USA Swimming Reaffirms No Alcohol at Age Group Competitions


USA Swimming issued a Task Force recommendation report allowing the sale of alcohol at pools where professional level swim meets take place and where those venues have an alcohol serving license.   The recommendation, which needs to go to USA Swimming’s House of Delegates, does not apply to Age Group, State, Sectional, Zone, Jr. National, or Futures level meets. Exceptions to this provision include senior, national-level events or with the approval of USA Swimming staff.

Swimming World reached out to Matt Farrell, Chief Marketing Officer for USA Swimming to better understand the motivation behind the recommendations

Farrell said the topic originated in two primary ways:

  1. A desire to treat top-level events in a consistent way with other professional sports. If we want to treat the events and athletes like pros, then our events have the opportunity be closer to a pro sports experience. This was resoundingly supported yesterday with a group of 10-12 National Team athletes in Colorado Springs when we had a meeting on this and other topics.
  2. Also, this topic actually originated by requests from the local level. There were teams across the country that had family connections with a local brewery or vineyard. They wanted to know if they could support their local swim team in some way.

“So, the USA Swimming-board appointed task force include representation from coaches, officials, club leaders and a National Team athlete. It was extremely thorough and responsible in looking at the issue from all angles, including research on other Olympic sports to come up with a policy that adapted to team and major event needs and stay responsible within the swimming community culture.

“Some were left with the impression this was about grassroots, youth events and that just isn’t the case. This is about the highest-level of events as well as making reasonable accommodations for adult-focused receptions or functions locally,” said Farrell.

The recommendation also resolves the issue of whether clubs can have alcohol at events that are not directly related to swimming competitions, by allowing alcohol at adult fundraising activities.  The recommendations allow for alcohol to be donated or sold to clubs who host events away from competitions.  These companies can now become sponsors of a club, but the clubs cannot incorporate an alcohol related company into the name of the club as that would imply an endorsement of the youth activity.

These recommendations allow for the sport of swimming to grow more in line with other professional sports and allow parents and boosters to hold social events that do not restrict adult rights.

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Amanda Howell
6 years ago

Sorry Karin Bowman Cummings

Karin Bowman Cummings
6 years ago
Reply to  Amanda Howell

That’s it, we are out of USA swimming ?

6 years ago

You mean I can’t swim for the Drunken Devil Rays?

Shelley Bronston Espinoza

Did they really need to reaffirm this? Were people thinking it was okay?

6 years ago

Brown University men’s swimming and diving team will be appealing the decision.

Kira McDonough
6 years ago

Ever been to a summer league meet? If it’s a night meet, I hope you aren’t trying to get any type of qualifying time since the parent timers are drunk at a lot of these meets. Then they pile their kids in the car and drive home. Such good role models. ?

Brad Boelter
6 years ago

Quite a courageous step by USA Swimming!?

Pedro Ferreira
6 years ago

…at any age…

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