Southern California LSC Votes to Remain Intact; Blocks Orange County LSC

In what has been described as a “heated” meeting on Wednesday evening at the Baldwin Park Courtyard Marriott, teams in the Southern California Swimming LSC have voted to keep the country’s largest Local Swimming Committee unified.

The meeting, originally scheduled for January 15th but postponed for procedural reasons, was to vote on whether or not the teams located in Orange County would be allowed to split off and form their own LSC.

Southern California Swimming is the largest of the USA Swimming administrative regions known as LSCs. In 2018, the latest data available, SCS had 22,680 year-round members. The next largest was the Illinois LSC with 22,271 year-round members. The smallest LSC, the West Virginia LSC, has just 622 year-round members. They’re one of 3 LSCs (along with Border and West Texas) that have fewer than 1,000 year-round athlete members.

The split would have taken 34 clubs, about 22% of clubs, and about 7,100 athletes, 29% of SCS registered athletes, to the new LSC. That would leave the Southern California LSC with around 15,000 year-round athlete members.

A simple majority of teams voting in favor of the separation was needed to approve the proposal, but that was not obtained.

We have reached out to Terry Stoddard, the general chair of the LSC, who was leading the charge to keep the LSC intact, to ask about the path forward now that the LSC will remain together. He has not responded to that request.

Dave Salo, the general manager of Irvine Novaquatics, one of the biggest teams in the LSC, was among those pushing hardest to separate the Orange County teams.

“It remains my opinion that SCS is too large of an LSC,” Salo told SwimSwam on Thursday. “We shall see if there will be much change over the next year and determine if we should bring this proposal forward again.”

Salo is also the head coach at USC and the Trojan Swim Club, which would be on the “stay with SCS” side of the border even if a split were approved. Salo announced earlier this season that this would be his last as the head coach at USC.

In addition to Salo’s Novaquatics team, the split would have also taken the Mission Viejo Nadadores into a separate LSC. The two are among the biggest and most historic clubs in the region, and also are home to two of the best hosting facilities in the region. Irvine’s facility has hosted multiple US National Championship meets, while the newly-renovated Mission Viejo pool will host a tour stop in this year’s USA Swimming Pro Swim Series.

Those in favor of the move proposed that a split would reduce the number of sites needed for age group championships, provide more opportunities for All Star competition for area athletes, and reduce travel time and expenses for Orange County teams via a more compact geographic unit.

Stoddard, presenting on behalf of the stay continent, put forth a position that the LSC’s strength is its membership, and that the region remains stronger, more influential, and better equipped as one entity.


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Good. Nova And Mission Viejo can start their own LSC for all I care. SCS and the rest of OC don’t need you. Just shut up and swim.

OC Coach

As someone who was actually at the meeting, there are valid points on both sides. The vote was nowhere near passing, showing an intriguing attachment to the LSC as it currently stands. Orange section held basically a unanimous agreement that they feel it would be feasible for them to split, benefit their athletes and promote progressive athlete development beyond what is capable under the existing LSC model. I think most of the meeting’s members feel this exact way, but were too afraid to let it happen. They know Orange can do it better and would be successful and there is the problem. Selfishly, the other committees wish to retain Orange for their benefit. They don’t want Orange to go because… Read more »

Anthony Olson

If you dont all care, why did you vote to keep them on board?


As someone who was also at the meeting , there did not seem to be any really valid reasons for the split that would directly benefit ALL of the athletes in Southern California. They seemed to focus more on how it would be beneficial for the coaches in Orange County (less driving to meetings). OC is wealthy, and this has seemed from the beginning as a way for the “super-teams” in the area to keep more of that money for themselves. Salo leaving USC the same time he is pushing for his own LSC – coincidence? I think not. Schubert complaining that they need change? How about he changes things up and retire and let the young, innovative coaches take… Read more »

OC Coach

Is the purpose of the split to benefit “all” athletes in SCS? I don’t think that was ever discussed or promoted as a rationale for the proposal. While it could likely evoke a great deal of positive change for both SCS and the proposed OCS LSC, it is certainly a harder sell to get non Orange teams to say “yeah that sounds great to me”. My original point wasn’t that it should have passed, but that there is some obvious lack of respect, understanding, and regard for the various committees from many stakeholders on both sides. . Orange wanting to up and leave certainly could sting to those other programs and at the greater SCS level, and it is naive… Read more »


SCSSwammer, I was also at the meeting last night. It seems that you missed the big picture. I witnessed Dave Salo and Mark Schubert state many times that this is “not about them”. Dave and Mark both stated that it was about the athletes in Orange County. A group of Orange County coaches have identified that they feel this split is best for their athletes. Unless you are part of that group, I don’t think you can reject “their” feelings on this split. It seems that one side is caught up about the $$$$$ Factor. Would you allow this separation to occur if OCS LSC took no money? Also, having been on deck at Nationals a few years back in… Read more »

cynthia curran

I don’t know if its wealthy. La has more super rich areas like Malibu and so forth. Business insider stated that Orange County and Riverside had more in the middle while La has more very rich ares in West La or the beach cities. La is also known more for poor areas like Maywood or Huntington Park. Orange County also has Santa Ana and Anahiem which are not high in income. its not all Newport Beach or Coto De Casa. La has a higher median wage than Orange County, while Orange County has a higher median income. In fact both La and Orange County are much poorer than San Fransciio and San Jose.


Obviously you are in the minority here in OC, do you want to travel all the way to Ventura, Palm Springs or to Pasadena for JOs. Kids wake up really early or have to book hotels to be at JOs. 95% of the swimmers in OC approve of the OC LCS, you are either in the minority or not from OC.

OC Swim Dad

I’m not sure what 95% you are referring to, but that’s definitely not Fact. The majority of our club and we know other OC club parents (not Nova or MVN) that agrees with us. Really the only potential travel meet for OC teams are WAG, JAG, and JOs. Most of the time, majority of OC teams are at GWSC for WAG, Nova for JAG, and MVN for JOs anyhow. The rest of the meets are Orange only also.. Our kids are excited and actually see it as a reward to travel for those meet for achieving the times. I don’t know your financial situation, but Majority looks forward to at least one or two travel meets.


In the year 2020, why do we even have LSCs?

OC Swim Dad

I can speak at least from our OC team parents perspective that is not from the mega club Nova or MVN. We discussed on deck and an overwhelming majority of the parents on our OC club at least did not want the split. We like having our kids swim against different team throughout the region. Although sometimes it means more travel, however those trips are great team building experiences. The last thing we want from the parents view of our team is to swim against Nova or Mvn all the time. We already swim against those guys enough, plus all Nova does is really intrasquad meet and you can see there’s less of a team environment there versus other teams.… Read more »


Well said OC Swim Dad.


As the parent of swimmers at different clubs in OC, I wish there was a parent meeting/town hall with the coaches who proposed the split. I really want to hear what the improvements would be and not just blanket statements from the proposal. Coaches from both of my teams had little/nothing to say about this. I think having parental input is important considering that we pay for annual membership fees, meet fees, travel etc, so it would have been nice to have been able to ask questions as opposed to hearing parental gossip and speculation. In all honesty, I don’t like travelling for bigger meets (JAG, WAG, JO etc). You really can’t do anything as a team. I would rather… Read more »

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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