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.