United States Aquatic Sports (USAS), the overarching governing body that oversees aquatic sports in the United States, has cancelled their 2020 convention. The event was scheduled for September 22nd-27th, 2020 in Jacksonville, Florida.
In the wake of that decision, USA Swimming has decided to move forward with a virtual convention.
“Many factors have weighed on this decision, namely the overall uncertainty of the circumstances, the likely inability for us to gather safely as a large group or travel across the country, and the effect this ongoing situation has on our ability to plan, coordinate and execute this extensive and interactive in-person assembly,” USAS said in a statement.
The annual convention is a huge annual gathering of stakeholders in swimming, water polo, synchronized swimming, diving, and masters swimming. The convention includes networking events, educational opportunities, and the House of Delegates event that votes on proposals to shape the future of USA Swimming.
USA Swimming says that the virtual event will include, at a minimum, the House of Delegates meeting, legislative action, and the Board of Directors election. USA Swimming says that affected committees are ‘encouraged to reschedule their meetings to best suit their needs.’
The move comes as USA Swimming has already discussed plans to launch its own convention in 2022 independent of the USAS convention. When proposed, USA Swimming says this would allow them to better control meeting space, logistics, schedule, and special events tied to the convention, and would allow them to source the convention location through their partnership with Marriott.
The American Swimming Coaches’ Association (ASCA) previously announced that they too would take their convention virtually. SwimSwam reached out to ASCA last week for comment, but ASCA has not provided that as of publishing.
Much of the state of Florida has begun a gradual reopening, including beginning to reopen restaurant dining rooms at 25% capacity. Duval county has 990 confirmed cases of coronavirus with 19 deaths.