USA Swimming Releases Age Group Motivational Times for 2021-2024

USA Swimming has released an updated version of its “motivational times” for the upcoming 2021-2024 quad.

The time standards set varying marks for swimmers of every age group, ranging from B to AAAA based on relative speed within the age group. Each age group has B standards, BB standards, A standards, AA standards, AAA standards and AAAA standards to give swimmers benchmarks for goal-setting and to track improvement.

Some local club meets also set qualifying standards based on the USA Swimming times, requiring swimmers to be faster than, or in some cases slower than, an A time or a BB time, for example, for entry.

Per USA Swimming’s website: “Here you will find age group time standards designed to encourage age group swimmers to step their swimming up to the next level. These time standards guide you from just starting out in your age group to reaching your highest potential. Start at Level B and work your way up to Level AAAA times.”

You can see how the motivational times are determined here. Though this document is still from the 2012 quad, it lays out the mathematical process for determining the motivational standards for each age group.

Note that in the youngest age groups, 12 & under, the recent ban of the most advanced technical racing suits could make some of these standards tougher to achieve. At the same time, age group swimming continues to get faster, and deeper

There are time standards for both each traditional age group (10&unders, 11-12s, 13-14s, etc) and for each specific age from 10 to 18. USA Swimming has also released a document showing how much each time standard has changed from the previous quad. You can see all of these documents below:

*Note that times marked with an asterisk have gotten faster than the 2016-2020 quad standards.

2020-2024 Age Group Motivational Times By Specific Age

Age Group Motivational Times By Age Group

Read about the old time standards here


Leave a Reply

Notify of

oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Ma. Nenette Abinuman
2 years ago

what about JO cuts?

2 years ago

I remember when these weren’t done by specific age (ala 11-12 and 13-14 had the SAME time standards) which was absolutely absurd.

Most people could only hit a AAAA or T16/T10 right before they aged up. This makes way more sense.

2 years ago

Mathematical process minus COVID crappy pool availability?.. IS THIS ASSUMING normal training and competition?

2 years ago

Why are the single age times the same ones as the ones from 4 years ago?

Brian M
2 years ago

I always wondered why USA Swimming continues to publish motivational times by specific age when nobody really uses it to my knowledge. I actually think it would be more beneficial to use these especially for the 11-12 and 13-14 age groups. You see such a huge difference in growth/abilities, etc in these age brackets and I think this is the time when USAS starts to lose kids. In my experience, achieving that first “A” time has a magical effect on swimmers from a motivation and retention standpoint.

Unknown Swimmer
Reply to  Brian M
2 years ago

Loved tracking progress against these when I was coming up through the age group ranks! First A time breakthrough – getting AAA’s for Zone cuts, getting A times in each stroke, etc always something to be working towards.

Sir Swimsalot
Reply to  Brian M
2 years ago

My father told me if I got a AAAA cut he’d buy me a diamond house. It never came 🙁 but it was great motivation! He never put me under pressure, but a AA would be a double stack burger, AAA would be a triple stack or some other really nice thing, etc.

Reply to  Braden Keith
2 years ago

My assumption would be a house fully made out of diamonds. Quite the step up from a triple stick burger.

Sir Swimsalot
Reply to  Braden Keith
2 years ago

It was subliminal messaging thinking it was beyond reach, but he said that on purpose knowing it would only motivate me more. He was a great supporter

Reply to  Braden Keith
2 years ago

Minecraft Dads>>>

Andrea pereno
Reply to  Braden Keith
1 year ago

Whatever this “diamond house “ was its all fantasy but enough to get the child excited to push harder.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

Read More »