With hurricanes shaking up training sites in the southern United States, USA Swimming has temporarily lifted its rule requiring swimmers to wait 120 days before switching teams for competition.
The decision comes in the midst of a few key changes to the federation’s structure coming out of the USA Swimming Convention this weekend. You can read more about the changes to the governance structure here.
USA Swimming typically requires athletes to undergo a 120-day waiting period while changing from one team to another. Athletes are usually able to compete as “unattached,” but the wait period does keep them from competing on relays with a new club. USA Swimming acknowledged the devastation from hurricanes Harvey and Irma as a driving reason for lifting that restriction for about one calendar year.
Here’s the relevant piece of the USA Swimming press release:
Due to the extraordinary and monumental devastation and destruction of hurricanes in the U.S. this season, USA Swimming recognizes that member athletes have been displaced from not only their homes but their swim clubs as well. USA Swimming believes enabling displaced athletes to be included as part of a team is also part of the recovery process. To support this, the House of Delegates passed the resolution that will grant a temporary exception to the 120-day representation rule to allow swimmers to swim with other teams. Typically, swimmers must wait 120 days in order to switch teams for competitions. This will be effective immediately and expire at the closing of the House of Delegates in September 2018.
The rule takes effect right away and will last until next September.