Meets are held in different cities across Ontario during the skating season. Hamilton hosts a meet during the year – typically on Family Day (Monday).
There are two types of competitions in Ontario for short track speed skating:
- Regional Series – Skaters age 6 and up are grouped together according to their ability. Meets are usually one day in length. Ontario is divided into different regions and Hamilton Speed Skating Club is in the Western region.
- The HSSC and GHSSC are allowed to skate in any race open to the Western Region
- For more information about Regional meets – Regional Series
- Elite Series – In order to qualify for the Elite series, skaters must reach a certain time standard and be invited by the Ontario Speed Skating Association to attend. Skaters age 11 and up are placed in groups according to age and gender. These meets are the qualifying meets for Provincial championships. Elite series meets are two day events.
For more information regarding competitions you can:
- Ask/email any parents or coaches if you have any questions
- Review the Competitions – what you should know document
Attending Your First Meet
Ahead of any meet a detailed agenda and information package will be distributed by the hosting club, including which group your skater is assigned to (Alpha, Bravo, Charlie … etc.). Please reach out to any of the other returning parents in the club with questions you may have. The first time you will definitely have lots of questions and will want to review the information with someone. Everyone has been in your shoes with all of the same questions so please do not hesitate to reach out.
Plan to arrive at the arena in enough time to find parking, find your way into the facility, find our change room and change into skating gear.
We will all be housed in the same change room together (look for HAMILTON SPEED SKATING CLUB signs). We usually leave our “stuff” in the change room (e.g. tuck skates, etc. back into your skating bag between races). In addition, often our group of skaters usually sits together in the same area. It may take a bit for this part to get organized because everyone is arriving and getting kids ready to go on the ice. It is helpful if we are together so that “experienced” parents can help “newer” parents figure out the schedule, timing for changing back into skates, etc.
There will be a warm-up for each group of skaters. Warm up is a chance for the kids to get out, see the new rink, and skate a few laps before racing starts. Warm-ups are not mandatory.
Packing for a Meet
It is strongly recommended that you pack an extra set of racing clothes for your skater(s). If they fall and the track is wet, they will be very wet. Just in case, throw an extra pair of underwear, socks, shirt, pants, and sweater into their bag. A hairdryer is also very helpful to dry clothing. If you do not have one, please ask one of the other parents (it is likely they have one).
You will need all of your regular speed skating safety equipment. Skaters will be checked for all appropriate safety equipment and will not be able to skate if equipment is missing. Don’t forget your speed skating helmet and your yellow helmet cover.
Kids usually graze throughout the day, so lots of smaller, healthy snack style foods are a good idea. Do not forget a water bottle.
Being in the arena all day can be cold. Dress in layers. Pack a hat and mitts. It is always easier to take clothing off , if you are too hot.