USA Swimming Faces Membership Revenue Shortfall, Ballooning Budget Deficit for 2023

by Riley Overend 117

November 01st, 2023 National, News

USA Swimming’s membership revenue this year is projected less by an estimated $926,000 (or 3.8%), according to the minutes from the latest Board of Directors meeting in September.

The shortfall is contributing to an anticipated operational deficit of $1,731,587 — the national governing body’s largest since at least 2011. The Board had approved a budget deficit of $1,368,963 for this year, but USA Swimming is expected to exceed that figure by $362,624 (or 26%).

In their latest performance monitoring report, CEO Tim Hinchey and CFO Eric Skufca self-assessed “potential non-compliance” with the broadest financial policy provision due to the budget discrepancy.

Another policy provision instructs the CEO to “not allow cash and cash equivalents to drop below that amount necessary to meet operating expenditures over a 30-day period,” but Hinchey reported himself in compliance despite having just $2.3 million at the end of June to cover $3.3 million in operating expenses for the following month. USA Swimming has also tapped its reserve fund for more than $1 million so far this year. While the organization has a policy for the CEO not to dip into reserve funds, Hinchey reported those withdrawals as compliant because they were approved by the Board.


Revenue should rebound next year with a projected $4,371,116 in profit forecast for the Paris 2024 Olympic year, but even that figure is nearly $2 million less than Tokyo.

USA Swimming’s Net Revenue by Year

  • 2011: $504,672
  • 2012: $994,719
  • 2013: $567,805
  • 2014: $390,406
  • 2015: $277,622
  • 2016: ($870,772)
  • 2017: ($747,813) *Hinchey replaced Chuck Wielgus as CEO
  • 2018: ($1,453,784)
  • 2019: ($1,136,933)
  • 2020: $6,227,240
  • 2021: ($1,028,218)
  • 2022: ($1,286,252)
  • 2023 Forecast: ($1,731,587)
  • 2024 Forecast: $4,371,116

Note: Parentheses indicate deficits

USA Swimming managing director of sport development Joel Shinofield cited a decline in clubs since the pandemic, the new “administrator” membership category not being budget neutral as projected, and the lack of migration from flex members to seasonal/premium members as reasons for the membership revenue shortfall.

Thousands of swimmers have registered with AAU over the past year, but the exact number is unknown because the organization declined to share figures. Club coaches told SwimSwam that the move away from USA Swimming saved them time and money in the wake of the organization’s Online Member Registration (OMR) rollout last year, though they kept their competitive swimmers signed up with USA Swimming. Chris Davis’ Swim Atlanta (Georgia) and Peter Perers’ Mecklenburg Swim Association (North Carolina) led the charge, with Brent Mitchell’s Metroplex Aquatics (Texas) and Randy Reese’s Clearwater Aquatic Team (Florida) among the clubs expected to follow suit next May.

USA Swimming appears to be addressing those complaints with the creation of the Junior Swim League (JSL). The mission of the new collaboration is to “provide more competitive opportunities for minor athletes through lower costs and easier access to competitions.” They hope that the JSL’s format will help USA Swimming retain more members and allow for the utilization of more facilities.

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1 month ago

I probably have an unpopular opinion here, but with all the hype of some of these college duals and such, USA Swimming needs to work with the NCAA and whomever else to televise those meets. Ok, so you’re not going to get ESPN or even the SEC network to televise them at this point. But what about the USA Swimming channel? Or hell… even YouTube wgere you can pay a few bucks like a pay-per-view event? Not only would you get parents of college swimmers who can’t attend all those meets in person to watch, but the next generation of kids thinking about swimming beyond their local cluv gets a chance to see some cool pools and lesser known athletes… Read more »

1 month ago

USA Swimming enabled and covered-up for sexual abusers and child molesters for years, blamed the victims, got sued and defrauded the membership with their phony offshore insurance for decades. The membership (elite and entry level), coaches and officials have all been nickel & dined and made to pay for the misdeeds and negligence of the “elitist” executive staff and board of directors at both the national and LSC level. This all started with Chuck Wiegus and his enablers and now Tim Hinchey has carried it on. Hinchey made a fool of himself in front of a congressional hearing and admitted in a deposition that he never read the training materials for athlete protection, the same athlete protection that he’s jamming… Read more »

Reply to  Popeye
1 month ago

for the downvoter:comment image&ct=g

1 month ago

You mean an organization with a historic record of covering up athlete abuse, and over paying their leadership (which has always lacked diversity) is not running at a net positive? I am so surprised, USA swimming continues to be a train wreck and if there was more popularity in the sport there is no doubt it would have a Netflix special about its incompetency.

1 month ago

Furthermore, Hinchey has been at the helm 7 years in that table (2017-2023, not counting 2024 since it’s a guess at best) and there was a deficit in 6 of them? Yet he makes more than all the athletes that actually bring in the money to the place? What world are we LIVING in?!

Last edited 1 month ago by TheIckabog
Reply to  TheIckabog
1 month ago

Seriously! The athletes are making NOTHING except for endorsements and some prize money here and there. It’s almost impossible to make a living as a “professional swimmer” – even for the few years that you’re on top of your game.

1 month ago

LOL $4mil, that’s cute. I dunno, maybe stop hiring employees that primarily will work with the national team?

Last edited 1 month ago by TheIckabog
money ?
1 month ago

CEO & CFO both coming from the same organization previous to USA S suggests a single-mindedness which has placed the organization at these current crossroads.

1 month ago

I don’t understand how, in the year of our Lord 2023, they could launch such a dysfunctional website and SWIMS 3.0 and a YEAR LATER it is still effed up.

Swim dad
1 month ago

Michael Phelps, Katie Ledecky, Caleb Dressel and Missy Franklin are/were drivers for Olympic popularity and USA swimming membership. Not sure who the next team USA star is going to be to drive revenue

Reply to  Swim dad
1 month ago

OTs could have been something where club swimmers and their families could attend for the week and see some fast swimming, get autographs, etc, but USA Swimming decided to be greedy and charge $2500 for an all session pass. Try taking a family of 4 to OTs with those prices! Absolutely ridiculous. They could have filled up that stadium with fans and families of the next generation of college, national team, and Olympic swimmers but instead they are gouging the families that have paid so much into the sport already and making swimming even more elitist. In 2016, several families of 11-12 year olds from my old club flew to Omaha, got hotel rooms, went to restaurants, and attended all… Read more »

Free Thinker
Reply to  aquadog
1 month ago

Wait – an all session pass is $2500?!

Carrie Hall
Reply to  aquadog
1 month ago

Yes! I used to live in Iowa and attended the 2012 and 2016 Trials with my kids who were young swimmers at the time. We had a blast and made a weekend of it. Ironically, I now live in Indy and there’s no way I can do the same thing. I’m volunteering to be there more days. I still have a swimmer in my family and he can’t even be there the whole time. Ridiculous.

About Riley Overend

Riley is an associate editor interested in the stories taking place outside of the pool just as much as the drama between the lane lines. A 2019 graduate of Boston College, he arrived at SwimSwam in April of 2022 after three years as a sports reporter and sports editor at newspapers …

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