Although USA Swimming Local Swimming Committees (LSC) can sanction meets that include clubs outside their LSCs, the governing body has decided to implement amendments that place a focus on safety in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. With coronavirus cases spiking in many areas around the United States, USA Swimming took steps to ensure that meets organized at the LSC level placed emphasis on creating a safe competition atmosphere.
At the beginning of October, USA Swimming gave LSCs the opportunity to sanction meets with clubs from outside their LSCs. This decision was made to enable a return to strong competition and to give athletes the chance to race at a higher level than what would be possible within the LSC. However, USA Swimming made a point of requiring the LSCs to abide by all local, state and federal public health guidelines.
USA’s governing body released the following ruling on the matter:
Pursuant to Article 4.7 of the USA Swimming Corporate Bylaws, and in the interest of member safety due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the USA Swimming Board of Directors has taken the following actions related to meet sanctioning, with the advice and consent of the Operational Risk Committee, Rules & Regulation Committee, and legal counsel:
Amendment of Articles 202.4 and 202.6 of the USA Swimming Rules to require certain COVID-related precautions in order to issue meet sanctions and approvals, including a safety plan, assumption of risk, and release of liability, which will remain in place through January 31, 2021.
As always, USA Swimming, Local Swimming Committees (LSC) and club activities must follow state and local guidelines.
In September, the Board of Directors chose not to take further action to restrict the sanctioning process, which means, effective October 1, 2020, LSCs may sanction meets that include athletes and clubs registered outside their LSC. However, all competition must continue to conform to local, state, and federal public health guidelines.