To: Zone Directors, LSC General Chairs, LSC permanent
staff, Club Presidents, Coaches
Over the last several weeks, planning for resuming practices has
produced wide-ranging conversations about the role of competition
in our return to pools. While the perspectives vary, what is clear
is that our clubs and teams are looking for a conceptual plan for
With that, we are sharing the framework of our three-month
recommended roadmap for a safer return to competition for our
members. This conceptual plan, based on the current health
environment, encourages fostering competition in practice in June;
the prospect of intra-squad, virtual meets, and small
community-based dual meets in July; and regionally based
competition in August.
Most importantly, all steps within this progressive
strategy require compliance with local, state, and federal public
In support of our recommended approach, and in a continued effort
to ensure an even and level playing field among all our
LSC’s, the USA Swimming Board of Directors has made the
decision to revoke all existing USA Swimming sanctions and suspend
granting sanctions through June 30, 2020. This action is intended
to be the final prohibition on meet sanctioning (absent an adverse
change in circumstances). While there are still significant safety
considerations regarding meet sanctioning, including social
distancing, travel, etc., the Board anticipates returning
sanctioning control and discretion to LSC’s (subject to
certain restrictions) in July.
The targeted return-to-competition guidelines are further detailed
A return to practice, where possible, is our primary focus. When
your athletes are ready, we encourage fostering competition in
practice, making racing a fun part of your return to the pool plan.
Whether you are racing 15 meters, odd distances, or their favorite
event, keep it fun and use the opportunity to set positive
The goal is to return to small competitions such as sanctioned
intrasquad meets, virtual meets, and potentially community-based
dual meets. These meets may require individual age-groups, limited
event orders, and new uses of technology.
USA Swimming staff continues to plan for a regionally based series
of non-championship meets in August for athletes at the sectional
level and above. We know there are still several challenges to be
overcome to make these meets a reality, but as with our LSCs, we
must all have a Plan B and a Plan C for competitions this
If your club or LSC would like to work with staff to develop ideas
for creating competition opportunities this summer, please reach
out to Brendan Hansen, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Tom Avischious, email@example.com.
In addition to plan developments, many club leaders have reached
out regarding insurance implications upon re-opening. Below is an
explanation of the impact on the organization’s insurance
There are two key requirements that insurers will seek in order
for insurance to apply:
- Compliance with the most stringent and enforceable re-opening
guidelines of your jurisdiction (i.e.: social gathering criteria)
- Continued compliance with USA Swimming guidelines such as
coaching certification, safe sport provisions and virtual dryland
Regarding the legal jurisdiction to follow where competing
guidelines may apply, it is important to make a good faith decision
of what the club believes is the proper and safe guideline. A local
attorney should be consulted if there is ambiguity about which law
or governmental authority should be followed.
There are two key insurance coverages provided as part of the USA
Swimming membership. These include:
- General Liability insurance, which is silent on COVID-19. This
means that the insurance company will be evaluating coverage on a
case by case basis in the event a demand is made against the club
from a third party. Other than COVID-19, any other standard claim
(such as a slip and fall) should afford coverage.
- Participant Accident insurance, which provides payment for
accidents/injuries above any healthcare costs. For this insurance,
COVID-19 is specifically excluded as this is intended to cover for
accidents only and not illness.
Should you have additional insurance questions, please reach out
to USA Swimming Senior Director of Risk Management Steve Levine at
firstname.lastname@example.org or 720-201-4685.
If you have any questions about sanctions or a return to practice,
please email Joel Shinofield, email@example.com.
We encourage you to visit our website often for the
most-up-to-date swimming community Coronavirus resources: https://www.usaswimming.org/utility/swimming-community-coronavirus-resources.
We thank you for your continued support.
Together, we will get through this.