YMCA of the USA Cancels 2021 Short Course and Long Course Nationals

Originally published November 16, 2020.

The YMCA of the USA, which is the national resource office for America’s 2,700 YMCAs, has announced the cancelation of both the 2021 YMCA Short Course National Championships next spring, and the 2021 YMCA Long Course National Championships, which would have taken place next summer. Both meets were scheduled for the Greensboro Aquatic Center in Greensboro, North Carolina, which had been contracted to host the YMCA’s 2020 Long Course Nationals, 2021 Short Course Nationals, 2021 Long Course Nationals, 2022 Short Course Nationals, and 2023 Long Course Nationals.

In early March, the YMCA canceled its 2020 Short Course Nationals due to the pandemic; it was the first YMCA swimming championship to be canceled since 1947. Two weeks later, the organization announced it would not be holding its 2020 Long Course Nationals either.

In a letter to its constituents, Y-USA emphasized its priority was to ensure the health and safety of its families. It noted the continued increase in COVID cases across the nation and the fact that we are still awaiting a vaccine as factors that played in its decision.

The 2019 YMCA Short Course Nationals took place in April 2019 in Greensboro with over 1400 swimmers competing. The 2019 YMCA Long Course National Championships were held in July/August at the University of Maryland in College Park, MD.

The Y-USA announcement read:

As the COVID-19 crisis evolves, YMCA of the USA (Y-USA) remains focused on supporting YMCAs through the pandemic and ensuring the health and safety of our Y communities.

Unfortunately, the pandemic continues to impact sports and athletic activities at all levels across the country, including college and professional team events. In light of the continued and unpredictable risk posed by the spread of the COVID-19 virus, Y-USA has made the difficult decision to cancel all national competitive sporting events for 2021, which includes the YMCA Short Course and Long Course National Championships.

We recognize that this is the second time we are sharing what is very disappointing news for the athletes, teams and families who were hopeful that the YMCA Short Course National Championships would be held next year. However, Y-USA made this decision weighing several factors, including the continued increase in COVID cases nationally, the ever-evolving state and local guidelines and restrictions, the anticipated widespread availability of a vaccine or other treatments and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). At this time we are not in a position to know if we can guarantee the safety and well-being of participants, coaches, spectators and staff at our national sporting events in 2021. We will share updates on 2022 national events as they become available.

We applaud the hard work and dedication of the many athletes – especially those who would compete for the last time at this level – and the coaches of the YMCA competitive swimming community. We are incredibly grateful for the hours of preparation from our dedicated national event planning committee volunteers.

If you have any additional questions about national events, please e-mail [email protected]

Thank you for your understanding as we continue to manage through these unprecedented times.

Sincerely,

YMCA of the USA

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Irish Ringer
10 months ago

They did hear about two vaccines coming out right? I can maybe see cancelling the Spring event, but seems a little premature to cancel the summer event that takes place 8-9 months from now?

TheSwammer
Reply to  Irish Ringer
10 months ago

Just because a vaccine is close to being “ready” doesn’t mean the entire world will be receiving it in the first batch. Those desperately in need will be the first to receive it and that’ll include elderly, front line workers etc. That’ll be millions of people across the world in the first batch alone.

Projections are all over the place on when and how quickly the entire world can receive the vaccine.

swimgeek
Reply to  TheSwammer
10 months ago

The “entire world” isn’t swimming at Y-Nats.

CRD
Reply to  swimgeek
10 months ago

No, only healthy, young athletes are. Guess who will get the vaccine last? Exactly, the healthy, young athletes.

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  CRD
10 months ago

Pretty sure “children” (defined as those under 18 years) haven’t even been included in the clinical trials for either vaccine.

Doconc
Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
10 months ago

Wrong. Part of trial

Admin
Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
10 months ago

Pfizer began testing children as young as 12 in mid-October. They were the first ones to begin testing on children.

https://www.cnn.com/2020/10/13/health/covid-vaccine-pfizer-kids-bn/index.html#:~:text=Vaccine%20trial%20paused%20as%20Covid%2D19%20cases%20surge%20in%20US&text=It%20will%20be%20the%20first,%2Dolds%20later%2C%20said%20Dr.

Unclear, but I haven’t seen any reporting to indicate that the positive Phase 3 results they announced a few weeks ago included any of the early testing on children.

Doconc
Reply to  Braden Keith
10 months ago

No age or racial results have been released. Next data release

Meeeeee
Reply to  Doconc
10 months ago

Moderna recruited only 18 and older. No restriction on upper age and only a few restrictions on other medical issues (allergies to other vaccines, bleeding disorder, etc.).

Ol’ Longhorn
Reply to  Braden Keith
10 months ago

Pfizer went down to 16 years (Moderns did not) bc it’s generally believed you can try the adult dose on adolescents. To go lower in age group will require going back to figuring safe and effective doses for younger than 16. Cincy Children’s is enrolling kids. Pfizer also sought to enroll only 3000 kids 16-18, so it’s not like they’re going to have terrifically robust results for the FDA to approve it even if they’re lucky with enrollment. It’s a stretch to believe that the under 18 group will have compelling clinical efficacy/safety data with FDA approval AND be remotely close to the front of the line for vaccines before 2022. But hey, science = libtard for the Proud Boy/Q… Read more »

Troll Longhorn
Reply to  Ol’ Longhorn
10 months ago

I like how you were wrong, corrected, then you come back with some half rebuttal and take a shot at the right. Just as well throw in Antif while your at it.

Meeeeee
Reply to  CRD
10 months ago

Personally i think the strategy should be them first. This will most quickly tamp it down from community spread because they are the one’s out and about the most.

Swamfan
Reply to  CRD
10 months ago

Yes but even if the majority of the people gathering at the meet are young & healthy that doesn’t mean they’re immune from the virus & can still pass it on to a vulnerable person.
Let’s say the vaccine is ~95% effective, a vulnerable person may fall into the 5% of people who the vaccine is not effective on, and even if they’re vaccinated they could still catch the virus and get very sick. If large events like these are still being held before everyone is vaccinated the chances of people catching the virus are much more likely.
I agree cancelling summer Nats seems a little premature, but until 99% of people are vaccinated it won’t be safe… Read more »

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  TheSwammer
10 months ago

In WSJ yesterday, Dr. Saad Omer, director of the Yale Institute for Global Health, said he “doesn’t expect large groups of people could safely congregate before early 2022, even with vaccines.” He’s a pretty big deal in the vaccine world. So maybe the YMCA people read more than SwimSwam.

PsychoDad
Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
10 months ago

These meets can all be carefully planned and done safely, in a country where normal people live, but not here where 50% of population are idiots.

Tomek
Reply to  PsychoDad
10 months ago

So which 50% of population do you include yourself PsychoDad? Idiots or non-idiots?

PsychoDad
Reply to  Tomek
10 months ago

I am an idiot…. for arguing with idiots…

Rookie
Reply to  PsychoDad
10 months ago

Well, the smart-set says it’s not safe to gather with more than 10 members of your family for Thanksgiving, so those are going to be some pretty tiny swim meets.

To be honest, I’m less concerned about swim meets. Six more months of this and I’m afraid 50% of the country is going to start building tumbrils and guillotines. I just wish I knew which half.

Irish Ringer
Reply to  PsychoDad
10 months ago

Without casting judgement at the country level, I do agree that a regional virtual meet could have been an option.

HulkSwim
Reply to  Irish Ringer
10 months ago

The YMCAs have that already, no? Regional Champsl

Christie
Reply to  Irish Ringer
9 months ago

Yes I agree. They are currently doing that !!! Why can’t there be y meets?

The man
Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
10 months ago

Stop spreading lies. If ur scared then don’t go that simple, as the libtards say, my body my choice!

Yabo
Reply to  The man
10 months ago

He quoted a well renowned medical research professional, how is he spreading lies? Or are lies just things that you don’t like now?

Ol’ Longhorn
Reply to  The man
10 months ago

There’s a reason you don’t capitalize the M.

The man
Reply to  Ol’ Longhorn
10 months ago

Wow, we got a cool guy over here!

Swamfan
Reply to  The man
10 months ago

It’s not as simple as “if you’re scared don’t go”
A wedding in Maine led to a covid outbreak in which over 177 people were infected. 7 people died. NONE of the people who died went to the wedding. There’s no such thing as “personal choices” in a highly contagious global pandemic

https://www.latimes.com/science/story/2020-11-12/covid-19-spread-at-thanksgiving-holiday-gatherings-could-be-like-maine-wedding?_amp=true

Corn Pop
Reply to  Swamfan
10 months ago

But not the wedding singer .

Amos
Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
10 months ago

So no Olympics?

Meeeeee
Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
10 months ago

Well Fauci said masks don’t work, then only work to stop spread, and now work to protect the wearer (from the CDC). All this despite weak to no evidence that they help and some pretty good evidence that they increase the rate of bacterial pneumonia. So which Fauci was correct?

Doconc
Reply to  Meeeeee
10 months ago

Neither. Deep state political operative

Still waiting for that hiv vaccine tiny Tony promised

Ol’ Longhorn
Reply to  Meeeeee
10 months ago

The one who still has a job January 21, 2021.

Troll Longhorn
Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
10 months ago

I don’t think anyone would complain if you stayed in the basement.

B1G Daddy
10 months ago

Hold up, hold up. Here’s my disclaimer: I’m a liberal guy and generally have been understanding of steps taken to minimize exposure at the private and public level. With that said, they cancelled a national swim meet that is like 9 months away when a vaccine is believed to be months away? That seems SO premature.

Hswimmer
Reply to  B1G Daddy
10 months ago

Not liberal at all here and agree 100%

Gesundheit
Reply to  B1G Daddy
10 months ago

You don’t have to be liberal to be understanding of steps to minimize exposure. I agree with your point though.

Inclusive Parent
Reply to  B1G Daddy
10 months ago

I tend to agree with the LCM call being early; however, the earliest date that has even been floated of when vaccines could be available for the general population is April, and people need two doses. Nothing can change (other than if the general population begins to take this seriously) until June or later. More importantly, and this is pure conjecture, the contracts with GAC may include dates that carry less financial penalties canceling now versus 4 months from now. Or the two meets may be tied together in the contract. Regardless, it is a huge disappointment for the kids. At least teams have time to decide what they want to do.

The Count
Reply to  Inclusive Parent
10 months ago

When is doubt, follow the money (particularly with the Y). The short course meet was a long shot. The long course meet isn’t profitable.

SwimMom
Reply to  B1G Daddy
10 months ago

Maybe it’s the money and effort that goes into planning: cost/benefit? I feel the same as B1G Daddy and deeply disappointed for these kids.

Hswimmer
10 months ago

This is just beyond dumb

Ol’ Longhorn
Reply to  Hswimmer
10 months ago

As in smart?

swimgeek
10 months ago

[comment moved]

Last edited 10 months ago by swimgeek
David
10 months ago

Seriously?!

I think they should change the name to the Young Men’s Coward Association.

leisurely1:29
10 months ago

Remember when people called cancelling this summer’s LC Nats “premature”? No one knows how long this virus will affect our world… and it WILL take longer to go away than we may think/hope. This is more than just about swimming. It’s a matter of life & death… and as far as I can see, people are STILL dying. People will continue to die until the vaccine is globally accessible. People can disagree with the YMCA, but if your parent/grandparent/friend died after going to a swim meet (or being in contact with someone who did), I think you’d agree that it’s better safe than sorry, every single time.

Corn Pop
Reply to  leisurely1:29
10 months ago

Maybe their officials are dead. Betty & Bob won’t wan tf to go out & do this stuff now Irma & Maurice won’t be there. Dotty has no one to drive her to meets .& the months of iso location have left her wobbly on her feet.
A slight exageration bit some social activities are not coming back .

azswummer
Reply to  Corn Pop
10 months ago

Not all of us officials fall into this category. Keep in mind that the vast majority of officials are unpaid. We stand on deck for hours at a time instead of sitting in the stands drinking Starbucks and gossiping. Most of us take time off from our real jobs and spend money to be at the meets. Without officials, no meets can happen. Yes, there are older officials but many of these people have given their time and efforts for years because they love the sport. Some do need to give it up- I agree- but that’s why we’re always recruiting for more.
I’m done now 🙂

Coach
Reply to  azswummer
10 months ago

Thank you.

HeadTimer
Reply to  azswummer
10 months ago

Appreciate the officials …. even though they gave my son a false start DQ on his back at the Greensboro US Open!

Buckeyeboy
Reply to  HeadTimer
10 months ago

As any official will tell you………”I didn’t DQ him, he DQ’d himself”. Also, pretty sure false starts have to be dual confirmed so hard to argue that one. Sorry Noble family.

HeadTimer
Reply to  Buckeyeboy
10 months ago

I know, I know….. but they could have turned their heads at just the right moment or something. Lesson learned, hopefully… (The good news- Elizabeth Beisel talked about him. The bad news – it was for a DQ.)

Nurse who swims
Reply to  HeadTimer
10 months ago

At least your son had a chance to get DQ’d in a race. Plenty of kids still can’t even go to practice.

Corn Pop
Reply to  azswummer
10 months ago

Anybody who is not dead & can pass the child protection checks can step in . Please do .

Meeeeee
Reply to  Corn Pop
10 months ago

Ha! You are describing the officials in Michigan.

The Count
Reply to  Corn Pop
10 months ago

They would have no problem getting officials for either meet. There are many loyal and fearless officials. Follow the $$$. SC Nats pays for many other reasons events that don’t pull their weight. Once you cancel SC the rest are dominos.

TXSwim
Reply to  leisurely1:29
10 months ago

People will continue to die after the vaccine, just like lots of people still die of the basic flu. NOTHING is ever going to make the world 100% safe.

Kelly
10 months ago

Seems to me this maybe a financial problem and not a pandemic problem. So sad for the swimmers who have worked so hard.

SwimMom
Reply to  Kelly
10 months ago

100% agree

Y’ld Side
Reply to  Kelly
10 months ago

Finally someone said it. As much as I’m for the safety of athletes first, but as a long time (and now former) YMCA swim coach all I can think of is, this is a fiscal decision because if you’ve ever worked behind the scenes at a Y you come to realize most YMCA’s are severely mismanaged from the top down. I was also amazed at the amount of bonuses CEO’s and executives get while having no problems with cutting staff and programs when the need fit.

It may be a two fold situation. They’re cutting early to protect potential losses while simultaneously- they’re cutting early due to already foreseen fiscal issues from the top down. And let’s be real… Read more »

Dalvin Cook
10 months ago

Now begins the chain reaction meets getting cancelled again. Feels really bad to be a junior right now!

About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four daughters, all of whom swam in college. With an undergraduate degree from Princeton (where she was an all-Ivy tennis player) and an MBA from INSEAD, she worked for many years in the financial industry, both in France and the U.S. Anne is currently …

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