The Wisconsin Swimming LSC is the latest to cancel its scheduled long course championship meets for the summer of 2020, following in the footsteps of Gulf Swimming and Connecticut Swimming, which made similar announcements this week.
Unlike the other two LSCs, however, Wisconsin Swimming‘s announcement on Saturday mentions that only championship meets are cancelled, while regular season meets are not cancelled. Gulf Swimming and Connecticut Swimming both cancelled all currently-scheduled meets, saying that if long course competition were able to happen this summer, that new events, likely smaller or virtual meets, would be scheduled.
Specifically cancelled by the announcement are the 2020 Summer Wisconsin Swimming Meet Series, all Open Water, Regional Championships, 12 & Under State and 13 & Over State meets in their current form, have been cancelled.
Wisconsin Swimming LSC also specified that the decision by the Board of Directors does not cancel the regular season or impose any regulations on training/practice, stating that “in fact, the BOard is actively preparing a Return to Play and Practice (“RTPP”) that follows the State of Wisconsin “Badger Bounce Back” Phases 1, 2, and 3 guidelines.
USA Swimming has already suspended all sanctioned and approved competitions until May 31st, 2020 nationally.
With the other two LSCs’ announcements, there has been some criticism that the decision was made too early. Wisconsin Swimming, in their announcement, says that they “recognize this decision could have been made later,” but explained the following rationale for their decision:
- Wisconsin Swimming wants to continue playing a positive, proactive role in this nationwide public health crisis.
- Wisconsin Swimming promotes a level playing field among member clubs. There is a strong recognition that training opportunities may not be available at most facilities until at least July 1 given schools are closed or the remainder of the statutory school year. This leads to an uneven playing field in the weeks leading up to the championship meets, and creates potentially unsafe training situations where swimmers are rushed to prepare for championship meets.
- Wisconsin Swimming cares about the health and safety of all members, and because this public health crisis disproportionately impacts adults, it is unlikely we will be able to staff these meets with officials and volunteers necessary, nor do so in a safe way.
The Wisconsin Swimming LSC was an early leader in supporting its member clubs through the shutdown, purchasing supplemental insurance to allow clubs to hold remote dryland training sessions. USA Swimming would eventually do the same for all clubs nationally.
According to Worldometer.com, Wisconsin has confirmed 5,687 cases of coronavirus infection, with 266 deaths caused by COVID-19. That means After a steady decline in new cases last week, this week has seen the state’s counts climb again. Friday’s 331 new cases is the highest single-day tally for the state.
Wisconsin Swimming is one of 59 LSCs that are administrative sub-regions of USA Swimming.