario Age Group and Junior Provincial times. The new time standards can be viewed here. In general, Festival times are considerably faster than Regional times, Ontario Age Group times are faster than Junior Provincials, and Ontario Open times are faster than AgNats. Here is a detailed look at how the new standards would compare to Regionals and Junior Provincials, from the perspective of a 10, 13 and 16 year old girl swimming 50m and 100m freestyle.

The restructuring of the streams was intended to increase the participation of younger swimmers (via the Festivals) and address the over-subscription of the current Junior Provincials. Target competition sizes are 600 swimmers for the Provincial Age Group Championship, 600 for the Provincials (versus over 1,000 at Junior Provincials), and 500 at each Festival meet (to be held at 2 concurrent sites for both Winter and Summer).

Complete details of the rationale for the changes, the new meets and the new standards are available here.

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