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Vancouver Sea to Sky Zone Information


  1. The Executive Committee, via the various Sport Committees, are responsible for the Vancouver Sea to Sky zone championship events / competitions.
  2. Zone Championship events (tournaments & meets) must be manageable events with limited size, costs, facility use, length of days required and amount of school missed.


  1. Hosting privilege / responsibilities for zone championship events will rotate among the three recognized athletic associations. If an association declines a hosting opportunity, or a host is not secured in a reasonable amount of time prior to the event, the opportunity to host will be offered to the association next in line to host. Future rotations to host should return to originally scheduled rotations. Sport Committees are welcome to work out agreed upon hosting responsibilities for events that require certain locations. 
  2. Host sites must have appropriate facilities for the needs of the event.
  3. Zone Championship events should be at a school and should only consider community facilities if required for the event / sport.
  4. Host berths are discouraged as it is our hope that a host school will be a school that will have qualified for the Vancouver Sea to Sky zone championship by their placing in their respective athletic association. If granting a host berth is required, a Sport Committee may agree to do so but this may have a serious impact on berthing.


  1. Certified officials must be used for all Vancouver Sea to Sky Zone Championship events.
  2. Every effort must be made to ensure qualified minor officials and provide game/match directors to mitigate any possible discrepancies with scoring/rules/etc. If there is a cost for minor officials, those costs will be included in the zone event entrance fee.
  3. Zone Championship events should try to provide first aid support for student athletes; especially in contact sports and/or sports with a higher risk for injury.


  1. Zone events (tournaments & meets) must not take longer than one calendar week to complete and, ideally, include no more than three days of competition.
  2. Zone events must try to mitigate the amount of school / class time missed for students / staff.
  3. Zone championship games should be scheduled for late afternoon / evening and weekend as much as possible.
  4. Recommended considerations for size of a zone championship tournament:
    • Approximately 30-60% of the total teams in our zone at each tier.
    • Ideal size are 4, 6, or 8 team tournaments. Any larger tournaments should start with a single game elimination round to bring the final total to 6-8 teams.
    • In extraordinary circumstances, the Zone Executive may approve a larger event. 
    • Considerations for a larger event:
      • the number of BCSS registered teams in our zone is significant;
      • the number of provincially ranked teams in our zone is high;
      • the number of provincial berths available to our zone in that sport is high.
        • BCSS suggests that a zone championship should have between 2.0 - 3.2 x as many teams as berths in the provincial championship (ie. if the zone has 3 berths to provincials, the zone championship should be 6 - 9.6 teams.
      • when there is unresolved conflict / an impasse in determining berthing/seeding.
  1. Individual sports (Swimming, X-Country, Track, Skiing, Snowboarding, Wrestling, etc.) will have a different process for determining the size of the event (number of athletes). However, these sports, too, must adhere to manageable guidelines around costs, school time missed, number of total athletes, travel, length of competition, and/or facility restrictions as stated above.


  1. Costs for Vancouver Sea to Sky Zone Championship events will be paid for by participating schools. 
  2. The host school / association is expected to be sensitive to cost for participating teams and keep costs manageable for schools.
  3. Zone championship events are deemed revenue neutral and not intended to generate a profit. Any profit over and above $300 must be divided and returned to participating teams. This does not include optional costs such as concession / food sale profits.
  4. Facility rentals, referee / official costs and costs for official tournament awards should be divided among participating teams to determine an appropriate entry fee.
  5. Awards for students are encouraged but should be within reason and consistent with other tournaments. Ie. Player of the Game awards, All-Star Team, MVP, etc.
  6. A brief financial report is reported to the Zone Executive following a zone championship event.
  7. If a coach is concerned about zone championship events costs, they should
    • Express that concern to the Host for the event, and
    • Share that concern to the Sport Committee. If they are not satisfied,
    • Report that concern to the Zone Executive (their association rep to the Executive).
  8. Costs such as TOC costs and district cleaning staff are not factored into the cost of entry fees.
  9. The Zone Championship banner will be provided for each event and paid for by the VW Zone Athletic Association.
    • There will not be any perpetual trophies for zone championship events unless one currently exists and can continue to be used. It will not be replaced if lost.


  1. A fair draw and schedule of games for competition must be created through collaboration between the Sport Committee with consultation from host, zone coaches.


  1. Protest / Challenge: In the event of a protest or challenge to a zone tournament format, seeding, schedule, berthing; a member school can protest / appeal to the specific Sport Committee and the Zone Executive in writing.
    • The Zone Executive, with consultation of the Sport Committee, will make a decision. If the member school is not satisfied with the decision, they can request that their specific Athletic Association President appeal to BCSS.
    • If a local association feels that the berths awarded are an unfair or unreasonable allocation, the President of the Local Association may appeal to the Executive Director of BCSS in writing and shall include the details of the allocation, and why they feel it is unfair or unreasonable. The BCSS Executive Director will review the appeal, conduct inquiries with all appropriate parties, and render a decision which shall be implemented for the zone championship in question. (BCSS)


  1. All teams qualifying for a BCSS Provincial Championship MUST qualify through their appropriate BCSS zone (BCSS)
  2. No subset of schools or school specifically shall be granted a berth directly to BCSS provincial championships. The berths are awarded to the local associations in that zone. (BCSS)
  3. All teams / athletes qualifying for VW Zone Championships MUST qualify through their athletic association (VSSAA, LMISSAA, NSSSAA)
  4. Consideration for berths to VW Zone Championships must be focused on the top 2-3 teams from each athletic association’s final placing in each tier. A 4th place team should only be considered for a VW Zone Championship event in extraordinary circumstances and/or when
    • One athletic association has a significantly large number of registered teams
    • extra berths become available into our Vancouver Sea to Sky Zone Championship
    • when the Vancouver Sea to Sky Zone has 4 or more berths to the BC’s. (ie. when our VW zone has 2 or 3 berths to the BC’s, there is no need to include 4 teams from one athletic association in our VW Zone Championship event)
  5. BCSS recommends that each zone “uses a combination of factors in determining berths into zone championships in an effort to ensure that the zone championship features as many of the strongest teams as reasonably possible while also providing geographical diversity and equitable opportunity through the local associations. (BCSS)
  6. The Vancouver Sea to Sky Zone Executive agree that berthing to VW Zone Championship events will be based on the following combination of i. Numbers based allocation and, ii. Strength
    • Details of these methods is available in BCSS memo Dec. 2018. See appendix.
  7. Berths to Vancouver Sea to Sky Zones go to:
    • League Champions: Each athletic association’s champion at each tier qualifies to the VW Zone Championship. (ie. the #1 team at each tier advances). Each recognized local association as defined by BC School Sports, shall have at least one representative at the Zone championships, as is consistent with the philosophy to provide one berth to every zone at the provincial level. (BCSS)
      • If a league does not have a team, that berth goes into the pool
      • It is important to cap the number of teams from any one local association. The appropriate cap will depend on the number of berths, but generally speaking the maximum berths for any single Local Association should be no greater than 50% of the teams. Each zone may determine a lower maximum where they feel it is necessary. (BCSS)
        • VW Exec. recognize that in some sports, at some tiers, this 50% cap, suggested by BCSS, is not possible.
    • Host: Host locations will rotate among the three athletic associations. Host berths granted to a specific school are discouraged. However, giving a host berth can be considered when required and will ideally be given to a school who would qualify by their placing in their respective athletic association. We believe that most VW Zone events do not require giving a host berth to a specific school.
    • Strength: 1 full berth or 0.5 half berth(s) should be considered a strength berth (often called ‘wildcard berth’). Allocation of strength berth(s) will be determined by the Sport Committee. We recognize that strength is difficult to measure and in some cases impossible. The Sport Committee is encouraged to use a variety of data in determining strength. This can include but not limited to some of the following options:
      • current season game/tournament/event results when possible.
      • current season rankings in a sport where official rankings are generated and made public during the season of play.
      • historical results, such as results from previous year’s VW Zone Championship, Provincial Championship or a three year rolling average from past selected championships.
      • This information can be gathered at a pre-zone coaches meeting.
    • Number of Registered Teams: Remaining berths are allocated to athletic associations based on the number of registered teams. BCSS provides detailed explanations of both ratio and threshold methods. The Zone Executive feels either one of these methods can be effective but prefer the threshold method / philosophy. Because our zone events are small with three athletic associations, we found it should be relatively easy to agree on a fair berthing allocation based on registration numbers.
  8. Disagreement: If a Sport Committee struggle to come to an agreement over final berthing decisions, the Executive suggest that the Sport Committee consider the following before bringing the matter to the Executive:
    • Wild Card / Playoff Gm / event: the 2-3 associations/teams in question playoff in a game(s), just prior to the Zone event to determine the final berth (when/if possible).
    • Expanding the tournament is also an option as long as the event size remains manageable and falls under general “Event Size” guidelines covered in this document.
    • If a playoff game/match is not possible, or if there is no agreement on increasing the size of the event, include the VW Zone Executive for further guidance. The Zone Executive can make a final decision and/or provide suggestions to resolve the issue.
  9. Communication: Communication is vital for the purpose of planning, transparency, opportunity and fairness for all teams within our athletic associations.  
  10. When a pre-zone coaches meeting is not possible, the Sport Committee must determine and communicate the berthing, strength berth allocation and seeding in a fair, transparent and informed manner. Sport Committee members are strongly encouraged to seek input from coaches and work in a collaborative manner.
  11. When accurately seeding a tournament is not possible due to little interlocking play and a lack of available data to determine the strength of teams involved, the Sport Committee should consider the following event formats:
    • Pool play on day 1 of a championship tournament followed by playoff
    • A predetermined tournament seeding based on final placings within the athletic association is established. Teams are slotted into predetermined spots on a draw. This predetermined draw can be adjusted each year over a 3 year cycle so that each athletic association takes turns as top seeds. See appendix

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