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The goal of the Athlete Assistance Program (AAP) is to provide financial support to athletes to train and compete successfully for Canada at major games (Olympics, Commonwealth, Pan American), and at World Championships. Athletes who are nominated for funding, and who are approved by Sport Canada for AAP financial support are referred to as ‘carded’ athletes.  AAP funding is referred to as ‘carding’.


Sport Canada has allocated 12 Senior Cards to the Women’s National Team Program. In 2015, Sport Canada will review the AAP allocation to all sports.  Upon review, the number of cards allocated to the Softball Canada National Teams Program may be subject to change for the 2015-2016 carding cycle.


The carding cycle begins on June 1st and ends on to May 31st of the following year. Initial carding nominations will be announced by the National Coach no later than May 29th, 2015.  Additional nominations may be made at a later date. In 2015 there will be 1 selection/carding camp, held in December 2014/January 2015 with mandatory attendance at this camp unless an exemption from the National Coach is given based on individual circumstance. 


The National Coach has the full and sole authority to decide:

  • How the quota of 12 Senior cards will be allocated into Senior and Development categories, based on the goals and objectives for the National Team (NT) Program;
  • Who will be nominated to receive Senior and Development cards.
  • How many carding months are allocated to each player. It is not automatic for an athlete to receive a 12 month card. An athlete may be carded for a shorter period of time based on AAP requirements, position on the depth chart, commitment to the NT program and the number of days involved in NT activities.

Note that Softball Canada does not approve AAP funding for athletes; it makes nominations to Sport Canada, who has final approval of all AAP matters. 


To be eligible to be considered for AAP assistance, an athlete must:

  • Be in good standing with Softball Canada
  • Not be under suspension or sanction by Softball Canada or Sport Canada for a doping or doping-related offense;
  • Be a Canadian citizen
  • Agree to and sign any applicable Athlete Agreement as required by Softball Canada and Sport Canada.

In the event that an athlete is nominated for carding, and in order to maintain carding status, the athlete must continue to fulfill the above-listed requirements as well as any additional as set forth in the signed Athlete Agreement.  Failure to satisfy the terms and conditions outlined above may result in the withdrawal of carding status.


To be considered for a Senior National Card, an athlete must:

  • Have been selected to the Senior National Team athlete pool following the selection/carding camp to be held in December 2014/January 2015, or be added to the pool at a later date.
  • Achieved the Minimum Training Standards for their position or, in the Coach’s discretion, be making suitable efforts towards achieving the standards (see Appendix B of the Women’s National Team Handbook). Note that athletes unable to meet, maintain or make suitable progress towards the Minimum Training Standards over the course of the carding cycle may have their carding support withdrawn.
  • Demonstrate through training and international competition the ability, as defined by the National Team’s selection criteria, to compete at the international softball level.
  • Improve performance (technical, tactical, physiological, and psychological) at training and in international competition, as communicated by the national coach and based on ongoing testing, performance monitoring and post-competition evaluations.
  • Participate in training and performance monitoring programs as directed by the National Coach.
  • Be available to play in all major events in the carding cycle including Pan American Games, World Championships and qualification tournaments, as applicable.

First time recipients of a Senior National Card are designated as C1 recipients and will fall under the Developmental Funding Category.

Position on the depth chart contributes to an athlete’s nomination for Senior National Carding.  Depth chart position is determined by the National Coach and is dependent on the following criteria:

  • Previous and current performance
  • Experience
  • Positional requirements (primary and backup)
  • Present and projected development and/or improvement
  • Leadership/Contribution to team chemistry
  • Availability for competition and training
  • The depth chart, as developed from the evaluation criteria in Appendix A of the 2015 Team selection criteria

The Depth chart may be periodically updated.

An athlete may be selected to the Senior National Team but may not receive a nomination for carding.


To be considered for a Development Card, an athlete must:

  • Be identified by the National Coach or National Coaching Staff as demonstrating superior development potential through:
    1. Performance at the National level (ie. National Championships, Softball Canada hosted competitions, National Camps and/or Softball Canada training sessions.
    2. Recommendation by Provincial Associations/clubs or National Team contacts/scouts
  • Achieve the Minimum Training Standards for their respective position, or in the Coach’s opinion, be making suitable efforts towards achieving the standards (see Appendix B, of the 2015 Team selection criteria when it is available). Note that athletes unable to meet, maintain, or make suitable progress towards the minimum training standards over the course of the carding cycle may have their carding support withdrawn.
  • Participate in National Team Programs as directed by the National Coach.
  • Participate in year-round training programs and in periodic testing and monitoring as directed by the National Coach and National Coaching Staff.

As described within Section 6, nominations for Development Card Status will be assigned based on an athlete’s position on the National Team Depth Chart, which can be periodically updated.


Should an athlete who has been nominated for carding become injured or ill to the extent that the athlete cannot sustain high performance training for a period longer than 30 days, the athlete must immediately notify the National Coach. To continue to receive carding assistance during the current carding cycle, the athlete must provide the National Coach with a detailed rehabilitation and recovery plan that includes the following:

  • A medical doctor’s diagnosis of injury or illness;
  • A medical doctor’s prognosis for the athlete’s return to high performance training and competition;
  • Detailed rehabilitation and return-to-training schedule

The National Coach may consult the Softball Canada Team Physician in review of submitted documents.

An athlete who is eligible to be considered for carding and who is seeking carding, but who is injured or ill to the extent that she cannot fulfill the carding criteria described in this document may nonetheless be nominated for carding at the sole discretion of the National Coach. In exercising such discretion, the National Coach may require that the athlete supply a medical doctor’s diagnosis and prognosis for recovery, and may consult with the Softball Canada team physician for review.  The National Coach will exercise his discretion in this manner only in very exceptional circumstances.


Decisions of the National Coach on AAP nominations may be appealed pursuant to the Appeals Policy of Softball Canada and the applicable appeal provisions of Sport Canada’s Athlete Assistance Program (AAP) Policies and Procedures (Section 13) .


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