25-Yard Races In Masters Competition? USMS Rule Addition Set For Vote This Month

SARASOTA, Florida, September 6. THE upcoming United States Aquatic Sports Convention could feature a groundbreaking addition of 25-yard events to the U.S. Masters Swimming meet program, as well as 100-yard relays.

The goal of the rules proposal, says USMS Executive Director Rob Butcher, is to give meet organizers the opportunity to make more money at local meets by adding these six new events to the schedule. For those meets that charge a per-event entry fee, this could be a big moneymaker, but even those meets that charge a flat fee could see more entries from swimmers looking for the least amount of racing as possible.

Some meets have featured 25-yard versions of the four strokes this year in a test format, but the 4×25 relays have yet to be tested on a large scale. That could change as the short course yards national championship could also feature 25-yard races and the 100-yard relays if the rules are approved to add them to the schedule.

According to the rationale listed with the rules proposal:

25-yard races may be less intimidating for new swimmers. Adding 25-yard races and 100-yard relays will increase meet participation, meet revenues, and swimmer recognition through Top 10, All American, and All Star programs.

The USAS convention begins September 15 in Jacksonville.


  1. avatar
    Tom Hedderman

    As a master swimmer, I have to say that 25 yard races and 100 yard relays would be fun and would be moneymakers for the meets.

  2. avatar
    Collette Sappey

    Awesome idea! Die hard sprinters can be just sprinters without the die! Bring it on. The shorter, the better.

  3. avatar
    Chris wall

    This is the swimming equivalent of a 100 yd dash in Track, bring it on!

  4. avatar
    mark maged

    As if the meets Are not long enough… Now will have to implement a 7 or 8 event rule

  5. avatar

    Very few Masters meets are long. In fact, the sessions are so short that lack of recovery time between events can be a real limitation. Adding 25s would add some much needed recovery time between events.

    Australia swimming keeps records for every stroke in every distance from 25m to 1500m! Adding 25s isn’t unreasonable.

  6. avatar
    New Swimmer

    Fantastic idea!! Guaranteed to increase participation at meets. For me the biggest obstacle to attendance was not being able to do any more than the 50 free. Now I could go and swim at least 3 events. And based on my practice group(s) I know I’m not the only one.

  7. avatar
    CJ Rushman

    I have hosted a Masters meet for the past 18 years. This past year to drum up interest but also just serve as a buffer for the meet,( give swimmers rest) I added 25’s of each stroke. It was a huge success. All ability levels participated. Made the meet more fun.

    Only items to be aware of are as follows. To be compliant with the rules in effect, You must state that these events count towards the five limit and need to tell me participant that they don’t count as “official” records.

    I encourage meet hosts to add them. Time & energy well spent.

  8. avatar

    Although i have no interest in entering them, i agree they might help recovery time at small local meets. Although as a general rule I do not improve as the meets go on. My 2nd event is normally my best regardless of when it is and then i go down from there. However it would only make the regional and national meets even longer. But I really don’t even have the time for multiday meets in their current formats. Masters swimming is as much about swimming efficiently as about swimming fast. Like many others i am swimming between running 2 businesses and family commitments. For me it is more a question of whether I can still be the best swimmer i can be while holding down other life responsibilities.