USA Swimming is updating its nomenclature for major National Championship meets as soon as this winter. The most notable change for swim fans is that the 2019 Winter National Championships will be renamed the U.S. Open, while the summer championships in non-National Championship years will have a new name.
While in the long-term, swim fans will settle in to the new naming system, in the short term, fans, coaches, and athletes will have to adjust their understanding of the meets. The U.S. Open used to be a domestic summer championship meet in years where there was no closed US National Championship meet, or where the US National Championship meet was early in the summer. Past U.S. Open meets have been held in the summer in 2017, 2016, 2013, and 2012, though prior to a 2008 shift, it was previously a winter championship meet held every year as well.
In 2019, however, the meet formerly known as “Winter Nationals” will be rebranded as the “U.S. Open,” and held in long course meters (as has become tradition in the year before the Olympic Games, as athletes look for more racing experience in long course and more opportunities to hit Olympic Trials standards). Georgia Tech will host the meet at the McAuley Natatorium: site of swimming for the 1996 Summer Olympic Games.
While the nature of the meet is not changing – it’s long been an “open” championship in the sense that it allows athletes of all nationalities to compete – the name will.
Meanwhile, USA Swimming says that they are sticking with the plan to combine the meets formerly known as the U.S. Open and Junior Nationals late in the summer of 2020. They are planning to come up with a new name for that meet, but have not finalized or announced that name yet.
2019 Key National Championship Dates:
- 2019 Phillips 66 National Championships – July 31st-August 4th – Stanford, California
- 2019 U.S. Open – December 4th-7th – Atlanta, Georgia
- 2019 Speedo Winter Junior Championships – East – December 11th-14th – Atlanta, Georgia
- 2019 Speedo Winter Junior Championships – West – December 11th-14th – Federal Way, Washington