Major USMS Rule Changes for 2017

Several rules were changed by the House of Delegates during the USMS Annual Meeting in Atlanta in September. A summary of the major changes that will take effect on January 1, 2017, can be found at:

Below are selected rules.

Event Limits: A swimmer may compete in not more than six individual events per day.

Fresh Water: USMS records and top 10 times can only be made in fresh water. No records or top 10 times will be recognized in any kind of sea or ocean water.

Age Determining Date for Open Water and Postal Swims: “In open water and postal swims, the eligibility of a swimmer shall be determined by the age of the swimmer on December 31 of the year of competition, except for 18-yearolds, who must be 18 on the day that they swim.” The relay age rules for open water and long distance/postal swims remain unchanged.

Water Conditions: Temperature guidelines have been amended for swimmer safety in swims with very warm water. “A swim of 5 kilometers or greater shall not begin if the water temperature exceeds 29.45° C. (85° F.). A swim of less than 5 kilometers shall not begin if the water temperature exceeds 31°C. (87.8° F.).”

Swimwear: For Category I open water swimwear, clasps and zippers are now excluded. This will make it easier for event staff to identify legal swimwear at each venue.

1-Hour ePostal (OHeP): The closing date for the 2017 and future OHeP events to be the last day of February. This will give more people a chance to swim.

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