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, many in-person USMS events have been held safely and provided valuable feedback.
Though challenges remain, most areas of the country are now allowing events to be held, and USMS encourages providing in-person competition opportunities for members where it has been deemed safe.
USMS strives to provide flexibility for the sanctioning LMSC to determine appropriate safeguards for their region of the country and ensure the safety of USMS members while considering the requirements of the facility and local and state health expectations.
The following Return to Competition guidance documents will continue to be reviewed and revised as needed.
- USMS COVID-19 Vaccination Guidance (updated September 16, 2021)
- USMS COVID-19 Sanction Guidance (updated September 16, 2021)
- Safety Plan - COVID-19 Addendum (updated September 16, 2021) to be completed by the event director in addition to the standing sanction application.
- COVID-19 Attendee Screening Form (updated May 21, 2021). This form is no longer required by USMS but can be used if desired or required by state or local health officials.
- 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
- September 17, 2021 – Updated USMS COVID-19 Guidance for Events and Clubs
- May 21, 2021 - Guidelines for Phase 3 Return to Competition announced
- 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.
- Go the Distance is an ongoing fitness event to encourage USMS members to swim regularly and track progress.
- Swim.com USMS Fitness Series events held each February, June, and October. These swims that can be completed in a pool or open water. Dryland option are also offered. Proceeds 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 for clubs. A few options:
- ePostal competitions (existing examples: 400 Fastest Pull for Sebastopol, 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.