USA Swimming’s Membership Numbers Trending Up In 2023-24

USA Swimming recently released its membership numbers for the 2023 year, and things are trending up as we head into 2024.

USA Swimming’s membership years overlap, running from the first day of September in a given year until the last day of December the following year.

For the 2023 membership year (Sept. 1, 2022 – Aug. 31, 2023), USA Swimming had a total of 316,263 registered athletes, 279,505 (88%) of which were registered with the Premium Membership.

There were also 29,862 athletes registered under the Flex Membership, 6,896 under the Outreach Membership, plus 17,079 Seasonal Athletes.

  • Premium Membership – Year-round membership
  • Flex Membership – Introductory for 12 and under swimmers geared towards practice and participation
  • Outreach Membership – Reduced fee membership for economically disadvantaged swimmers
  • Seasonal Membership – Membership valid for up to 150 consecutive days

Compared to the 2022 membership year, the number of total athletes dropped by roughly 20,000, while the year-round total went down by just over 23,000.

There was also 19,430 registered coaches for the 2023 membership year. While the specific number of coaches isn’t listed for previous years, the total number of “Non-Athlete” members—including coaches, officials and administrators—saw an uptick.

USA Membership Statistics – 2020 to 2023

2020 2021 2022 2023
Percentage Change (22 to 23)
Year-Round Athletes 320,180 282,198 339,305 316,263 -6.79%
Seasonal Athletes 6,031 10,967 14,033 17,079 21.71%
Single Meet Athletes 32 27 59 178 201.70%
Total Athletes 326,243 293,192 353,397 333,520 -5.62%
Coaches 19,430
Non-Athletes 36,832 35,120 39,416 44,065 11.79%
Total Members 363,075 328,312 392,813 377,585 -3.87%

Note that the 2021 statistics were heavily impacted by COVID-19. USA Swimming’s Managing Director of Sport Development, Joel Shinofield, told SwimSwam that the organization lost 660 clubs due to the pandemic, and in most cases, 70 percent of the swimmers on a club that closes down don’t renew thier membership elsewhere.

Things have been slowly coming back post-COVID, however, with Shinofield telling SwimSwam that through the first four months of the 2024 membership year (beginning Sept. 1), the numbers are on an upward trajectory.

As of Jan. 8, USA Swimming said it has over 260,000 athlete members, over 14,000 registered coaches and an approximate total membership of 297,000, all on pace to exceed 2023 totals.

USA Swimming Membership Numbers – 2023 to 2024

2022-23 2023-24*
Total Athletes 333,520 260,000
Coaches 19,430 14,000
Non-Athletes 44,065 37,000
Total Members 377,585 297,000

*Approximate totals as of Jan. 8, 2024

Shinofield said the current pace puts USA Swimming in position to exceed 2023 totals by approximately 10,000 athlete members and 1,000 coaches.

Of the approximate 2,700 clubs registered with USA Swimming, 560 of them took the organization up on its new Bulk Renewal process, which was launched on Sept. 1, 2023 and allows clubs to seamlessly register all of their members (or just athletes or just staff) at once.

The early returns of that process seemed to be successful, with Shinofield noting that clubs were given a short window to opt in to ensure those that did had a positive experience.

In September 2022, USA Swimming launched a new online membership system, which caused some issues for clubs and also put the onus on parents to register their swimmers rather than being able to do so through the club.

The Bulk Renewal system alleviates some of those problems, though there were approximately 16,000 swimmers who competed during the 2023 fall season that were yet to renew for the 2024 membership year. Shinofield said USA Swimming is giving reminders to those who have yet to renew.

Shinofield also said the last two years were the organization’s biggest in terms of gaining new members since 2013-14, though member retention is still a big area that they’re keying in on. Different competition options are one way USA Swimming is working to ensure families that join for one year stay on, with different types of meets expected to be rolled out later this year.

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TJB
5 months ago

Can you post the link for the 2022-2023 demographic report?

Taa
5 months ago

You bought into their spin with the headline title. The lead headline should read “membership down 6% last year”.

JimSwim22
5 months ago

But 10,000 over last year is still a sizeable drop over 2022

Seth
5 months ago

Im guessing 2024 being an Olympic year helps.

RealSlimThomas
Reply to  Seth
5 months ago

I’m curious how it helps though. If anything, I would expect the year following the Olympics to trend upward…parents watch on TV and think it could be a great fit for their kids.

Kabes
5 months ago

Very nice

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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