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 was revised in January 2021 based on feedback from recent sanctioned meets and to adapt recommendations for open water events with the season coming soon. Notably, the attendee screening form has been updated based on recent CDC guidance, and recommendations have been added for how to communicate a possible exposure if someone who attended an event tests positive afterward.
- Phase 1 Return to Competition Guidance (updated January 26, 2021)
- Safety Plan - COVID-19 Addendum to be completed by the event director in addition to the standing sanction application (updated January 26, 2021)
- COVID-19 Attendee Screening Form to be completed by all attendees (swimmers, volunteers, officials, and facility staff) prior to the event (updated January 26, 2021)
- 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
- January 28, 2021 - Revised guidance for Phase 1 Return to Competition including open water events
- 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
- 2021 Last One Fast One (April 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 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.