Start the new year off right with the 2023 USMS 1-Hour Virtual Championship in January!

All participants will receive a cool latex event cap. Clubs with the most participants can win up to $1,000 plus tons of prizes from our partners. And best of all, during the month of January, there’s something for every USMS member from competitive to fitness swimmers looking for a challenge because the Virtual Championship overlaps with the 2023 Swim.com USMS Winter Fitness Challenge. 

The Virtual Championship is geared toward swimmers looking to see where they stack up against Masters swimmers across the country. The Winter Fitness Challenge is a 30-minute fun swim to gauge your fitness level. For the overachievers, why not double up and race the 1-Hour swim then pick something wacky for the WFC (butterfly? IM? fins and paddles?!)?

These virtual events can be done individually, but isn’t it more fun with friends and teammates? Now every swimmer on your club can participate in the event that suits them. Everyone earns that post-swim donut!

Remember, swimmers will need to register prior to swimming. You are encouraged to register early to receive your cap sooner and beat the Dec. 15 price increase.

Your swim can be completed anytime between Jan. 1-31. Afterwards, you will need to submit your results including your splits. See below for instructions. GOOD LUCK and swim fast!

Event Details

Dates: January 1-31, 2023
Objective: see how far you can swim in one hour and compare your distance to fellow Masters swimmers nationwide
Location: any pool 25-yards or longer 

Eligibility

  • US swimmers must be a 2023 U.S. Masters Swimming member prior to registering for the event. 
  • Foreign swimmers must be a member of an equivalent FINA member organization prior to registering. Foreign entrants must submit a copy of their organization’s 2023 registration card to events@usmastersswimming.org prior to submitting results. Foreign swimmers are not eligible for USMS records or All-American status.

Timeline

  • All participants must register prior to swimming the event and complete their swim between Jan. 1 -31. 
  • Individual entries close Jan. 31 at 11:59 p.m. Pacific .
  • Individual results must be submitted by Feb. 3 at 11:59 p.m. Pacific (see below for instructions). 
  • Split sheets for potential national records must be emailed to events@usmastersswimming.org by Feb. 3.
  • Relay entries open Feb. 6 and close Feb. 8 11:59 p.m. Pacific.
  • Individuals: preliminary results will be available for a one-week review by Feb. 8 and final results will be posted by Feb. 15.
  • Relays and clubs: preliminary results will be available for a one-week review by Feb. 15 and final results will be posted by Feb. 22.

Fees

Individual Events

  • Until Dec. 15: $10
  • Dec. 16 – Jan. 31: $12

Relay Events: $16 each

Note for 2023: all USMS+ members receive complimentary entries for virtual events and many more benefits! As a USMS+ member, you will still need to register for the Virtual Championships, but you will not be charged a fee.  

Fees are non-refundable. International swimmers will be charged an additional $5 per event/relay. Fees must be paid by credit card and will be processed by "U.S. Masters Swimming".

Individual Results

After you've registered and swum the event (between Jan. 1-31), you'll need to submit individual results by Feb. 3.
Here is the process:

  • First, find yourself on the Athlete Roster
  • Click on your name and confirm your identity with USMS member verification 

Provide the following:

  • Final distance for your swim
  • Cumulative splits time for each 500 yard or meter split. Your official distance will be displayed in yards rounded down to the nearest 5-yard increment. 
  • Date of your swim
  • Pool name and location
  • Name of your timer
  • Contact info for your timer

Men and women compete separately in five-year age groups: 18-24, 25-29, 30-34,...., 100+. The swimmer's age on December 31, 2023 determines the age group, therefore each swimmer may only swim in one age group even with a January birthday. 

Submission of a split sheet is not required unless the swimmer has broken an individual national record. However, split sheets may be requested for verification. If a requested split sheet is not provided, the individual’s entry and associated relay entries may be disqualified.

All results will be available on this page after the event. Preliminary individual results will be available for a one-week review Feb. 8. All corrections must be sent to events@usmastersswimming.org. Final individual results will be posted by Feb. 15. If two or more swimmers report the same time, a tie will be declared.

Relay Events

  • Relay events will be contested in three categories: three men, three women, four mixed (two men, two women).
  • Each relay member must have entered the individual event and be registered with the same USMS club.
  • Participants shall be allowed to swim in only one same-gender and one mixed-gender relay for each event—a total of two relays for one person.
  • The youngest relay member’s age shall determine the relay’s age group. Age groups are 18+, 25+, 35+, . . . , 95+.
  • The cumulative distance for the individual swims is the relay distance.
  • Unattached swimmers may not be a relay team member.
  • Relay entries will be open Feb. 6-8 and will show all the individual entries submitted. You will only be able to view your USMS club’s entries.
  • Preliminary relay results will be available for a one-week review by Feb. 15. All corrections must be sent to events@usmastersswimming.org. Final relay results will be posted by Feb. 22. 

Club Participation & Prizes

Gather your friends and teammates to do this event together. It can be as part of a regular workout or pick a special day in January and make it a festive event. Once you’ve finished your swim, trade places with your counter so everyone can join in the fun. 

And did we mention the post-event donuts? Make sure you stock up – you will earn it!

USMS has marketing and promotional materials available to coaches to help get the word out about their event! Check out the social posts, sample text, and other suggestions to make your event fun for your team.

As an extra incentive, we will be offering a total of $3,500 plus lots of prizes from our partners to clubs with the highest participation.

  • Highest total participation: 1st $1,000, 2nd $500, 3rd $250
  • Highest percentage of club participation: 1st $1,000, 2nd $500, 3rd $250 (based on club size as of Jan. 31, 2023; minimum of 10 swimmers participating to be eligible)

Club Competition

Each participating club is automatically entered in the club competition. At least three divisions will be recognized based on the number of individual entries from each club (i.e. small 1-15 swimmers, medium 16-44 swimmers, large 45+ swimmers) with results published for the total distance swum by members of the club.

Relay yards will not be included in club scoring.

Here are the 2022 club results as an example. 

Merchandise

Official gear for the 2023 USMS 1-Hour Virtual Championship will be available soon!

Awards

  • Individual Medals: The top 10 finishers in each age group have the option of receiving USMS championship medals.
  • Relay Medals: The top six relay teams in each relay age group have the option of receiving USMS championship medals.
  • Championship Patch: First place finishers in each individual and relay age group also will have the option of receiving a USMS Long Distance National Championship patch. Only one patch per event per participant will be awarded.
  • Club competition awards will be recognized in the final results, physical awards will not be provided.

Records

Completed split sheets for individuals who think they have broken a national record must be received by Feb. 3. Scan and email to events@usmastersswimming.org

Rules

  • The 2023 USMS rules govern these events, including rules regarding swimwear.
  • Drafting, flotation, and propulsive devices, including but not limited to pull buoys, fins, paddles, snorkels, and wet suits, are not permitted.
  • No more than two swimmers may share a lane. If a lane is shared, each swimmer must stay on one side of the lane during the entire swim (i.e., no circle swimming, to avoid drafting).
  • A stopwatch or electronic timing system shall be used to time the event.  Cumulative split times must be recorded to the nearest second on the official event split sheets which must be kept for each swimmer.  
  • Each swimmer must have a verifier (counter) to count laps and record cumulative splits for every two pool lengths. One person may count for no more than two swimmers at one time. An adult acting as a starter/head timer/referee (and who may also be a counter) shall be present at all times during the swim.
  • Final distances are rounded down to the nearest completed five-yard increment (i.e., round 2764 yards to 2760 yards).
  • Online entries will be converted automatically from meters to yards as needed.  If you swim in a metric-measured pool, the final distance will be converted to yards automatically upon entry by dividing the distance in meters by 1.0936 then rounding down to the nearest five-yard increment and integrating it with the yard performances.
  • Your distance (total yards swum) will determine your order of finish.  If two or more swimmers or relays report the same distance, it's a tie.
  • No elevation adjustment shall be made.
  • Unsporting Conduct: Any act of fraud, deception, or dishonesty in connection with this event or knowingly providing false information including name, date of birth, age or gender in this event entry form may result in disciplinary action by USMS.

Questions?

Contact events@usmastersswimming.org with any questions.