USA Swimming Cuts “120 Day Rule” to 60, Stopping Use of “Junior Olympic” for Meets

by Spencer Penland 35

October 03rd, 2022 News

USA Swimming held its annual House of Delegates meeting in late September, where the Rules and Regulations Committee voted on a number of rules changes, some of which are effective immediately, and others take effect on January 1, 2023.

As part of these rules changes, USA Swimming has eliminated the use of the term “Junior Olympic” for Age Group Championship meets. In some LSCs, their Age Group Championship has historically been named the Junior Olympics, but USAS has struck that terminology from the language surrounding rules and regulations for sanctioned meets, meaning LSCs are no longer allowed to call those meets “Junior Olympic,” which is also sometimes referred to as “JOs.”

Perhaps the most impactful change revolves around the so-called “120 day rule.” Previously, when a USA Swimming athlete switched clubs, there was a period of 120 days, dating from their last competition with their previous club, before they could officially compete as an attached member of their new club. The HOD has voted to cut that requirement in half, meaning that now a swimmer must only wait 60 days after their last competition with their previous team before becoming an attached member of a new team. This change is effective immediately.

There are also rules changes surrounding minimum requirements for officiating at LSC-sanctioned meets. As per the new rule, which was approved by the HOD, at a minimum LSC’s must require one referee, one starter, three timers per lane (unless automatic timing system is being used, in which case only one timer per lane is required), one clerk of course (if applicable), one place judge (two are preferred), two stroke judges and two turn judges or two stroke and turn judges, relay take-off judges (if applicable), one administrative official, one announcer (if applicable), and two marshals, at least one of each gender. These are the USA Swimming requirements, meaning LSCs are able to add additional minimum requirements if they so choose.

The minimum officiating requirements are less stringent for development, dual, and intrasquad meets. Those categories of meets will require at a minimum one referee, who may also act as a stroke and turn judge, one starter, one other stroke and turn judge, one announcer (if applicable), three timers per lane (unless automatic timing system is being used), one administrative official, one place judge, relay take-off judges (if applicable), timing equipment operators (as needed) and two marshals, one of each gender.

USA Swimming also notes in regards to the officiating requirements for sanctioned meets that officials other than the referee and administrative official may act in more than one capacity only when a sufficient number of qualified officials aren’t available, but no one may simultaneously time and judge the order of finish.

There have also been changes with regards to the reporting process for world records and USA Swimming records. For World Records, supporting evidence must now be filed on official FINA World Record application forms, which must be submitted to the Executive Director of FINA within 14 days after the performance. Previously, there was a 21-day window to file the forms. The responsibility for filing rests with the meet and/or administrative official.

As for USA Swimming records, one of the key changes is that for LSC and local records, official split times may be used, provided those splits are taken with a fully automatic timing system. There have been slight changes to the reporting process for National Age Group records as well. Going forward, the record application form must be filled out, signed by the designated officials, and sent in along with the completion of pool measurement within 30 days.

You can find the full list of items voted on here.

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John
1 month ago

I want a ban on using “intersquad” when you mean “intra-squad” 😀

Mac
1 month ago

I thought the use of the term Junior Olympics was prohibited years ago?

SwimOnTheBottom
Reply to  Mac
1 month ago

Use of the words “Olympic,” “Paralympic,” “World,” “National,” “United States of America” or any derivative thereof. Goes back to 2015 I believe. The pertinent rule is 202.6.13.

Last edited 1 month ago by SwimOnTheBottom
Chip McGarvey
1 month ago

Who won the elections? I haven’t seen this information posted anywhere.

Jay Chambers
Reply to  Chip McGarvey
1 month ago

Kenneth Chung was reelected and Katy Arris-Wilson was elected

PoloDad
1 month ago

Wonder what this will mean for water polo. JO’s is the major tournament of the year. . . .

Admin
Reply to  PoloDad
1 month ago

USA Swimming has no jurisdiction over water polo, and if the competition was started before 1951, it’s grandfathered in.

So not necessarily anything.

Poloson
Reply to  PoloDad
1 month ago

Well USA waterpolo if they are smart and they are will keep the
“Junior Olympics” brand on their championships and even more swimmers in California will flock to the sport of waterpolo. “ Junior Olympics” is a very marketable brand for any sport. On another note, very excited about the future Waterpolo 3.0 rollout!

anonymous
1 month ago

Hopefully with the staffing of sanctioned meets laid out this way, it will push the teams to get more officials. Many teams don’t want to address the need for officials until you start taking away their sanctioned meets.

coachymccoachface
Reply to  anonymous
1 month ago

I feel like a lot of teams push for officials but it is hard to get parents interested in doing it. Teams that even use incentives still can struggle to find officials for low level meets

Anonymous
Reply to  coachymccoachface
1 month ago

I’m convinced the only way to get enough officials is to require parents to work their hosted meets. Why should parents officiate if other parents don’t have to volunteer for anything?

John
Reply to  coachymccoachface
1 month ago

Especially for smaller teams – I feel like every year the rules make it harder for smaller orgs to keep going. The more we keep moving toward fewer, but larger teams, the easier it is for bad actors to hide. If there are 3 other teams in an area, it’s a lot easier to speak up than when your choice is to either quit the sport or stay quiet.

If USAS is requiring more officials, they need to help teams make that happen. When my son played baseball, umps made $60 for 90 minutes (and this was 6-7 years ago). Swim officials are have to sit through hours of training for the privilege of volunteering entire weekends. If you force… Read more »

TexasFan
1 month ago

RIP the Pac swim JOs. Next they’ll come for Far Westerns

SCCOACH
Reply to  TexasFan
1 month ago

It was age group champs before it was JO’s in pacific swimming

Meow
Reply to  TexasFan
1 month ago

I’m still mourning Region XIIs.

Ghost
1 month ago

Hotels, etc should not be allowed to say Olympic sized pool when it isn’t 50 meters! Pet peeve

The Original Tim
Reply to  Ghost
1 month ago

My personal favorite was a hotel that had an “Olympic” pool had a ~12 yard long pool.

You could view one end of the pool through the door and I was excited when I saw it had flags at that end and they looked to be about 5y from the wall…then went in the room and saw there was another set of flags about 5y from the other wall and maybe 2y between the two sets of flags. 🤣

It was a good pool to work on my turns!

Anonymous
1 month ago

Team hopping time 😈… Time to become to first athlete with a state championship in all 50 states

Taa
Reply to  Anonymous
1 month ago

You will run out of gas money once you hit California

maximum mchuge
Reply to  Anonymous
1 month ago

Most LSCs have two championships per year meaning you would need 25 years still