USA Swimming Board of Directors Will Sanction Through June 30, Not LSCs

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The USA Swimming Board of Directors has taken actions in regard to the sanctioning of meets during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In an email sent to delegates, the board, on May 14, amended two articles of the USA Swimming Rules to take over sanctioning of meets, rather than leaving it up to Local Swimming Committees (LSCs) until at least June 30. The email stated:

To amend Articles 202.2 and 202.3 of the USA Swimming Rules to provide the USA Swimming Board of Directors with management of the meet sanction or approval process, effective immediately through June 30, 2020, without appeal; and 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), as clubs and LSCs start to plan their return to the pool. While there are still considerable safety considerations regarding meet sanctioning, including social distancing, travel, and the like, a progressive return to competition is anticipated to begin immediately, with the sanctioning process being returned to LSC control (subject to certain restrictions) in July,” USA Swimming stated.

The board also released a “Road to Competition Roadmap” about easing back into competition.

USA Swimming has previously released tools and guidelines, stressing all steps must stay within local, state and federal public health guidelines.

The rest of the message talks about the process of what has been changed because of COVID-19 up to this point.

It reads in full:

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:

March 17, 2020: To amend Articles 202.2 and 202.3 of the USA Swimming Rules to provide the USA Swimming Board of Directors with management of the meet sanction and approval process, effective immediately through April 30, 2020, without appeal; and to revoke all existing USA Swimming sanctions and suspend granting sanctions through April 30, 2020.

This action followed USA Swimming’s strong recommendation that its LSCs and clubs suspend all USA Swimming sanctioned competitions across the country, CDC guidance, and similar action taken by government and industry.

April 14, 2020: To amend Articles 202.2 and 202.3 of the USA Swimming Rules to provide the USA Swimming Board of Directors with management of the meet sanction or approval process, effective immediately through May 31, 2020, without appeal; and to revoke all existing USA Swimming sanctions and suspend granting sanctions through May 31, 2020.

This action stemmed from continuing unsafe conditions to compete, as well as LSC representatives seeking national guidance to prevent anyone from acting alone. The action also addressed broad concern that sanctioning meets in May would incentivize bad decision-making locally, including clubs resuming training because of the perceived pressure of preparing for possible competition. The Board action sought to keep a level playing field nationwide and to ensure that our community continues to play a positive role in the nationwide public health effort.

May 14, 2020: To amend Articles 202.2 and 202.3 of the USA Swimming Rules to provide the USA Swimming Board of Directors with management of the meet sanction or approval process, effective immediately through June 30, 2020, without appeal; and 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), as clubs and LSCs start to plan their return to the pool. While there are still considerable safety considerations regarding meet sanctioning, including social distancing, travel, and the like, a progressive return to competition is anticipated to begin immediately, with the sanctioning process being returned to LSC control (subject to certain restrictions) in July. 

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