About Our Competitions
The first meet that new skaters enter are Interclub meets. These meets take place all over BC, but because of cost our club generally only attends meets in the Lower Mainland. These meets are set up as “ability meets,” meaning skaters are grouped not by age, but by ability as measured by their previous best times. (If a skater hasn’t raced before, the coaches submit times from time trials at practice.) There are broad age categorizations, but the benefit of this system is that a new skater won’t be going up against someone who has skated for several years.
Interclub meets are usually one-day events lasting from first thing in the morning until dinner (7 am – 5 pm is common, with warm-ups starting at 7 am and racing beginning at 8 am). Skaters race 4 or 5 races of varying length, depending on their age. For example, an 8 year old might do two 100 m races (1 lap), one 200 m race (2 laps), and one 300 m race (3 laps). The day’s schedule is usually organized with the first race starting with the youngest and least experienced then moving through to the oldest and most experienced. Then they repeat for each of the four or five races they do. This means there is usually an hour or two between races. (Sometimes Interclub meets run skaters up to age 12 in the morning and the skaters 12 and over in the afternoon.)
Another benefit to the way the ability meets are run is that race organizers tinker with race groupings between each race. So, for example, a skater who won their first race may be moved up to the next faster group, while someone who finished last in their first race may be moved down to the next slower group. This gives skaters a chance to race different people and a better chance at doing well. The only downside of this system is that at less organized meets, there can be a delay in racing while officials figure out the start lists for the next round of races.
Kids usually love the meets and particularly enjoy hanging out with their friends from the club. Bring extra clothes — at more than one meet the kids have had snowball fights or built snowmen between or after races.