Starting a New Club


How to get started

This page includes all of the information and forms necessary to apply to USA Swimming as a NEW member club.


USA Swimming offers two classes of membership: (1) Group members, including clubs, seasonal clubs and organizations; and (2) Individual members, including athletes, coaches, officials, and non-athletes. Individual members register through their clubs, or, if not associated with a member club, directly through the local Registration Chair.


If you have any questions, please contact your Local Swim Committee (LSC) Registration chair or the Member Services Department at the National Headquarters. We recommend that you review all of the material on this web page before submitting your application.


1. Forms
Three forms must be completed as part of your application:

  • Requirements Checklist for First-Year Club Membership.
  • Facility Use Confirmation Form, for each facility to be used by the team.
  • LSC Application Form (available from your LSC Registration Chair) 
2. Additional Submissions

In addition to completing the above referenced forms, clubs are required to submit the following items:


  • Mission Statement 
  • Club Leadership and Business Management 101 
  • First-Year Budget 
  • Safety Action Plan 
3. Coach Certification & Education
A key component of the new club requirements is coach certification and education. All coach members of USA Swimming must meet the safety certification requirements and basic education requirements. In addition, Head Coaches of new clubs must meet additional education and/or experience requirements. The club application packet must include documentation of the Head Coach’s certifications and qualifications. 
4. Club Leadership Business Management School
Two leaders of new clubs must complete the Club Leadership/Business Management School (CLBMS) 101 Online Course and submit certificates of completion. Prior to the second year of membership, club leaders must attend a CLBMS 201 Course.
5. Registration Fee
Return the registration fee, the completed requirement checklist, and all of the completed application forms and required documentation to the appropriate LSC Registration Chair. Do not send the documentation directly to USA Swimming.
Seasonal Clubs
Seasonal clubs are an LSC option. Although completion of all requirements is recommended, seasonal clubs are not subject to all of the new club stipulations. Seasonal clubs are only required to complete the LSC application form, pay the registration fee, and have a member coach who has completed all USA Swimming requirements. Please check with your LSC for more information.


DOWNLOAD Forms & Secure Pool Time

Please review all of the material in this section before submitting a new club application. Be sure to address important legal issues in pool contracts before completing the Facility Use Confirmation form. These documents in are required and must be printed and submitted to your LSC.

Obtain an LSC Application form from your LSC Registration Chair.   To determine your zone/LSC/registrar, please view the LSC Zone Map (found on the LSC Registration Chair page).

Pick a name for your club
Choose something unique and fun. All name submissions will need to be reviewed for approval by your LSC. Please work with your registrar to ensure that the club name is available before applying for the EIN. 

Determine the structure of your club
Please review the following links to determine how your club will function.

Coach Documentation
Secure necessary coach documentation including safety, education, background screening and athlete protection training.

Legal & Financial Operations
Hire an attorney and accountant to guide you in the set-up of your legal and financial operations. (Secure a Federal Tax ID number, set up a nonprofit or for profit business, sample bylaws, articles of incorporation, etc)

Meet with primary supporters and lay out your plans
Formally establish your governing body.

Have the Head Coach and one other club leader complete the Club Leadership and Business Management School 101 Online Course.

Safety Action Plan
Establish a safety action plan for each facility that is being used (including pools used for meets only). Familiarize yourself with risk management and insurance issues. (Safety/Loss Control Manual, Insurance Coverage FAQ.)

Club Handbook
Establish training schedules, group requirements, team policies (Sample Club Handbook).

Hire, train, and be sure that all staff meet the requirements for coach membership in USA Swimming (coach safety, educational, and background screen requirements). Be sure to follow hiring practice guidelines established by USA Swimming.

Appoint a Safe Sport Coordinator

All USA Swimming Member Clubs are required to designate an adult member as the Safe Sport Coordinator. This person should be somebody other than the Head Coach and it is recommended that they are neither the club owner or spouse of one of these. All Safe Sport Coordinators must be current USA Swimming Non-Athlete Members in Good Standing.


Submit All Paperwork
Complete all paperwork required (listed below) for new club membership for the LSC and the USA Swimming National Office, submit paperwork with appropriate registration fee, and wait for approval.
  1. LSC application form
  2. Coach safety requirements
  3. Background screen requirements
  4. Coach education and Athlete Protection requirements
  5. Team Mission Statement
  6. Safety Action Plan
  7. First Year Budget or Business Plan
  8. Facility Use Confirmation Form
  9. Two CLBMS 101 Certificates of Completion
  10. New Club Requirement Checklist

After your LSC has submitted the application to USA Swimming, please allow up to 14 business days for the NHQ liaison to contact you and discuss next steps.

Advertise, publicize and conduct tryouts.

Athlete Registration
Register all athletes with USA Swimming and conduct Racing Start Certification for all swimmers. 



We recommend that you review all of the material in this section before submitting your application.  If you have any questions, please contact the following:


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