Montgomery County Swim League Cancels Summer Season

MCSL G Divisional Swim Meet at Westleigh Pool and Tennis Club

For the almost 14,000 young people who swim with the Montgomery County Swim League, it is going to be a dry summer.

Thursday night, during the board’s montly meeting, members agreed to cancel the entire 2020 swim season in light of the pandemic when county residents are told to stay at home and social distance.

Swim meets usually involve big crowds.

“We felt it was the prudent thing to do,” said Board Secretary Kristine Frohman. “We were all united in the decision,” she said of the board.

Full Announcement from MCPL on Summer Season Cancellation

Here’s the full statement from MCPL on the summer cancellation:

The COVID-19 pandemic continues, and Montgomery County currently has a higher rate of infection, hospitalization, and death than many other counties in MD. Our county government has yet to remove the “stay at home” restriction and will be looking for sustained downward trends in several key COVID-19 related metrics (number of new cases in an environment of increased testing, hospitalization rate, ICU admissions, deaths and emergency room visits) before restrictions will be loosened. Unfortunately, there is no way to accurately know when these circumstances will occur. Nor is it predictable when outdoor pools will be allowed to open, or what level of restrictions will be required at that time.

As we all know, MCSL competitions involve the gathering of large groups and the close sharing of spaces, even if limited to some type of virtual meets. If the county eventually allows for the opening of outdoor pools, it is expected that those openings will be permitted under a condition of continued strict social distancing guidelines and group limitations. It will be incredibly difficult, if not impossible, to execute competition in a safe manner.

Since the very beginning of the pandemic, our primary concern has been and remains the safety and health of our athletes, coaches, and volunteers, as well as all the other people with whom these individuals associate. We delayed a final decision about this summer’s season as long as we felt possible to ensure a determination based on the most current information and guidelines. After much research, contemplation, consideration, and discussion, we regret to announce the cancellation of the MCSL competitive swim season for 2020.
We understand many will have questions or concerns about what this means going forward. Please refer to the MCSL website (here) for answers to frequently asked questions regarding our response to COVID-19 and the effects it will have for the 2021 season.

We encourage our swimming community to use this opportunity to examine ways that this difficult and unexpected time of adversity may be used to help build resilience and perseverance, skills that will serve any competitive swimmer not just in the pool, but in life. We also hope that teams will find ways to stay connected this summer and, if permitted, find safe ways to sustain the sport of swimming.

We expect and anticipate that this announcement may produce a wide range of responses and emotions in our community members. Some will feel relief, others frustration, and many (if not all) sorrow. We not only acknowledge this, but we understand it, as we also feel these emotions. We respectfully ask each athlete, parent, and coach to focus on the health, well-being and happiness of their respective pool communities this summer. In this manner we work together to ensure the continued health of both the individual pools and our league moving forward.

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Suzanne Pollak

About Suzanne Pollak

Suzanne is a freelance reporter with Montgomery Community Media. She has over 35 years professional experience writing for newspapers, magazines, non-profit newsletters and the web.

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