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 June 30. 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 will consider the approach to sanctioning again during its June 15, 2020, meeting and will provide more detailed guidance thereafter. 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
- May 20, 2020 - Updates on USMS Event Sanctioning
- Go the Distance is an ongoing fitness event to encourage USMS members to swim regularly and track progress.
- 2020 SmartyPants Vitamins USMS Summer Fitness Challenge (July 15–31). 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 COVID-19 relief efforts for clubs.
- 2020 USMS 5K/10K ePostal National Championships (June 1–Sept. 30)
- In addition to these annual events, USMS plans to host the first USMS virtual championships in the coming months to help fill the void of recent event cancellations. More details will be announced in the coming weeks.
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: 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
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.
- 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 will be 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.
Please continue to follow the guidelines established by local, state, and federal health officials in your area.