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.
YMCA of the USA