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SOFTBALL CANADA
WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM PROGRAM
ATHLETE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (AAP) CRITERIA FOR NOMINATIONS FOR
THE 2014-2015 CARDING CYCLE

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1. GOAL

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, and AAP funding is referred to as ‘carding’.

 2. CARDING QUOTA

Sport Canada has allocated 12 Senior cards to the Women’s National Team Program. Sport Canada will review the AAP allocation to all sports in 2014, and therefore the number of cards allocated to the National Team Program may be subject to change by Sport Canada for the 2014-15 carding cycle.

3. DURATION OF AAP CARDING

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 July 9. Additional nominations may be made at a later date. In 2014 there will be 1 selection/carding camp, held in June/early July with mandatory attendance at  this camp unless an exemption from the national coach is given based on individual circumstance.

4. AUTHORITY FOR NOMINATION DECISIONS

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, her position on the depth chart, her commitment to the NT program and the number of days she is 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.

5. ELIGIBILITY

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 any doping or doping-related offence;
  • Be a Canadian citizen
  • Commit to sign any applicable Athlete Agreement as required by Softball Canada and Sport Canada.

In event that the athlete is nominated for carding, she must continue to fulfill these conditions as well as any additional conditions contained in the Athlete Agreement. Failure to fulfill such conditions may result in the athlete having her carding support withdrawn.

6. CRITERIA FOR SENIOR CARDS

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

  • Have been selected to the Senior National Team athlete pool following the initial selection/carding camp to be held in June/early July.
  • 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 that she has the ability, based on the selection criteria for the National Team, to play international softball.
  • 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.

Senior National cards awarded to athletes who meet the national criteria for Senior Cards for the first time are called C1 Cards and are funded at the Development Card level.

Athletes will be nominated for Senior National Carding on the basis of their position on the Depth Chart, created by the National Coach, to rank athletes by position based on:

  • Previous and current performance
  • Experience
  • Positional requirements
  • 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 2014 Team selection criteria

It is acknowledged that an athlete may be selected to the Senior National Team but may not be nominated for carding.

7. CRITERIA FOR DEVELOPMENT CARDS

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

  • Have been identified by the National Coach or national coaching staff as having demonstrated development potential through: performance at National Championships; at Softball Canada domestic competitions; at national camps; at ongoing training sessions; or have been identified and recommended to the National Coach by Provincial Associations/clubs or through the National Team network of 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 2014 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.
  • Be available to 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.

As with Senior carding, athletes will be nominated for Development carding on the basis of a Depth Chart as described in the Senior carding criteria.

8. INJURY OR ILLNESS

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 obtain a medical doctor’s diagnosis and prognosis for the athlete’s return to high performance training and competition, and must supply a detailed, written rehabilitation and return-to-training plan, satisfactory to the National Coach and the Softball Canada team physician.

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. It is anticipated that the National Coach will exercise his discretion in this manner only in very exceptional circumstances.

9. APPEALS

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) http://www.pch.gc.ca/pgm/sc/pol/athl/index-eng.cfm .

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