Athlete Development Plan

What is Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD)?

Canadian Sport for Life (CS4L) is a movement to improve the quality of sport and physical activity in Canada. CS4L links sport, education, recreation and health and aligns community, provincial and national programming. Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD) is a seven-stage training, competition and recovery pathway guiding an individual’s experience in sport and physical activity from infancy through all phases of adulthood. CS4L, with LTAD, represents a paradigm shift in the way Canadians lead and deliver sport and physical activity in Canada.

  • LTAD is a training, competition, and recovery framework for individuals at all stages of life.
  • LTAD offers equal opportunity for participation and recreation.
  • LTAD is athlete centered, coach driven and supported by officials, administrators, parents, sport medicine, sport sciences and sponsors.
  • LTAD focuses on the general framework of athlete development with special reference to growth, maturation, and development.
  • LTAD is a framework for full sport system alignment in Canada, integrating health and education with sport and physical activity.

For more information on LTAD click here

Ringette Long Term Athlete Development Framework

FramewLTAD_bookork Document
The focus of this document is Long Term Athlete Development, or LTAD, for participants in Ringette. By respecting the principles of LTAD, we will ensure that our programs and structure meet the developmental needs of participants in each stage of LTAD. This document sets out a framework for LTAD in Ringette. When fully implemented, the LTAD framework will provide the optimal environment for athlete development, the pursuit of excellence, and instill a love of the game that keeps athletes in ringette for life.

Ringette Canada LTAD Framework Document


Clarifying Participation Contexts

Fundamentally, not everyone of the same chronological age is at the same stage (biological age, technical skill, emotional / social maturity, etc.) in their development and, even those who are, may not necessarily want the same ringette experience. There must be some degree of choice in the programs athletes access if we are to have happier athletes (because they are achieving their definition of success) and therefore improve retention. A key challenge in implementing a stage-based model (Ringette LTAD Framework Document) is that ringette, like most team sports, is organized by age group.  How do we apply stage-based principles to an age-based structure?

Clearly defining the different participation contexts, which includes an indication of which LTAD stages are found in these different contexts, and only then applying the stage-based changes to our sport, will be our way forward to a smooth transition to a LTAD-friendly sport.

The Participation Contexts* are:

  • Introduction (Youth and Adult)
  • Children’s Ringette (the introduction to ringette for children is integrated into this context)
  • Competitive Ringette (Youth and Adult)
  • Pursuit of Excellence
  • *Recreational Ringette (Youth and Adult)

*These are working titles only at this time and may change, for example, focus group work with athletes indicates “Recreational Ringette” may not be an appropriate title as the athletes believe ‘all ringette is competitive’ and therefore “recreational” may be a misnomer.  

Children’s Ringette

The early steps in implementing Children’s Ringette are under way. You can read more about this process here.

Provincial Ringette Associations, with the support of Ringette Canada, will be phasing in small-area games (as opposed to full ice) as the national standard for competition over the next four years according to the following timelines:

  • pilot projects: 2018-19 season
  • U8: 2019-20 season (loosely defined as U10 Step 1 in Alberta)
  • U9: 2020-21 season (loosely defined as U10 Step 2 in Alberta)
  • U10: 2021-22 season (loosely defined as U10 Step 3 in Alberta)

Over the 2019-2020 season, Ringette Alberta, along with Cal East / Ringette Calgary will be running a one or two day Children’s Ringette pilot.

Note: Please consider this transition process as a work in progress.

For example, Children’s Ringette excludes Active Start. As described in the document linked above, Children’s Ringette assumes participants join ringette after having acquired basic skating skills. In practice, we know ringette associations are not going to be hands off the youngest potential participants with the expectation those children learn to skate in other (non-ringette) programs first.   We also know that there are children who have had three to four years of skating experience who are at the same chronological age as brand new skaters.  From a skating point of view, it doesn’t seem to make sense to put them in the same program.  In contrast, while they may be at different points in their journey to become great skaters and therefore different groups may be appropriate, they could very well be the same socially, emotionally and intellectually.

In another example, Children’s Ringette, as described in the document linked above, includes (loosely) U12.  What we don’t know yet is whether or not that is a good fit.  We don’t know, yet, when is an appropriate time to transition from cross-ice to half-ice to full-ice as the athletes progress.

The take away?  Be patient. Don’t jump to conclusions. Ask good questions.

What’s Next (as of November 2018)

Ringette Alberta has established two Board Task Forces;, one for Children’s Ringette and one for Competitive Ringette / Pursuit of Excellence.

The Task Forces will rough out the general framework for how ringette in Alberta will look (in Children’s Ringette, Competitive Ringette and Pursuit of Excellence only at this time) using the Ringette Canada Competition Review as a guide.  This will be followed by a thorough member engagement  process to refine that framework including answering the plethora of questions that will emerge.

Stay tuned for more communication from Ringette Alberta over the remainder of the 2018-19 season. Meanwhile, here is the latest:
Comp Review Implementation Update Nov 6 2018.