We at USMS know you are looking for guidance to be able to conduct safe and fun sanctioned in-person events for our members. We started implementing a phased approach to return to competition as of Nov. 1, 2020. Since then, several dozen in-person USMS events have been held safely and provided valuable feedback.
With vaccines becoming more widely distributed as we look ahead to the summer season, USMS published Phase 2 guidance in April 2021 to allow events to plan accordingly. Events may still be challenging in some areas of the country due to state, local, and facility restrictions. Phase 2 provides flexibility for the sanctioning LMSC to determine appropriate safeguards for their region and ensure the safety of USMS members while considering the requirements of the facility and local and state health expectations.
- Phase 2 Return to Competition Guidance (updated Apr. 6, 2021)
- Safety Plan - COVID-19 Addendum (updated Apr. 6, 2021) to be completed by the event director in addition to the standing sanction application
- COVID-19 Attendee Screening Form (updated Jan. 26, 2021) to be completed by all attendees (swimmers, volunteers, officials, and facility staff) prior to the event
- Updated USMS Liability Waiver to be used by all USMS-sanctioned events moving forward. To be clear, USMS liability insurance doesn’t cover transmission of viral or bacterial infections.
- USMS Legislation and Rules reminders for sanctioned events: timeline requirements, USA Swimming dual-sanctioning, and competitions at multiple venues with merged results
- The Return to Events Recommendations document developed by the Aquatics Coalition is an additional resource that can be utilized.
Communications and Updates
- Apr. 7, 2021 - Guidelines for Phase 2 Return to Competition announced
- Jan. 28, 2021 - Revised guidance for Phase 1 Return to Competition including open water events
- Oct. 8, 2020 - Guidelines announced for Phase 1 Return to Competition starting November 1
- Sept. 23, 2020 - USMS Board of Directors extends recommendation to not sanction events through October and approves Phase 1 of returning to events in November
- Aug. 17, 2020 - USMS Board of Directors extends recommendation to not sanction events through September
- July 14, 2020 - Updates on USMS Event Sanctioning through August
- June 18, 2020 - Updates on USMS Event Sanctioning through July
- May 20, 2020 - Updates on USMS Event Sanctioning through June
Through the new USMS Community (launched Apr. 2021), we would like to offer USMS sanctioned events the opportunity to post about and promote their events in the Events and Results group. Community is open to all USMS members and discussion around sanctioned events is encouraged.
- 2021 Last One Fast One (Apr. 16-May 2). USMS members can race their fellow competitors across the country from the safety of their local pool or body of open water. Times can be submitted manually or via smartwatch using the Swim.com app to view results and earn a digital badge. Swimmers can race as many times as desired during the event. Make the last one the fastest!
- Go the Distance is an ongoing fitness event to encourage USMS members to swim regularly and track progress.
- 2021 Swim.com USMS Summer Fitness Challenge (June 1-15). This is a 2K swim that can be completed in a pool or open water. A dryland option will also be offered. Proceeds from this event will benefit USMS Adult Learn-to-Swim grants supported by the USA Swimming Foundation.
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:
- ePostal competitions (existing examples: Pool versus Cool, IM Madness, 400 Kick for Time, Miracle Mile, Two Mile Relay, Brute Squad)
- Clinics to help improve technique after an extended break from swimming
- Fitness events to provide motivation as swimmers return to the water
- 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 followed. See USMS insurance page for more details.
Please continue to follow the guidelines established by local, state, and federal health officials in your area.