USMS Postal Events

2021 1-Hour ePostal National Championship – AKA “Happy Hour” for Masters Swimmers!

The “granddaddy” of all Postal Swims – the 1-Hour ePostal National Championship – runs through the months of January and February. The event is relatively simple to accomplish … find a pool, have someone count your laps and take your splits while you swim as far as possible in one hour. Celebrate your accomplishment (breakfast, lunch, nap). Then submit your results via the internet before the stated deadline. Thousands of Masters Swimmers take on this event each year. The link to the 2021 event can be found here:

USMS Postal Swims — Why are they called an “ePostal” Swim?

Back in the dark ages (1970/80’s), when the internet didn’t exist for USMS, swimmers across the country participated in the 1-Hour Postal swim and mailed (with an envelope and stamp, no less) their entry and split forms to the event host. The host gathered a group of team members together to review every entry for accuracy and tabulate the results (using paperclips, staplers, a typewriter, whiteout, etc). Once the results were final, they mailed (again using envelopes and stamps) a copy of the results, awards, and t-shirts to the participants. Fast forward to the present and most everything is done electronically. Entries are done entirely online and if a swimmer breaks a national record, their split sheet must be scanned and emailed to the event director (or mailed with an envelope/stamp for the handful of us who don’t have a scanner!). The results are posted online, and awards/t-shirts are still mailed by a crew of volunteers.

The details are the same for all USMS Postal Championship Swims
• Age – determined by your age on December 31 of the given year, except 18-year-olds must be 18 on the day that they swim
• Current USMS membership required by the day of your swim.
• Pool must be 25-yards or longer (a conversion for metric pools takes place during registration)
• Swim the event FIRST, then enter the championship online. Be sure to note the deadline to enter on the event information

Tips for a successful event
Work with your coaches and/or teammates to arrange for pool time so an opportunity to take part in this event is possible. Adhere to USMS Rules as follows:
• Check out swimwear rules (see USMS 102.12.1 in the USMS Rule Book, available online at
• Drafting, flotation, and propulsive devices are not permitted (pull buoys, fins, paddles, snorkels, wet suits, etc.)
• No more than two swimmers may share a lane; circle swimming is not permitted
• An adult acting as a starter/head timer/referee shall be present during the swim
• Each swimmer must have a verifier to count laps and record cumulative splits every 2 lengths of the pool
• The timing of the event may be done with a stopwatch or electronic timing device
• Distances are to be rounded down to the nearest completed 5-yard increment (i.e. 2764 rounds to 2760)
• One person may serve as a counter/timer for no more than two swimmers at a time

Relays – 3 Men, 3 Women, 4 Mixed (2 of each) are the three relay categories
Your club (PSM, BWAQ, etc.) may enter relays for the event. Typically, your coach or relay coordinator will handle this so please don’t form your own relays without first consulting with your club leaders. Relays are not swum “together” like at swim meets. The coach or coordinator uses each person’s individual swim results to form the best relays for the club. Coach Wendy Neely typically forms relays for BWAQ. Sally Dillon (author of this article) is currently PSM’s relay coordinator. Please notify the person coordinating relays for your club if you enter the event.