After announcing that the traditional national-level meet schedule would be changed due to COVID-19 earlier this year, USA Swimming has now put out an updated meet schedule for 2020 that includes three different competitions. It also announced that it plans to continue the 2021 Pro Swim Series as planned, with a reaffirmation of the dates and locations to be released soon.
The first competition slated to occur will be a three-month-long virtual meet that will begin in October. The “National Leaderboard” will track times swum across the country, in both sanctioned and non-sanctioned formats, with top swims being recognized at the end of each month.
This competion will be the second one held by USA Swimming in a virtual format, following their Speedo Swim Again Virtual Series that began September 7th and will finish on October 11th. The meet, which offers an overall leaderboard as well as awarding prizes to teams based on their rankings within team size based divisions, was created to allow athletes to compete without travel.
The second competition slated to take place in 2020 is a multi-venue U.S. Open which will occur between November 12-14. The meet will be held at 8-10 undisclosed venues, with four timed finals sessions being held over three days. The meet will be held in a long course meter format.
Traditionally the U.S. Open has been held in early December, making this years mid-November date a change from past iterations of the meet. The meet, which had previously been known as the Winter National Championships, has typically been held in the short course pool with the exception of during Olympic years. The name change and use of long course meters this year may signal a permanent move to the long course pool.
To end the year USA Swimming will host a second multi-site meet, the 18&Under Winter Championships. The short course yards meet will also have multiple sanctioned sites across the country and will take place between December 1-13th.
In April USA Swimming had announced tentatively that it would be holding the Winter Juniors meet between December 9-12th, split between two locations, Atlanta, Georgia and Dallas, Texas, as the meet had been run in the past. While the meet will still occur at roughly the same time, it will now allow teams to compete with significantly less travel.
While no changes to the formatting of the 2021 Pro Swim Series have been announced yet, USA Swimming did announce it would be making a large alteration in qualification times earlier this summer. The first stop of the series is slatted to take place January 13-16 in Knoxville, Tennessee.
Full USA Swimming Release:
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Following thoughtful assessment, USA Swimming, the national governing body for the sport of swimming in the United States, today announced changes to its 2020 national events calendar. Previously announced competitions will be replaced with a three-month virtual race leaderboard, a multi-site Toyota U.S. Open event and a decentralized 2020 18&Under Winter Championships.
Beginning in October, USA Swimming will introduce the National Leaderboard, a virtual competition format for swimmers from coast to coast. Similar to the Speedo Swim Again Series, the National Leaderboard series will consist of sanctioned and non-sanctioned long-course meter, short-course meter and short-course yard results, though the leaderboard will be focused on individual swimmers. Top performances will then be recognized at the end of each competition month.
In an effort to re-introduce in-person competition, but limit travel as best possible for athletes, the Toyota U.S. Open will be hosted on November 12-14, 2020, across multiple sites nationwide. The long-course meter event will feature athletes competing in 8-10 venues, with approximately 100 swimmers at each venue. Events will consist of four-timed final sessions over three days. On par with National-level events, all swimmers who have one or more qualifying standards may enter these meets through USA Swimming’s Online Meet Entry system on a first-come basis until the entry cap is reached. Current U.S. National Team Members or U.S. National Junior Team Members will be provided with priority registration. Sites for the 2020 Toyota U.S. Open will be announced as soon as available.
Rounding out the year will be the 2020 18&Under Winter Championships, featuring a distributed championships format, allowing swimmers to compete in multiple sanctioned sites across the country. The event will take place December 1-13, 2020 and hosted by USA Swimming member clubs in conjunction with their Local Swimming Committee (LSC). Competition will be conducted in short-course yards. Results will be aggregated, and medals and team awards will be sent from USA Swimming following the conclusion of the event. Further details regarding the 2020 18&Under Winter Championships are being shared with LSCs, who in turn will share it within their communities as information becomes available.
The organization intends to proceed with the 2021 TYR Pro Swim Series in the new year and will reaffirm dates and locations in the coming weeks.