U.S. Masters Swimming continues to focus on supporting clubs and coaches in their efforts to restart USMS workouts as soon as appropriate, based on facility, local, state, and federal safety and social distancing guidelines. Although restarting daily club activity is the immediate priority, USMS is also looking at the best ways to allow members to find motivation, compete, and race again in creative formats conducive to new norms.

USMS is continuing to recommend LMSCs not sanction traditional format in-person pool meet or open water events through Aug. 31. However, this recommendation does not extend to virtual or ePostal events, for which sanctions may be considered so long as participants are directed to follow facility, local, state, and federal safety and social distancing guidelines.

The USMS Board of Directors has formed a subcommittee to closely monitor the evolving situation and develop guidelines for an eventual return of USMS-sanctioned events. For any potential standard events (i.e., non-virtual, in person) in the coming months, it will be imperative that plans are implemented following all guidelines to ensure the health and safety of USMS members, volunteers, and organizers. 

Update to USMS Liability Waiver

USMS has worked with its legal team to update the USMS Liability Waiver to include COVID-19, which should be used by USMS-sanctioned events moving forward.

Communications and Updates

Next Steps

USMS is consulting with industry partners and health officials on best practices in anticipation of in-person events returning in the coming months. We’ll share information and guidance from these consultations on this page.  
 
Once in-person sanctioned events can be safely held, event directors must ensure all facility, local, state, and federal guidelines for social distancing and COVID-19 safety precautions are in adhered to. Local and state guidelines continue to evolve and vary widely around the country. Each LMSC and event host will need to educate itself on guidelines for the community in which the sanctioned event will be hosted.
 
For event organizers who anticipate hosting after the recommendation to not sanction has been lifted, we encourage a proactive and flexible approach to adapt to the evolving situation. The event host should submit local and state guidelines, along with event- and facility-specific COVID-19 swimmer safety plans adhering to those guidelines, during the sanction process along with adjustments that are made when needed. Consideration for swimmers, officials, volunteers, and spectator safety should be included. Areas that should be addressed specifically are warm-up procedures, restrooms and locker rooms, seating areas, behind the blocks for pool meets, start and finish areas for open water events, and distancing for officials, timers and other volunteers.

Virtual Events

Virtual events that can be completed in a workout setting (pool or open water) will be the most practical path to ease back into competitions and fitness events. USMS currently plans to host the following events for members who have access to swim safely:

USMS encourages clubs and event organizers to get creative by hosting virtual pool and open water events in a variety of formats. These events can be used as fundraisers to help clubs recoup revenue lost during the shutdown. A few options: 

Additionally, USMS is exploring options to sanction virtual pool meets with official results recognized. We are hopeful these will be possible in the coming months. USA Swimming has announced similar plans. More details will be announced as available.  

We recognize that many swimmers are anxious to return to training and events. Patience and managed expectations will be appreciated as we collectively cope with impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Important Notes

  • As previously announced, sanction fees have been waived for the remainder of 2020. Refer to the sanction fee grid for more information. 
  • If you're aware of any meets that have been canceled or postponed to a future date, please contact Volunteer Services so we can assist in updating the Calendar of Events and our sanctions database.
  • Participant accident and general liability insurance will remain in place as long as USMS-approved activity guidelines are follow. See USMS insurance page for more details.

Important Links

Please continue to follow the guidelines established by local, state, and federal health officials in your area.