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Feature Story

January 2020


USA Swimming Recognizes Top Swimming Clubs

By Dave Ramont

For 20 years, USA Swimming—the national governing body for the sport of swimming in the United States—has been offering its Club Excellence program, a voluntary program that annually recognizes the highest-performing USA Swimming clubs in the development of athletes ages 18 years and younger. Clubs that execute strong, well-rounded programs are identified, with the top 20 earning Gold-level ranking. Those rated 21 to 100 are designated as Silver honorees, and the next 100 clubs receive a Bronze rating.

Recently, USA Swimming announced the 2020 Club Excellence honorees, and Nation’s Capital Swim Club (NCAP) claimed the top spot for the sixth consecutive year. The Washington, D.C.-area club received 81,529 points, topping runner-up SwimMAC Carolina by 18,271 points. Rounding out the top five clubs for 2020 are Sandpipers of Nevada, Mason Manta Rays (Ohio) and Dynamo Swim Club (Georgia).

The scores that determine each team’s ranking are based on the FINA (International Swimming Federation) Points Table, a power point rating system that assigns point values to individual swimming performances based on the Gold, Silver or Bronze time standard. Beginning with the 2018 Club Excellence rankings, Gold swims were multiplied by a factor of 2.0. Points for Silver-level swims were increased by a factor of 1.5. Open water swimmers are eligible to score points based on their finishes at the 2019 USA Swimming Open Water National Championships and Junior National Championships.

The program also provides grant funding to Gold- and Silver-level clubs, enabling those teams to expand and enhance the services they provide to athletes. Joel Shinofield, USA Swimming managing director of sport development, said that they’re fortunate to have dedicated athletes and coaches doing such incredible work in pools across the country. “The clubs who have earned Gold, Silver or Bronze honors are building future champions who will continue our success at the international level. We are excited and honored to again distribute $400,000 in grants to the top 100-ranked clubs in 2020.”

Sixteen different USA Swimming Local Swimming Committees (LSC) were represented in the top 20 Gold-level rankings. Of the total 200 clubs recognized as Gold, Silver or Bronze programs, Illinois Swimming led all LSC’s with 13 total clubs recognized. Southern California Swimming followed them with nine clubs receiving recognition.

All of the 200 clubs honored will receive a 4-by-6-foot banner recognizing their level of achievement, and they earn the right to use the Club Excellence program logo on the club website and in advertising and promotional materials through December 31 of the program year. Additionally, the club’s level of achievement is displayed on the USA Swimming website in the club search section.


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