Scroll To Top
Swim Ontario address is 1 Concorde Gate, Suite 200B, North York, ON M3C3N6
Awards for Provincials and AA Champs now posted!


Swim Ontario Competition Review Process – 2014-2015

Dated: February 2015

In pursuit of the Swim Ontario Vision 2020 the Sport Development Committee (SDC) was tasked by the Executive Director (ED) to review the current Provincial Competition Template and look for ways to create performance pathways consistent with our strategic priority and initiative of integrating and aligning with Swimming Canada’s (SNC) technical direction.

Under the direction of the Swim Ontario Executive Director (ED), the following ED Committees were tasked with reviewing the Swim Ontario Competitions Program:

  • Sport Development Committee (SDC)
  • High Performance Coach Committee (HPC)
  • Swim Ontario coaches identified by the Provincial Mentor Coach
  • Ontario Swimming Coaches Committee (OSCC)
  • Swim Ontario Technical Staff

The review took place between April 2014 and December 2014.  All provincial competitions and entry standards were reviewed.

A LTAD Strategy review was also completed in this timeframe to ensure that it supported and enhanced the recommendations that would arise from the new Swim Ontario Provincial Competitive structure and at the same time align with Swim Ontario Vision 2020.  The competitions program key priorities were first reviewed in April 2014 by the SDC.  The High Performance Committee (HPC) was also tasked with reviewing the competitions program. Initial feedback from SDC and HPC was brought to Swim Ontario technical staff. 

Throughout the summer and fall of 2014 the competition template was also vetted by Swim Ontario Provincial Mentor Coach identified coaches, and Ontario Swimming Coaches Committee (OSCC).

Updates were brought to SDC in November and December of 2014.   In December of 2014 the SDC supported the proposed Review, Rationale and 2015-2016 Swim Ontario Competition Template and presented it to the ED.  In February 2015 the ED approved the Review, the Rationale and the 2015-2016 Swim Ontario Competition Template.

Swim Ontario Competition Review Process - 2012 Updates

Review Process At A Glance Download
Updated LTAD Recommendations

Swim Ontario Competition Review Process at a Glance  - Dated: March 2012

The review took place between January 2011 and December 2011 by a Sub Committee established by the Ontario Swimming Coaches Committee (OSCC).  All provincial competitions and entry standards were reviewed by the Sub Committee with input from the swimming community.

A LTAD Strategy review was also completed in this timeframe to ensure that it supported and enhanced the recommendations that would arise from the new Swim Ontario Provincial Competitive structure.

The competition template recommendations from the Sub Committee were presented to the Swimming Development Committee (SDC) and the Swim Ontario board in September 2011.  These were presented to the swimming community at the Swim Ontario conference in September 2011 and to the OSCC Membership at the OSCC AGM in September 2011. 

In December 2011 the SDC approved the 2013-2016 Provincial Competition recommendations and the corresponding standards were then reviewed and created.

The 2013-2016 Festival, Age Group and Provincial Championship standards were developed based on historical performance data in the province, target competition numbers, swimmer development and performance progression through the LTAD strategy/continuum. 

The 2013-2016 standards also had to be adjusted to compensate for lack of depth of the data in some age categories including events with minimal performance history and new age categories within the younger age groups.

The Swim Ontario Open standards were created based on a mid-way point between the 16-17 Ontario Standard and the SNC Senior standard.
In January 2012 the Swim Ontario Board of Directors approved the 2013-2016 Provincial Competition Template & Standards and the LTAD Strategy recommendations.

Long Term Athlete Development Strategy 2008 Updates
New SNC Changes included

Download the LTADS - In a Nut Shell PDF

The implementation of the Swim Ontario LTADS has been a success over the past four years. Now, Swimming Canada (SNC) is in the process of finalizing a national LTADS policy which will take effect September 1st, 2008. The following information provides some background on the Swim Ontario LTADS; as well, it outlines any (minor) impact the SNC LTADS will have on Swim Ontario members.

To address the different rates of growth which occur between males and females, the Swim Ontario Junior Provincial competition has differentiated age categories between genders. To better address the physiological capabilities and needs of our athletes at each phase of their development, there is a differentiation in what events are offered to each age category.

To reduce the physiological age disparity that 2 year age increments bring, and to provide a fairer playing field for all, single year age increments have been introduced at Junior Provincials for all Girls 14 yrs of age and under and all Boys 15 yrs of age and under. Because scientific research indicates that athletes lock in their skills during the first three to four years of swimming, the emphasis should not be on how fast you swim but how well you swim. Skill development is far more important than winning!

To ensure that swim programs focus on avoiding soft tissue injury caused from repetitive freestyle workouts, improve motor learning skills, increase interest and benefit long term development; Individual Medley (Multi Stroke/Multi Skill) pre-requisite qualifying events were introduced at Junior Provincials. (The 200 IM for Girls 11 yrs & under and Boys 12 yrs & under; and the 400 IM for Girls 12, 13, 14yrs and Boys 13, 14 and 15 yrs.)

Sports physiologists have discovered that age group swimmers are pre-disposed to aerobic training, and derive far greater benefits long term by developing their aerobic capacities as opposed to their anaerobic capacities; an Aerobic oriented pre-requisite event has been introduced at Junior Provincials. (The 400 Free for Girls 10 yrs and under and Boys 11 yrs and under; and the 800 Free for Girls 11, 12, 13 & 14 and Boys 12, 13, 14 & 15.) For tracking purposes, clubs are encouraged to run Sanctioned Time Trials in the 400 and 800 Freestyle for all their age group swimmers.
Swimmers must attain both an Individual Medley (IM) and an Aerobic Free pre-requisite time and at least one (1) Junior Provincial qualifying standard in order to participate at Junior Provincials. (Girls 15-17 and Boys 16-17 are exempt.)

It often takes between 10 and 15 years of the best possible preparation to reach Individual Peak Performance levels. With such a long career ahead, it is far more beneficial to allow swimmers 12 yrs of age and under the free time necessary to participate with friends and family in other sports and social activities, and reduce the unnecessary fatigue that accumulates from participating in heats and finals throughout the season.

Therefore, all 12 & under events for all sanctioned Invitational’s and Time Trials within the province of Ontario will be TIME FINAL EVENTS only (see 12 & under rules below).

12 & UNDER RULES (Within Ontario only)

  1. Regardless of meet format or age categories, all individual and relay events for 12 and under are TIME FINAL (no progression to second swim of the same event)
  2. 12 & under may “ Swim Up” on relays in both preliminaries & finals at Ontario Jr. Provincial Championships, Ontario Senior Provincial Championships, Ontario Team Championships and Ontario Regional Championships and any SNC designated Meets.
  3. 12 and under who qualify, may swim heats and finals of individual events at Ontario Senior Provincials, Canada Games Trials or other SNC designated competitions.

To achieve a province wide strategy it is recommended that Invitational and Regional Championships offer the same event selection as Jr. Provincials. Invitational’s do not have to run their meets in the same event order nor do they have to run single year increments. All sanctioned meets need to comply with the 14 and under LTAD policy # 2 as described below.

In order to recognize the need to re-charge our batteries, and re-focus on the Long Course Season, March has been identified as a Refocus/Revitalization Period. No Sanctioned meets or time trials will be permitted during the SO defined revitalization period. SNC or Swim Ontario designated competitions are exempt from this policy.

The recommended swim meet session length, excluding warm-ups, is 4.5 hours. If a meet exceeds this length, you are requested to report that to the Executive/Technical Director of Swim Ontario at

For more information on any of Swim Ontario’s Programs, including the “Long Term Athlete Development Strategy visit the Swim Ontario website at

NEW: SNC National LTAD Policy - 14 & UNDER Rules

  1. For pre-Peak Height Velocity (PHV - 14 years and under) age athletes, age groupings for entry time standards, national rankings and awards shall be based on single year increments.

    Impact: Swim Ontario already has single age increment standards or “Time Levels” for 14 and under athletes.
  2. For Club Invitational, Regional, Provincial and National sanctioning of competitions, a qualification system for swimmers aged 14 & under shall involve a pre-requisite or entry system that is based on individual medley and aerobic freestyle events only. Example: 200 IM AND 400 or 800 FR or 400 IM AND 400, 800 or 1500 Freestyle.

    Impact: Swim Ontario’s current Junior Provincial Championship qualification system conforms to this SNC LTAD policy. Club Invitational’s will adopt a similar entry system; Clubs can choose the IM and aerobic freestyle events and time standard for the pre-requisite qualification. Please note that Swim Ontario regional sanctioning officers will not accept any sanction requests that do not comply.
  3. For Swimmers aged 14 & under, at Provincial and National competitions: Award systems will include:
    • Overall scoring of multiple-event performance across individual medley and aerobic freestyle events using a SNC IM-FREE program.
    • Recognition of improvement from previous personal best (PB) performances.
    • Individual awards for individual event performances.

    Impact: The Swim Ontario Junior Provincial competition conforms to bullets 1 and 3; however a form of recognition of improvement for PB’s (bullet 2) will be developed.
  4. For the purposes of obtaining sanction approval, estimated timelines for all competitive sessions be required on the sanction application, and these timelines must be included in the meet information. 

    Impact: All sanction applications will require estimated timelines to be included in the meet package and should be compliant with total session lengths, excluding warm up, that do not exceed 4.5 hours (see above).