High School Meets Resuming In Minnesota, Illinois, South Carolina

The coronavirus pandemic has caused significant impact to fall high school swimming seasons – but despite the crazy world of 2020, the sport is still marching on.

Swim meet results app Meet Mobile shows high school meets as early as August 21. And last week saw a surge of meets from Illinois to South Carolina to Minnesota. One meet in Iowa even appeared to include seven teams in an invite format, though the vast majority were two-team dual meets or one-team intrasquads.

Fenwick High School (IL) coach Steve Thompson shared some of the restrictions and guidelines his team is under in Illinois. Fenwick hosted Rusurrection High last Friday, with the home team winning 88-39 in a modified dual meet.

The meet was capped at 50 total participants – that includes officials, coaches, administrators and swimmers. Relay events were scrapped, leaving 8 individual events with rosters of about 20 athletes on each side.

Every state and local area will have its own restrictions. But that example from Illinois illustrates some of the intriguing wrinkles to a COVID-restricted swimming season. Programs will have to get creative to make decisions on competition opportunities when participant limits keep a full roster from competing at the same meet. Event lineups are being adjusted, as are team warmup and cool down routines, to account for social distancing.

You can keep tabs on each state’s changes to high school swimming seasons in our state-by-state index here.

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SwimFan49
2 months ago

Many (most?) of the MN high school duals so far have been virtual, with each team swimming in its home pool and then results later aggregated. Better than not, I guess.

mncoach
Reply to  SwimFan49
2 months ago

Each conference in the MSHSL is handling it differently. In the conference that we’re in, non of the meets are virtual, but depending on pool capacity/team size some of the meets are being split in half for JV/Varsity.

Anonymous
Reply to  mncoach
2 months ago

I know no school kids have died so far from Covid-19 to date in MN and I know of one coach nationally, We could mandate coaches are 30 and below and in good health as only 3 people have died in MN(I would assume co-morbities) below 30 then open it up. Let the kids swim and compete.

Admin
Reply to  Anonymous
2 months ago

I think there are a lot of solutions to these problems similar to what you’ve described, so long as there’s some kind of social safety net in place for those who are older or have comorbidities and for whom going back to work with those kids is legitimately risking their lives.

Implementing those social safety nets on any kind of scale is an unenviable task that I think would turn into an ugly political battle of its own.

Anonymous
2 months ago

SC has left it up to their school district athletic directors to determine if they feel comfortable returning to practice and competition for all sports, after the state athletic advisors deemed it safe to proceed with competitions starting on 8/31 for swim, and other dates for other sports. I have not heard of any being virtual, although most have fewer teams. I believe SCISA (private schools) began meets much earlier in August. Most schools in SC will only have 2-3 meets, including their regional in advance of the pre-scheduled state meet at USC on 10/10 and 10/12. The # of meets is normal for a small percentage of schools, but reduced greatly for others who compete in up to 8… Read more »

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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