Competition days are October 7-10, 2021 


SPIRE Institute
5201 Spire Circle
Geneva, OH 44041

Hosted By

Meet host: Greater Cleveland Sports Commission and SPIRE Institute
Meet director: Josh Ptak
Greater Cleveland Sports Commission: Matt Sajna

COVID-19 Protocols and Safety Information 

U.S. Masters Swimming is committed to providing a safe and fun championship environment for this event. USMS reserves the right to alter COVID-19 protocols based on local, state, and national guidelines at the time of the event. Here’s what is currently planned for 2021 USMS Long Course Nationals. 


The SPIRE Institute Aquatics Center is a championship-caliber facility with a 50-meter by 25-meter Myrtha Pool with movable bulkheads to allow for different configurations. The 10-lane, 50-meter competition pool has 9-foot-wide racing lanes and depths of 8' 2" on the turn end and 14' on the start end.The pool is maintained at 79 degrees. Omega track start blocks and backstroke wedges are found at both ends of the competition course for use during the 50s and relays. There is a separate 6 lane 25-yard warmup pool just off the pool deck from the turn end to allow for continuous swimming while competition is taking place. Timing is provided by Colorado Time Systems. There are two scoreboards that can display times splits, running results, and team scores.

Entry Deadlines and Fees

July 28 - August 17 at 11:59 p.m. Pacific: $80 surcharge*

August 18 - September 7 at 11:59 p.m. Pacific: $100 surcharge*

*Meet surcharge does not include individual event and relay fees. Because of COVID-19, the surcharge increased to help cover additional operating costs to ensure safety and provide a championship atmosphere despite limited attendance. 

Online entries will be accepted between the above dates and will close at 11:59 p.m., Pacific time, on the last day of entry. Fees are $6 per individual event, plus a surcharge per swimmer. The surcharge varies according to date of entry.


Refund requests must be submitted to the National Office at or 941-256-USMS (8767) by September 13, 2021. No refunds will be given for events not swum. Relay-only swimmers must enter and pay the meet surcharge by the entry deadline.


If you cannot enter online, call 941-256-USMS (8767) between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Eastern time, during the online entry periods above, to provide your entry information. A member services representative will complete the entry for you. Please have your desired events, times, and credit card information available. 

National Qualifying Times/Number of Events/Sixth Event

Competitors may enter up to three (3) individual events without meeting the National Qualifying Times or a maximum of six (6) events if they meet the NQTs (i.e., have swum a time equal to or better than the NQTs during the past three years).  Exception: All swimmers must meet the NQT in the 1500 freestyle. All swimmers are limited to three (3) individual events per day. If the meet is deemed too large, an athlete’s sixth event will be dropped. Swimmers entering six events must indicate which event is to be dropped in case the timeline is too long. No refunds will be given if the sixth event is dropped. A decision on the sixth event will be announced at by September 10, 2021. If a swimmer enters an event with a time significantly slower or faster than that swimmer's recorded time in the previous three years, the Championship Committee may, after a discussion with the swimmer, change the seeded time to a realistic time. 


With limited meets held since March 2020 because of COVID-19, times from the past three (3) years will be accepted for NQTs rather than the typical two (2) years. Swimmers are encouraged to enter realistic times accounting for any extended breaks from the pool. We hope you find a chance to shake off the racing rust at a local meet, but times from a time trial or a workout are also accepted. See the National Qualifying Times FAQs.



Participants must be registered Masters swimmers and at least 18 years of age as of October 6, 2021. Swimmers turning 18 after the meet entry deadline and by October 6, 2021, must enter the meet by the meet entry deadline and register for USMS either before or on October 6, 2021.

If a swimmer wishes to affiliate with a Masters club, the club and swimmer must both be registered with the same Local Masters Swimming Committee (LMSC). If there are questions about affiliation, the swimmer will be entered with the affiliation “UC” (Unattached).

International entries are subject to verification and may require additional documentation. Please submit a copy of your Masters Registration card/letter from your governing body to Verification is required at the time of online entry. If you do not present verification, you will not be permitted to swim in the competition.

Age Groups

Age for the meet is determined as of December 31, 2021, except for 18-year-olds, who must be 18 by October 6. Age groups for individual events: 18–24, 25–29, 30–34, 35–39 … (five-year increments as high as necessary). Relay events: 72–99, 100–119, 120–159, 160–199, 200–239, 240–279, 280–319, 320–359, 360–399 … (40-year increments as high as necessary). The aggregate age of the four relay team members shall determine the age group.



Prior to arriving at the facility, all participants must complete a form which includes a liability waiver and emergency contact information. The form will be emailed two weeks prior to the event and replaces the paper waiver used in previous years. Swimmers can then pick up  goody bags upon arriving at the facility. Registration will be held at the SPIRE Institute on Wednesday, October 6 from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 pm., and on all other days from 6:30 a.m. through the end of competition.



Men’s heats will precede women’s heats for each event, except that women’s and men’s heats may be seeded together for the 400, 800, and 1500 freestyle events. The 1500 and 800 freestyle events will be seeded slowest to fastest by entry time, regardless of age. The 400 freestyle and 400 IM may be seeded slowest to fastest by entry time, regardless of age. The 200-meter events will be deck seeded and may be seeded by entry time, regardless of age, for each sex. All 50 and 100 events will be pre-seeded by age group, with the oldest age groups first, slowest to fastest within each group. All seeding decisions will be announced at by September 13, 2021. Changes to entry times must be made by September 13, 2021.


Updates (September 15)

  • The sixth event will not be dropped. Swimmers will have the opportunity to swim all individual events that were entered.
  • The 50s and 100s will be pre-seeded with the oldest groups first, slowest to fastest within each age group, men and women separate.
  • The 200s, 400s, 800 free, and 1500 free will require positive check-in.
  • The 1500 and 800 freestyle will be deck seeded by time, men and women separate.
  • The 400 freestyle and 400 IM will be deck seeded with the oldest age groups first, slowest to fastest within each age group, men and women separate.
  • Age groups will be oldest to youngest per USMS rules.
  • Men’s heats will precede women’s heats for each event.


Distance Events

*Swimmers may enter both the 800 freestyle and 1500 freestyle, but entries will close if Thursday's estimated timeline reaches 10 hours. All swimmers entering the 1500 must meet the NQT.


USMS Top 10

Update (September 27)
The 2020-21 long course meters season has been extended through October 10, 2021. Times from the 2021 Long Course National Championship meet will be considered for the 2020-21 Top 10 tabulation.

Meet Procedures

Event Sanction 

Sanctioned by the Lake Erie LMSC for USMS Inc. Sanction Number 181-S002.

The length of the competition courses are in compliance and on file with USMS in accordance with articles 105.1.7 and 106.2.1, but bulkhead courses are subject to length confirmation. Eligibility of times for USMS Top 10 and records will be contingent on verification of bulkhead placement.

Check-In Deadlines

Positive check-in is required for the 400 IM and 400, 800, and 1500 freestyle events, and will be required for the 200s if it is determined that deck seeding is necessary. Swimmers, or their coaches or teammates on their behalf, may check in online or in person by the deadlines below.


Failure to check in will result in the swimmer being scratched from the event and the swimmer will not be permitted to swim that event at another time.



Online Check-in*

Thursday, October 7

1500 free

800 free

Monday 7 a.m. -Wednesday 7 p.m.

Friday, October 8

400 IM
200 back

Monday 7 a.m. -Thursday 7 p.m.

 Saturday, October 9

 Men 400 free
200 breast
200 fly

 Monday 7 a.m. -Friday 7 p.m.
 Sunday, October 10

 Women 400 free
200 free
200 IM

 Monday 7 a.m. -Saturday 7 p.m.

*All times are Eastern time. All events 200m and longer are deck seeded and the check-in deadline is 7 p.m. the day before the event is swum.


Meet Roster

A real-time meet roster including name, age, sex, and club is available here. Please verify your information and contact with any concerns by September 7, 2021.

Heat and Psych Sheets

Psych sheets for all individual events will be available on the website by September 13, 2021. Heat sheets for pre-seeded events will be available online by September 24, 2021. Heat sheets for deck-seeded events will be posted at various places around the pool deck and on Meet Mobile and SwimPhone once the events have been seeded.

Sessions and Meet Start Times

The competition will start at 8:00 a.m. each day unless it is determined that the timeline will go too late in the day; then competition may start as early as 7:30 a.m. on any day. Meet start times will be announced at by September 20, 2021. Warm-ups in the competition pool will be from 6:30 a.m. to 7:50 a.m. Warm-ups in the competition pool will be shortened if necessary to accommodate an earlier start time.

Warm-up Times and Procedures

The competition pool will be open for warm-up on Wednesday, October 6 from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Eastern time. On competition days, the competition pool will be open from 6:30 a.m. until 7:50 a.m. and the warm-up pools will be available from 6:30 a.m. until the conclusion of the final event each day. The competition pool will also be open for warm-up for 30 minutes following the last heat of each event Thursday-Sunday and for 30 minutes after the 400 IM on Friday, men’s 400 free on Saturday, and women’s 400 free on Sunday. Additional warmup breaks may be added if needed. On October 7 the competition pool will remain open until 5 p.m. or 30 minutes following the last heat of the 800 freestyle, whichever is later.

Swimmers must enter the pool feet-first in a cautious and controlled manner. No diving or backstroke starts will be allowed, except in designated sprint lanes. A few lanes will be designated as one-way sprint lanes during the pre-meet warm-up sessions in the competition pools only. Any swimmer who acts in an unsporting or unsafe manner within the swimming venue may be considered for appropriate action or penalty by the referee (rule 102.13.3). Swim equipment is not allowed in the competition or warm-up pools. This includes pull buoys, kickboards, fins, paddles, etc.


To allow for social distancing during warm-ups, USMS recommends a max of six swimmers per lane in the 25-yard pool and 15 swimmers per lane in the 50-meter pool. Swimmers are discouraged from hanging on the walls during warm-up. Please be flexible with your warm-up routine to avoid overcrowding and be considerate of your fellow swimmers. 


Any swimmer failing to report to the proper lane in the correct heat of an event shall be scratched from that event and shall not be permitted to swim that event at another time. All scratches must be submitted by September 17, 2021.



All relays must be entered online. Swimmers may enter relays until 7 p.m. on the day before the relay is scheduled. See the Relay Information page for complete information.


Swimmers in individual events will be awarded points for first through tenth places as 11-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1, respectively. Relays will be awarded double points for first through tenth places as 22-18-16-14-12-10-8-6-4-2, respectively.


Club Scoring

Club scoring will be tabulated in two categories (regional clubs and local clubs) and three divisions (men, women, and combined). Mixed relays score points only in the combined division.



Medals will be awarded for first through tenth places in each age group for all events. A U.S. Masters Swimming National Champion patch will be given to each individual and relay team member for the first event won. Swimmers winning more than one event may purchase additional patches. Unclaimed awards will not be mailed unless arrangements are made at the meet. There will be a charge for mailing awards. Club awards will be presented to the top 10 clubs in the local club division and top five clubs in the regional division.


Final Results

The complete results, including splits, will be posted at A paper copy of the complete final results may be ordered with your online entry and will be mailed to you from the National Office. Cost is $15 per copy.


Split Notification

Final results will indicate splits for all swims (excluding pad malfunctions). Splits will be recorded for all swimmers and submitted for records and Top 10 consideration, for initial distances of all individual events (except for backstroke) and for all relay lead-off splits. Therefore, swimmers need not submit split requests for those events. Split requests are required for initial distance(s) of an individual backstroke event. The swimmer is responsible for picking up the Split Notification Form from the administrative official, filling it out, and presenting it to the administrative official prior to the swim. Automatic split times will be submitted for USMS Top 10, however automatic split times from individual events will not automatically appear in the USMS event results database. If you would like a split time to be added to the event results database, please email your request after the meet to

Time Verification

Swimmers wishing to have times entered into SWIMS (USA Swimming’s times database) must complete a form, obtained from the administrative referee at the meet, prior to the swim.

Hearing Impaired Start Assistance

Any athlete with a hearing impairment may request starting assistance from the meet referee.  The request must be made prior to the start of the meet. If portable strobes are available, one may be located in a manner to provide a visual aid. Otherwise, another appropriate method may be employed to visually assist the affected swimmer. Please contact the by September 22, 2021 if you require this assistance.


Service Animals

Animals other than service animals will not be permitted on deck at the venue. 

Have Questions?

Please contact the National Office at or 941-256-USMS (8767).