Prince William Swim League cancels 2020 Season

By Reach for the Wall Staff

In a vote held Tuesday, the Prince William Swim League (PWSL) board of directors made the difficult decision not to go forward with the 2020 summer season. This is the third league (*we originally thought this was the second league, see the edit below for information on ODSL) in the DMV that has made the decision, with the NVSL announcing on May 7 , that they would not have a 2020 season. The PWSL has sponsored competition since 1973, and is organized into 8 Divisions, with 3 teams in each division, accounting for roughly 2,500 swimmers. The past few summer’s we’ve had the privilege to promote the league and it’s swimmers with weekly submissions from Southbridge’s Jim Riley, Piedmont’s Rin Spink, and Bridlewood’s Brenten Gilbert.

With permission, here’s a note from Southbridge’s coach Greg Giovinazzo to the team:

Dear Southbridge Swim Team Families, 

It is with heavy heart that we are notifying you that due to COVID-19, that we are not able to hold a 2020 swim season or offer swim programming.  Tonight, the Prince William Swim League officially voted to cancel the season, following suit with other swim teams in the Nation’s capital and in the Commonwealth.  The current crisis in Northern Virginia precludes pools from opening on time (and in some cases not at all) and pools that are able to open, with enough lifeguard personnel, will see substantially reduced capacity, reduced hours, and significant changes in the pool experience.  Southbridge Pool is no exception. 

For those of you with graduating seniors who will be turning 19 by June 1, 2021 your swimmer is invited back to swim next year (likely in an exhibition status) to ensure they are afforded the opportunity of their “last swim”.  We understand how difficult this is for all swimmers (and swim parents) to have yet another activity taken from us when we have felt like our kids have had so much taken from them already, however this is the prudent decision to help keep all of our swimmers and their families the safest they can be. 

We plan to open up registration for the 2021 Swim Season In January 2021 as we all can’t wait to get back in the water as soon as we can!  Until then we will miss you, but our shared love for summer swim will always tie us together and together, we will overcome this. Coach Greg

Further the Peidmont board provided this message to their members:

Effective 5/12/20, the Prince William Swim League has come to the painful decision to cancel the 2020 Summer Swim season. In light of the current pandemic and uncertain future, we must make the health of Tsunami Nation our top priority. Refunds will be issued as soon as possible for those that had already registered. We hope to see everyone healthy and well, back in the water and on deck for the Fall 2020 season.

The PWSL and member teams have been great promoters of the summer league and a great entry point for young swimmers getting into the sport. Per their website:

PWSL exists to develop in the children involved in this program, a love of the sport, and to advance swimming skills, teamwork, and the principles of good sportsmanship.”

We look forward to 2021 when we can all get back to loving the sport and celebrating the achievements of the swimmers!

Editorial Update 5/14/20, 12:30pm: We have also been notified that the Old Dominion Swim League (ODSL) made their decision May 1 to cancel their league meets for the 2020 season. In a message on their website Eric Ramey writes:

“Dear ODSL Swimmers & Parents, It is with deep regret that I inform you that we will not hold ODSL Sanctioned meets this summer. We arrived at this decision on Friday May 1st during a WebEx call where a majority of the team representatives who were on the call voted to cancel the 2020 Season. Over the past couple of weeks, the ODSL Board have been reviewing the most up to-date information provided by Virginia Department of Health, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Governor Northam’s Phased Reopening Plan. A few things became clear. 1-Social distancing guidelines are here to stay. 2-Face masks are a recommendation 3-Group size limitations. The current limit is a group size of 10 people, this could be increased but not enough to conduct a swim meet. 4-This virus KILLS (although the percent to total population is relatively small) 5-The way that this virus is spread is not conducive to conducting a swim meet • Respiratory Transmission (how many of our swimmers whether sick or not cough, sneeze in the team area) • Contact transmission. (Think about the amount of paper and items that we all must handle timer sheets, stop watches, DQ slips pens, pencils…etc. that would have to be sanitized prior to handing off to another person) 6-Putting 1 of our 3200 swimmers and 6000 parents at risk of catching this horrible virus far outweighs the benefit of conducting summer swim meets which, currently, we ALL need. On behalf of the ODSL Board please stay safe, keep your families safe and we will come back stronger and better in 2021.

Thanks, Eric”

The ODSL has 31 member clubs, 3,200+ swimmers and primarily operates in Loudoun County VA.

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