USA Swimming Aims to Keep Level Playing Field With July Time Standard Restrictions

Times swum in July 2020 will not count towards meets above the LSC level. Photo Courtesy: Connor Trimble

With COVID-19 causing many pools to still remain unopened and many teams struggling to find adequate and safe training environments, USA Swimming has taken the initiative to not allow any times swum in July 2020 to count toward official qualifications above the LSC level. This means that if a swimmer qualifies for Olympic Trials, Junior Nationals, Futures, Sectionals and/or Zones in July 2020, the swim will not count since pool availabilities have been different from club to club. Nor will time standards count for potential spots on national select camp rosters.

Last month, USA Swimming introduced a return to competition plan, as long as social distancing guidelines were mandated by the host. As part of that return to competition plan, for July 2020, the USA Swimming Board of Directors has approved sanctioning of meets comprised only of athletes and clubs registered within the sanctioning LSC.

The full letter sent to USA Swimming members:

With the recognition that many of our clubs have limited or no access to facilities, and to maintain a level playing field, times achieved in sanctioned meets during July 2020 may not be used for any USA Swimming programs, camps, or competitions above the LSC level. Competitions above the LSC level include, but are not limited to, Zones, Sectionals, Futures, Junior Nationals, U.S. Open, National Championships and the U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Swimming. LSCs may use times achieved for LSC programs, meet qualifications, etc.

All competition events must conform to local, state, and federal public health guidelines. An LSC shall establish submission deadlines for sanction or approval applications and shall publish such periods, along with relevant instructions and forms.

Given the varying access to facilities and myriad of local requirements, USA Swimming understands that clubs and athletes may not be able to attend or host a traditional sanctioned competition. In the coming weeks, USA Swimming will share new practice-based opportunities for recognition and fun virtual events in which our clubs and athletes can participate.

Every club planning to host or attend a meet must develop a Return to Competition plan. Return to competition can only occur if and when your local authorities have deemed it safe to return to competition. USA Swimming in no way endorses conducting practice or competition in violation of any local, state, or federal guidelines.

USA Swimming’s Return to Competition Plan


  1. Patrick Ledford

    This is the dumbest thing I’ve read today!? it’s not the fault of the swimmers who are able to train now, that the ones who aren’t, have facilities that are dragging there feet. They shouldn’t be punished for their extra work! Do we not pay the people who are working now because some are still unable to go back to work?

    • Michael White

      Patrick Ledford if they can make the times now, can’t they do it next month?

      It’s not a level playing field if not everyone is able to compete.

    • Theresa Walker

      Patrick Ledford I agree. When swimmers and LSCs have dealt with weather/facility challenges, everyone else was still swimming with times counting. It seems like punishing swimmers for no good reason, just because they can train.

    • Sari Puzio Carroll

      Patrick Ledford there are still states with pools closed…not exactly the facilities fault

  2. Dick Simpson

    Swimmers that are struggling for pool time deserve a chance but, swimmers that have been lucky enough to be able to train and make cut offs should not be punished. That’s ridiculous.

  3. avatar

    So unfair! Punishing kids have been working their butts off for the last month. USA swimming needs to stop this and let the kids have something positive to look forward to for god sake’s! So much negativity out there right now just another thing to slap in their face

  4. Cheri Domitrz Zimdars

    Most kids are not concerned about racing right now. If there are some that get the opportunity and make a major cut, it should count. Those cuts are NOT hurting others.

  5. Oline Stehr

    Punishing the swimmers even more right now! So if someone worked their butt off training on their own during all this and happened to find a meet to go to, it wouldn’t count? So wrong!

  6. Emily Bibza

    Who is swimming in meets? I haven’t heard of any….

    • avatar

      Would love to hear about meets that are happening so we can see what they are doing and learn from them. At this point, our kids are just happy to be training as they know many other teams have been unable to get back in. Restrictions here make it difficult for any of our facilities to host a meet, but I want to learn from others so we can start planning.

  7. Jimmy Smith

    Ridiculous. Times count, but only in your lsc. Wont be pushed to SWIMS. Whats the point? Rather USAS just said No on sanctions, instead.

  8. Scott Tobin

    I want to hear the reason in favor of this. But on its face it seems ridiculous. Also awful to the kids who experienced hardship yet found a way to keep training and persevered through it.

  9. Annette Lewis-Bakay

    So we live in MI. We have no pool time yet due to our govenor. I do not think they should be penalized as they do not get to be in the pool. My son is a senior. Needs times for college. Why should someone who gets to swim have advantage

    • Jimmy Smith

      Annette Lewis-Bakay why should those who can swim be penalized? Cuts both ways.

  10. Roxanne Monce

    I don’t understand this ruling. For those states that have allowed the kids to start to swim, or kids that have found alternative ways to swim w bungees/open water/etc., why tell them any new times in July don’t count? I know everyone hasn’t been able to train, however new Jr National/Olympic cuts by others don’t take spots away from them? Those events are not limited on swimmers.

  11. Dirk G. Winkler

    top times are top times … if they are achieved officially they should count… the kids that wanted it most found a way to train or stay somewhat it condition … even the ones that did not will come back … this makes no sense!!!

  12. Mike Davidson

    How do you host the meet? Keep Social Distancing? Do you require mask? What age groups and genders?
    USA Swimming needs to set up protocols and guidelines and atop passing the buck to local Health Departments and CDC.
    Guidance for LSC’s, Teams and Coaches.

    • Kristin Grant MacPhail

      The last I heard via a USA call is a back to meet protocol (similar to back to practice) will be posted soon

    • Mike Davidson

      Kristin Grant MacPhail I understand that, bit they are putting the cart before the horse. Gonna be very difficult to host and run a meet especially in HS pools regarding social distancing, sanatizing and the ability to make money to make it worth while. I guess we will see what they come up with. #NumbersAreGoingUp

    • Kristin Grant MacPhail

      Mike Davidson my guess is more about ability to have virtual or intrasquad options for fun rather than money makers. Numbers are going up, so personally I just hope teams can keep providing safe practice options.

    • Mike Davidson

      Kristin Grant MacPhail I agree with that. Right now their talking about offering sanctions but the times don’t count. Safety is gotta be the #1 focus. Very concerned for the fall/winter/HS short course season. It has me troubled for sure. We are a little more fortunate since our facility is large enough to be able to spread out for a dual meet and warm up in different parts of the Nat most popls don’t have that option. Much to still way regarding competition?

  13. avatar
    Chris Breedy

    Totally the wrong decision. Swimmers shouldn’t be penalized-if they do the time it should be entered.
    There are LSCs out there like mine-Middle Atlantic- that has a notorious lack of long course pools!! Middle Atlantic swimmers have less opportunities than swimmers in most other LSCs through no fault of their own. It’s not a fair situation with regards to training OR meets-but of course they’re still held to the same guidelines as the rest of the country.

  14. Kenneth Gati

    This decision makes no sense. Making an OT, Jr Nat, Sectional or zone cut doesn’t matter when you make it. It is an amazing accomplishment for that swimmer be it in July or any other month. Making a cut doesn’t hurt swimmers that can’t swim in July. There are no limits on swimmers at these meets and a swimmer that couldn’t swim in July can still make the cut at a later date and still be able to swim at the meet. I do agree with the times not counting for select camps since there is an invite limit and the time period should be equal for swimmers seeking an invite.

  15. avatar

    How is it fair in an a completely objective sport that a time doesn’t count? I can agree July is not the time to select teams. How can USA swimming sanction a meet and determine the times don’t “count”?