USA Swimming FAQ's

What is USA Swimming?

There are two large organizations that govern age group competitive swimming in the United States; the YMCA and USA Swimming. GO Swimming is a member of both of these organizations. While it is expected that all GO swimmers will participate in the YMCA dual, invitational and championship meets, participation in USA Swimming is voluntary. All USA Swimming meets are invitational style meets. Like the YMCA program, you will find swimmers of all ages and all skill and experience levels in USA Swimming. If you love to swim and want more opportunities to swim a wider variety of events, then USA Swimming is a good option for you!

Why Should I Become a USA Swimming Member?

  • There are more swim meets available to you.
  • USA Swimming meets often include events not usually offered at YMCA dual or invitational meets. However, some of these events are included in the YMCA Zone meet and your only chance to qualify for them is through swimming in USA Swimming meets.
  • You pick the individual events you swim.
  • Many of the USA meets, throughout the season, are held at the fastest pools in the area. This includes Cleveland State, SPIRE Institute, University of Akron, and the C.T. Branin Natatorium.
  • More meets at faster pools mean more opportunities to better your times and do things like qualify for YMCA Zones.
  • Rather than trying to make YMCA Zone cuts at the end of the season at “Last Chance Meets,” many swimmers will swim at the USA Swimming Championship meets held at faster pools to make these times.
  • USA Swimming has a larger membership than the YMCA so you see a wider range of talent and meet different swimmers at USA meets.
  • Most USA meets have a 4 hour time limit per session per day.
  • As a member you will receive a subscription to USA Swimming's award-winning Splash Magazine.
  • You will have the opportunity to qualify for “all-star” teams from Ohio and/or Lake Erie to participate at meets such as Quads, held in early January, and USA Swimming Zones, held in August.
  • You can track your times and earn virtual patches through a USA Swimming Deck Pass account.