About USA Swimming

Perkiomen Valley Aquatic Club (PVAC) is a registered USS team. We are offering USA Swimming to all those registered for the competition PVAC team. We participate in the Middle Atlantic division of USA Swimming.

USA swimming offers more meets; and depending upon the swimmers age group, a wider range of events (i.e., 400 IM, 200 back, 500 free, 1650 free, 200 fly, and 200 breast).  To enter these meets, a swimmer must pay a per event fee. USA swimming culminates with a championship meet in mid-March Junior Olympics (JO’s).

The most up to date regional time standards can be found on the Middle Atlantic website and national time standards on the USA Swimming website.

If you any have questions about USA Swimming please contact our USA Representative at [email protected]

What are Championship Meets?

USA Swimming is broken up into a number of LSC's or "Local Swimming Committes" - we are a member of the MA LSC or "Middle Atlantic".  Within our LSC there is a set of championship meets (above) where swimmers who qualify can compete for the top times in our region. Beyond that there are also sectional and national time standards and championships which have much more strict time standards.

The current Middle Atlantic championship format includes:

  • 10 and Under Champs - Equivalent of Junior or Senior champs but for the 10U age group.
  • Silver Champs - There might also be Gold and Bronze champs in some LSC's but MA just has Silver.
  • Junior and Senior Champs - Formerly known as Junior Olympics or JO's.

You can read more about the league format for Middle Atlantic here if you would like.

Qualifying Times for USA Swimming Championship Meets:

2024 10 & Under Champs Time Standard (10U)

2024 Junior Champs Time Standard (11-12 / 13-14)

2024 Senior Champs Time Standard (15 and Over)

2024 Silver Champs Time Standard (11 and Up)

What are Motivational Time Standards?

You may have seen mention of "Motivaitonal Time Standards" or meets containing A/BB/C or something similar. Within the USA meet format these are essentially a way to grade your times against a percentile of other swimmers who achieve those times. They are intended as a way to "motivate" a swimmer to achive better times.

This list is updated every four years. The current Motivational Standards for 2021-2024 can be found here.

In an A/BB/C meet generally that means anyone can come as there is no time standard "C" but the results will be divided into A, BB, and C classes so that you can get first place as a "BB" swimmer and earn an award without getting blown away by faster swimmers, essentially brackets. However, if a meet was an AAA only meet, then swimmers could only enter events which they have an AAA time in. PVAC only participates in the A/BB/C format meets.

The time standards are broken down as follows (also by age group an pool length):

  • AAAA: Top 2% of swimmers in your age group, nationally.
  • AAA: Top 6% of swimmers in your age group, nationally.
  • AA: Top 8% of swimmers in your age group, nationally.
  • A: Top 15% of swimmers in your age group, nationally.
  • BB: Top 35% of swimmers in your age group, nationally.
  • B: Top 55% of swimmers in your age group, nationally.

National Motivational Time Standard

2021-2024 National Age Group Motivational Times

USA Swimming Rules and Guidelines

2023 USA Swimming Rulebook

USA Swimming LSC and Zone Map

What Else?

USA Swimming is the national governing body for swimming in the United States. Therefore, all swimmers who participate in the Olympics or represent the country at any national level meet go through the USA process by qualifying for and winning at meets at every level of competition and working their way up. This means that in addition to the above meets there are additional ways the league is broken down. This is regionally, sectionally, nationally, etc.

If your swimmer was posting times which qualify for competition at these levels then there are additional meets you would participate in beyond the structure I have outlined above. Generally these higher levels of swimming are limited to the upper age groups or collegiate level swimmers and would require travelling to another state to participate in. For example the 2024 Olympic Trials are happening in Indianapolis, Indiana.

The general progression in terms of time requirements and overall "difficulty" in USA Swimming is as follows:

LSC Level (Middle Atlantic):

  1. Silver Champs
  2. Junior / Senior / 10U Champs

Zones and Sectionals (Eastern Zone Level):

  1. Zones (Age Group Swimmers) - Usually representing their home LSC
  2. Sectionals (Senior Swimmers) - Usallly representing their home Club

National Level:

  1. Futures
  2. Junior Nationals
  3. Nationals
  4. Olympic Trials
  5. Olympics

More information can be found by reading this helpful article.