Southern California Swimming To Halt Competitions If Air Quality Is Poor

Southern California Swimming has implemented new policies that will cut off practices or competition if air quality reaches an unhealthy level – a response to the California wildfires.

The surge of wildfires in California this fall has led to power outages and worsening air quality. And that, in turn, is having an effect on swimming, particularly at California’s many outdoor facilities. Southern California Swimming emailed its members this week announcing a new policy prohibiting practice or competition if the air quality falls below a certain standard.

Southern California Swimming will reference, a site developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and others to track air quality across the country. The site, which you can find here, gives Air Quality Index (AQI) ratings to areas across the country. The AQI operates on a scale of zero to 500:

  • 0-50: Air quality good
  • 51-100: Air quality moderate
  • 101-150: Air quality unhealthy for sensitive groups
  • 151-200: Air quality unhealthy
  • 201-300: Air quality very unhealthy
  • 301-500: Air quality hazardous

SCS’s new policy means that if an area’s AQI goes over 151, competition and practice will be canceled. For reference, as of 3:00 PM Pacific Time on Thursday, Bakersfield, CA (north of Los Angeles) was listed at a rating of 187, though most other areas in Southern California were below 50.

Leave a Reply

Notify of
1 Comment
oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
2 years ago

Bakersfield is not a part of Southern California Swimming.

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 …

Read More »