USA Swimming has lifted one of the few remaining restrictions on meet sanctioning for October, allowing LSCs to make sanctioning decisions and allow teams to once again cross LSC boundaries for competition. This is the latest step in USA Swimming’s “crawl, walk, run” return to training and competition plan amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
USA Swimming is clarifying that this is not a mandate for LSCs to sanction competitions, with some still having chosen not to. Rather, they say that it “returns authority over the process to the LSCs to make informed decisions within their respective regions.”
When meet sanctions first began again in July, times swum at those meets were not being allowed for any national event qualifying or national program qualifying. In other words, times wouldn’t count for anything beyond the LSC level, including Zones, Sectionals, Futures, Junior Nationals, Nationals, the US Open, or Olympic Trials.
In August, USA Swimming began allowing times to count for national meets and programs. Teams were still only allowed to compete at meets hosted within their LSCs, although some exceptions were granted for teams that are geographically isolated from their LSCs.
Now, teams will be allowed to cross LSC boundaries. While it’s unlikely that any large national-scale invites will be held any time soon, though the Pro Swim Series is still scheduled for November, these new guidelines will allow, for example, teams in the 3 LSCs in the state of Florida to cross lines to compete.
The United States, which is approaching 7 million total positive cases for coronavirus and recently surpassed 200,000 deaths caused by the virus, has seen a decrease in new daily cases from the late-July peak of over 75,000.
Over the last week, the US has averaged around half-as-many cases, though some regions, like the midwest, are peaking. Much of that is attributed to the reopening of American colleges, many of which have seen outbreaks among students.
The Full USA Swimming Letter to Membership is Below:
We continue to receive encouraging feedback from across the country regarding the safety measures being put in place at facilities and with teams, and the care and attention being given to these efforts by coaches, teams, members, and families.
We also remain motivated to work with the Aquatics Coalition to advocate for pool openings in areas that are still struggling and thank everyone for their continued effort and hard work in getting our athletes back in the pool safely.
Yesterday, the USA Swimming Board of Directors made the decision to allow the current geographic restrictions on meet sanctions to expire on September 30 at midnight local time. USA Swimming’s Local Swimming Committees (LSCs) will no longer be limited to the sanctioning of meets comprised only of athletes and clubs registered within their respective LSC. This means, that beginning October 1, USA Swimming athletes and teams may cross LSC boundaries to compete.
To be clear, this is not a mandate from USA Swimming to LSCs to sanction competitions, but rather returns authority over the process to the LSCs to make informed decisions within their respective regions. It is critical that our LSCs, teams, and facilities work together to ensure safe environments in which to hold practice and competition. For a sanction to be granted the meet plan must address all current safety requirements.
All safety precautions previously put in place will remain in full effect. Above all else, it is important to remember that all training and competition must conform to local, state, and federal public health guidelines.
It is every individual’s responsibility to make best efforts to stay safe in order for their athletes and teams to continue practicing and competing.