Update: USA Swimming has clarified that they will cancel all USA Swimming hosted events, including clinics and workshops, for 30 days, and has also issued a “strong recommendation” that all meets be cancelled as well.
USA Swimming has issued a 30-day cancellation of all USA Swimming hosted events, including clinics and workshops, and also issued a “strong recommendation” that all meets be cancelled as well. This is the latest in a wave of cancellations due to the novel 2019 coronavirus.
Based on a flood of meet cancellations that happened within a few hours of the decision being made, all indications are that meet hosts are taking the “strong recommendation” seriously.
The decision was made via a conference call on Thursday. USA Swimming is preparing a formal announcement, but has confirmed the news to SwimSwam.
Update: USA Swimming‘s statement says the following: “We also strongly recommend that our Local Swimming Committees (LSC) and clubs suspend all USA Swimming-sanctioned competitions across the country for the next 30 days.” A USA Swimming spokesperson added that “We have delegated sanctioning authority to the LSC’s at the local levels and are therefore working with them to make the most appropriate locally-based decisions.”
The coronavirus has spread from China and into Europe, causing a flood of major event cancellations across the globe. As of yesterday, the World Health Organization had reported more than 118,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 – the illness associated with the novel coronavirus – worldwide. According to the CDC, the United States has just over 1200 reported cases and 36 reported deaths due to COVID-19.
A 30-day ban beginning today would extend through April 11. Here’s a list of meets currently scheduled for that time-frame on USA Swimming‘s website:
- Columbia Sectionals (March 12-15) – already canceled
- Pleasant Prairie Sectionals (March 12-15) – already canceled
- Federal Way Sectionals (March 12-15) – already canceled
- Jenks Sectionals (March 19-22)
- Christiansburg Sectionals (March 26-29)
- Elkhark Sectionals (March 26-29)
- Buffalo Sectionals (March 26-29)
- Eastern Zone Age Group Champs (April 1-4)
The 30-day ban would end just a few days before the scheduled next stop of the Pro Swim Series in Mission Viejo, California. USA Swimming‘s announcement email says that further information about the Mission Viejo Pro Swim Series would be shared “within the next few days.”
We’re still working to confirm details of which meets would be canceled, but a USA Swimming blanket ban would appear to cancel any meet hosted by USA Swimming or any of its local swimming committees (LSCs). That would include club state meets, zone meets and Junior Olympics meets.
The ban would not appear to have jurisdiction over NCAA or high school meets, though those organizations could follow suit with event shutdowns of their own. Multiple individual colleges have already canceled all athletic activities, including the Ivy League, and Pennsylvania and Connecticut both indefinitely postponed and cancelled, respectively, their high school state swim meets.
The YMCA has also cancelled their National Championship meet, though USA Swimming‘s move will derail plans to host an alternate meet in its place.