Entry Fees and Olympic Bonus Fees for Swim Alberta Sanctioned Competitions

Club Invitational meets


In keeping with the elements of our 2024 Strategic Plan, two of the priorities we have identified to focus on over the next several years is:

  1. Implementation of a Competition Structure that supports the development needs of athletes from grassroots through to provincial competitions; and
  2. Develop a system and support a mindset for the development of clubs that results in effective board leadership, positive working relationships with head coaches, informed decision making to support athlete development at the club level, effective club operations and clubs who are eager to learn and continuously improve. 

We recognize that it is important for clubs to be able to effectively operate through sound business and financial planning.  When clubs are able to do this, they can more effectively support the competition structure needs of athletes in the province.

Having said that, the primary goal of competitions should be to create meaningful competitive opportunities for our athletes.  Fundraising goals should be secondary to the needs of the athletes.

Historically Swim Alberta has set maximum entry fees, through the sanctioning process for all competitions in Alberta. For club hosted competitions, the intent was to ensure the sport remained affordable for the participants and clubs did not run a deficit hosting a competition. However, we recognize that facility costs vary widely across the province, as do the elements clubs are building into meets to create meaningful competitions for our athletes.  The difference in facility costs have changed to the point where a single maximum fee cannot be justified.   It has been observed that whenever the maximum entry fee in the past has increased, most clubs have used the maximum fee for invitational competitions, regardless of the cost of the facility and other fluctuating meet operating costs.

Meet Fees for 2017-2018

There will no longer be a maximum entry fee set by Swim Alberta.

What does this mean to you as a club:  

  • Your club will need to set appropriate meet entry fees and budget accordingly.  There are sample budget worksheets available to download on the Swim Alberta Meet Manager Information Page.  http://www.swimalberta.ca/officials/meet-manager-information
  • As a club, you will also need to take into account the Olympic Bonus fee as established by Swim Alberta.  This fee will continue to be assessed and collected for every sanctioned competition in the province, with the exception of masters and varsity.
  • As per the Swim Alberta Competition Sanctioning Policy, Clubs are not permitted to assess any penalties or surcharges for sanctioned competitions.  Be sure to set your entry fees carefully.

Olympic Bonus Fees 2017-2018

The Olympic Bonus is a splash fee for each event of a sanctioned competition.  The Olympic bonus for the 2017-2018 season has been established at
$1.50 per individual event
$6.00 per relay


Removing the maximum entry fee for competitions will be reviewed and evaluated by Swim Alberta on a regular basis to ensure it is achieving the desired objectives.  Clubs will need to ensure the meet entry fees they establish do not hinder the participation of other clubs, as the unintended consequence will be low attendance at your competition which will have budgeting implications for the club. 

Meet Entry Fee Guidelines

As a guideline to assist you with establishing meet fees, consider the following as upper level fees to be charged in premium facilities.  For other facilities, you should consider a lower entry fee.  If you are providing additional services, such as webcasting or other enhancements in a premium facility, you may need to consider a higher entry fee.  Remember to build the Olympic Bonus assessment into your fee. 

A Guideline for Suggested Maximum Entry Fees incorporating Olympic Bonus*
Timed Final Competitions                                $8.25 (SC) / $9.25 (LC)
Heats and Finals Competitions                      $9.75 (SC) / $11.75 (LC)
Relays                                                                            $15.00 (all competitions)

Competition Sanctioning Policy

An updated Competition Sanctioning Policy was approved by the Board of Swim Alberta on May 27th, 2017 for the 2017-2018 competitive season.  A copy of that policy is available at http://www.swimalberta.ca/about/laws-and-policies.  Please note that the current Competition Sanctioning Policy will be in effect until August 31, 2017.

Phase II Competition Review - Update

The second phase of the competition review that focuses on club invitational competitions is still planned.  We are working with Swimming Canada with regards to their Phase II of the National Competition Review, which is intended to provide competition recommendations for the provincial governing bodies.  We are eager to receive the final recommendations, so that we can begin to look at our own competition review.  We are also committed to reviewing the changes to the Provincial Competition Structure that was implemented for the 2016-2017 competitive season to ensure the changes made are meeting the development needs of our athletes from a competition perspective. 

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Kevin Dennis, Technical Coordinator – Swim Alberta at kevin@swimalberta.ca .