The 2020 Special Olympics Alberta Snow Sports Challenge is an Affiliate-based competition that may be completed during scheduled programs. Affiliates is close proximity are encouraged to come together for to participate in the Challenge, but it is not required.
Virtual competitions have been hosted by Special Olympics Alberta in the past and have been shown to be effective. They encourage Affiliates who don’t have many competition opportunities to have their athletes’ performances compared with others and can be incorporated into periodization plans. Virtual competitions are an inexpensive alternative to travelling long distances for competitions, require minimal additional volunteer time and resources, and are intended to complement the coaches’ training plans for their athletes.
Special Olympics Alberta’s goals in offering a virtual snow sports competition are to:
- Support meaningful training opportunities in snowshoeing and cross country skiing
- Provide athletes the opportunity to compete within their Affiliate’s regular programs
- Assess opportunities to use for other timed sports
Affiliates are invited to electronically submit scores from a simulated competition in a program session. These results will be pooled with others and divisioned similar to a competition with awards distributed by Special Olympics Alberta.
- Rules: The Special Olympics Canada Winter Sport Rules for and are being used, with a few modifications as indicated below.
- Participation: This Challenge is open to all athletes registered in a Snowshoeing or Cross Country Skiing program with an Affiliate. Athletes and Affiliates are not required to compete in both the Snowshoeing and Cross Country Ski races, but participation in both is welcome.
- Challenge Dates: Affiliates must complete their Challenge scoring between February 1, 2020 and March 15, 2020. Scores must be submitted by midnight on March 16, 2020.
- Fee: There is no fee to participate in the 2020 Special Olympics Alberta Snow Sports Challenge. Pre-registration of athletes is not required, although Affiliates are asked to confirm their participation by January 31, 2020 by clicking .
- Snowshoeing Events: Athletes must submit scores for at least two distances. The following distances will be used:
*The order of distances and trials is at the discretion of the Affiliate.
- Cross Country Skiing Events: Athletes must submit scores for at least two distances. The following distances will be used:
- 100m Classical Technique
- 500m Classical Technique
- 1.0km Classical Technique
- 2.5km Classical Technique
- 100m Free Technique
- 500m Free Technique
- 1.0km Free Technique
- 2.5km Free Technique
* The order of distances and trials is at the discretion of the Affiliate.
- Trials: Three trial attempts are permissible for each distance, with the fastest time being used by SOA for results. Athletes may choose to only use one attempt. If multiple attempts are taken, they may be completed on the same day or on different days.
- Course: It is preferred that the courses align with the Special Olympics Canada Winter Sport Rules for and ; however, Affiliates may vary from these course layouts at their discretion based on the facilities used by their programs.
- Equipment: Equipment must conform to the Special Olympics Canada Winter Sport Rules for and .
- Divisioning: Divisioning will occur by Special Olympics Alberta once results are received.
- Officials: Formally trained officials are not required to participate. Affiliates are encouraged to invite any local officials to their event days. Affiliates may use volunteers who can accurately time the athletes.
Times must be entered into a spreadsheet that can be accessed and downloaded by Affiliates .
Upon completion, the spreadsheet is uploaded . Affiliates may either submit one spreadsheet for both Snowshoeing and Cross Country Skiing, or they may submit these separately.
Athletes and Affiliates are encouraged to share their approach to the Challenge by tagging @SpecialOAlberta on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and using the #SOASnowChallenge20 so that we can share your amazing posts! This is the pilot of the SOA Snow Sports Challenge, and it would be great to hear about creative approaches Affiliates may be using to integrate this into their programs. Spirit recognitions will be extended to athletes and coaches who showcase their participation in the Challenge!
If you have any additional questions, please contact Denise Fisher, Manager of Youth, Competitions & Sport at or 1-800-444-2883 ext. 1005.