USA Swimming announced will not grant event sanctions through June 30, but outlined a “framework” for a “three-month recommended roadmap for a safer return to competition” in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, in a release Friday.
“This conceptual plan, based on the current health environment, encourages fostering competition in practice in June; the prospect of intra-squad, virtual meets, and small community-based dual meets in July; and regionally based competition in August,” the release says. It adds the moratorium on meet sanction through June is intended to be the “final prohibition,” unless there is an adverse change in circumstances.
In April, the organization said it wouldn’t sanction meets through at least May 31.
In Friday’s release, USA Swimming stresses that “above all,” steps within their recommended strategy require compliance with local, state, and federal public health guidelines.
The framework states that the focus of June should be returning to practice, where it’s allowed. “When your athletes are ready, we encourage fostering competition in practice, making racing a fun part of your return to the pool plan,” the release says.
According to the recommendations, the goal for July is returning to small sanctioned competitions, including intrasquad and virtual meets, and potentially, “community-based” dual meets.
Finally, the plan says that USA Swimming is still targeting August for a regionally based series of non-championship meets. “We know there are still several challenges to be overcome to make these meets a reality, but as with our LSCs, we must all have a Plan B and a Plan C for competitions this summer,” the release says.
USA Swimming‘s plan comes as a handful of states are allowing pools to reopen, with social distancing restrictions, allowing some team to get their athletes back in the water.