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 November 1, 2020. We understand not all LMSCs will be able to begin holding events due to state, local, and facility restrictions; however, we want those who do conduct events to plan with USMS guidelines and recommendations in place.
Phase 1 guidance is focused on in-person pool meets, which are the most likely event format to be held as USMS first returns to competition. However, the general guidelines also apply to open water events and we’ll provide additional open water updates as the 2021 season draws closer. Please contact the Open Water Coordinator if you are considering sanctioning an upcoming open water event.
- Phase 1 Return to Competition Guidance
- Safety Plan - COVID-19 Addendum to be completed by the event director in addition to the standing sanction application
- COVID-19 Attendee Screening Form 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.
- The Return to Events Recommendations document developed by the Aquatics Coalition is an additional resource that can be utilized.
Communications and Updates
- October 8, 2020 - Guidelines announced for Phase 1 Return to Competition starting November 1
- September 23, 2020 - USMS Board of Directors extends recommendation to not sanction events through October and approves Phase 1 of returning to events in November
- August 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
- Go the Distance is an ongoing fitness event to encourage USMS members to swim regularly and track progress.
- 2021 Swim.com USMS Winter Fitness Challenge (February 1-15). This is a 1-mile 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.
- 2021 USMS 1-Hour ePostal National Championship (January 1 - February 28)
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.