The United States Lifesaving Association National Lifeguard Championships are conducted annually at a beach location in the USA, normally on the four days leading up to and including the second Saturday in August. The USLA is the national governing body of lifesaving sport in the USA, as America’s Full Member of the International Life Saving Federation (ILS). Lifesaving sport is recognized by the International Olympic Committee and the ILS is recognized by the IOC as the governing body for lifesaving sport.
Held annually since 1980, the Championships draw approximately 1,000 competitors, including working lifeguards, former lifeguards, and junior lifeguards. Coaches, friends, and families also travel to the event. It is estimated that at least 1,500 hotel room nights are purchased, as well as many more thousands of meals and other spending in the local area. The venue is promoted on the USLA website for up to a year prior.
The Championships are a positive and unique event in which working lifeguards and junior lifeguards compete through speed, agility, and strategy using many techniques that are common to lifesaving. The events feature highly physically fit men and women whose primary professional goal is the prevention of drowning. The complete rules are available at www.usla.org in the Competition section.
The United States Lifesaving Association accepts bids from local organizations to host the event. Past hosts have included USLA chapters, tourism boards, and government bodies. A close relationship with the local lifeguard agency is key to success of the event. The USLA prefers to conduct events at beaches where the lifeguard agency is certified as meeting the recommended standards of the USLA.
The successful bidder enters into a host agreement with the USLA. Through this agreement, both the USLA and the host have express responsibilities to ensure the success of the event. Both share in the opportunity to benefit by sponsorship funds and other sources of revenue generated by the event.
In cases that bids are substantially equal, the USLA prefers to see the event hosted on opposite coasts of the US each year, but reserves the right to award bids in any part of the US depending on the perceived attractiveness of bids. The USLA will also consider multi-year bids.
Click here for the Host Application Overview including benefits and responsibilities of hosting the event
Click here for the Electronic Application to host the event