The state of swimming- what’s next?

By Reach for the Wall Staff

What a tumultuous week we’ve had in the swimming world! Over the course of several days we saw Swimming World and SwimSwam report on Mission Viejo getting back to training with their group of 18 elite swimmers. Later this week, SwimSwam ran a story that David Marsh and his Elite group are using a 22 yard backyard pool to get back to training. USA Swimming also published their recommendations/guidelines for re-opening facilities and practice groups.

On May 6th, USA Swimming held/published their ‘Virtual Town Hall’ to address some of the prevailing concerns and perspective on guidelines:

All of this news has provided some hope and ideas for what the short-term ‘getting back in the water’ may look like. Then yesterday, the Northern Virginia Swim League (NVSL) announced they are cancelling the summer season, citing logistics and challenges too onerous to proceed. From the NVSL website (we bolded for emphasis): “The common thread in the feedback, along with the disappointment of missing a special summer tradition, was the commitment to health and safety. The Board greatly appreciates the constructive conversations that advanced the discussion on the status of the 2020 season. We took into account as much information as we could to determine whether the League could operate in a safe and healthy way that did not put overwhelming logistical and organizational pressure on the League’s teams.

With reports from Florida (Berkeley) reopening and the Kentucky LSC proposals aimed at allowing private pools to work toward reopening, we (Reach for the Wall) are watching closely for success stories and potential models that could be applied within the DMV for operating this summer (and beyond).

With all of this news, some too overwhelming to think about, remember to enjoy the time you have with your family-Happy Mother’s Day!!! Follow guidelines from our local and state government and stay healthy! The more we do as a community to reduce the spread, the better the opportunity to return to the pool.

3 thoughts on “The state of swimming- what’s next?

  • May 8, 2020 at 12:40 pm

    I am in support of MCSL to have their season this summer with in the utmost safety protocols and even if it means at the very small inter squad virtual meets. I have faith in this community to go forward with competition with in the safety guidelines. The swim volunteers are like no other and I know they can make it happen! This must be done by choice and for those that sit it out should be supported . Sports are vital in keeping a Childs mental health than physical health strong. Please allow kids to compete even if the season is brief ( 3 weeks even). My 10 cents worth 🙂 . For people who simply can not volunteer due to being in the at risk group….we need to step up for them as well!

  • May 8, 2020 at 1:47 pm

    Thank you for the updates! I appreciate NVSL for the decision they have made. As much as my three swimmers(Div. 3 Collegiate, 15 & Over, and 13/14) miss being in the water they have resorted to land sports to keep in shape. I am so appreciative of their coaches running weekly (or more often) zoom work outs, daily dry-land workouts (in addition to what provides), and dry-land competitions that have my three staying very busy(at-least 2+ hours a day of serious activity). Example- NCAP-GP has a bicycle competition right now with swimmers putting in more than 150 miles in a 5 day period.

    Our family so enjoys MCSL & our neighborhood pool. As an “involved” volunteer who really enjoys motivating other parent volunteers to be active and engaged in meets- it is really hard for me to visualize what a meet could look like(as MCSL rules stand today- 3 timers per lane – S&T, Starter & Judge)…can 6 feet apart be achieved…sure (Colorado Timing Systems-touch pads), a timer on either side of the pool recording times as a back up(maybe accurate to .3 of a second).

    Is MCSL Summer swimming still MCSL summer swimming without the cheers, without the close bond togetherness, without the 6 year old hanging out with the 14 year olds. Club swimming is on hold at this time. Our countries top public health professionals are advising how to properly open up schools and colleges/universities in the fall. I would sure hate for our community to make a decision that could negatively impact our neighborhood schools. This is the time to invest in our future that will ensure a successful MCSL for decades to come.

    Happy Mothers Day!

    • May 8, 2020 at 3:49 pm

      It is hard to imagine for sure. Its hard to figure out! But we can figure it out! In fact I know there is a very detailed proposal out there for such a meet. From Moms that have worked hard to think of a way and from USA swimming who conducted an hour long meeting on this kind of small meet for summer swimming.
      I think after being shut out of competition for 3 months any competition will be ok with the kids. In fact I know for sure that 33 kids that are in my sons virtual drylands have already said yes they want to compete even if there are no spectators .
      I think MCSL could do a vote and a volunteer sign up which I think would fill up in seconds. I think the meet would look different, the sidelines would be quieter but records would stay in tact, division assignments would stay in tact seniors to graduate ( from something with closure) and a long time of being cooped up would allow for athletes to at least compete. We can make it happen for them…..when there is a will there is a way. I don’t want anyone feeling pressure to compete if they are too nervous but if they are willing to swim and respect the rules of this summers protocols then I say . READY SET LETS GO!


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