Northern Virginia Swimming League Cancels Season Officially, But Unofficial Meets Might Go On

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The 2020 Northern Virginia Swimming League summer season has been canceled because of COVID-19, however, some unofficial competitions could still take place.

The virus hit Virginia in March and wiped out high school and recreation competitions. States and governing bodies are making decisions all over the country about the summer seasons.

“We feel profound sadness knowing the disappointment this will cause, but the decision was made to prioritize the safety of our participants, supporters and communities,” the Northern Virginia Swimming League executive board said in a statement that was posted on the league Website.

If pools are permitted to re-open this summer, unofficial meets could occur on a case-by-case basis.

“Depending on comfortability of the situation, that has already been talked about and could be set up,” Overlee coach Andrew Koons told the Sun Gazette.

There are 102 teams in the Northern Virginia Swimming League. Overlee of Arlington and Chesterbrook of McLean each have strong teams that have become a great rivalry. That meet could still happen if the scenario is right and safe for the participants.

But as for official competition, the season is over.

“There were a lot of factors and issues: insurance, financial, hiring employees, the social-distancing situation,” Linda Klopfenstein, coordinator of the league’s Division 1, told the Sun Gazette. “So we went ahead and made the decision now.”

Tuckahoe, of McLean, is another Division 1 team that has finished behind Chesterbrook, which has won four league titles in a row, and Overlee for the past four years. They could get a chance to face those teams unofficially, again if the situation is right. Teams could have tri-meets or virtual meets as other options as well.

“We’ll have to wait to see what official guidelines would be,” Tuckahoe coach Torey Ortmayer told the Sun Gazette. “We would still want to give swimmers the opportunity to do something. We thought we could have a good season and be competitive with Overlee and Chesterbrook. But we have been preaching ‘perspective’ to our swimmers that, sometimes, things are bigger than sports.”

According to the Sun Gazette, Northern Virginia Swimming League team dues will be fully refunded, and senior swimmers and divers still will have the opportunity to apply for higher-education scholarships. The league is discussing allowing senior swimmers who would have participated in their final season this summer to return for the 2021 campaign.

As far as summer recreation programs in Virginia, nothing has been decided, but the decision will be coming soon.

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Kelly Spencer Williams

They are screwing with kids’ futures. How are these kids supposed to look towards college teams without best times to submit?

Amy Alvano
4 years ago

Kelly Spencer Williams This is summer recreational league. None of these times are used for college recruiting.

Donna Sizemore Hale
4 years ago

Everyone is tired of it

Susanne Droppelmann Rothery

Seriously? Get back in the pool!

Doug Schack
4 years ago

“Cancel officially, unofficially might”. This is par for the course for this pandemic. Keep it ambiguous.

Michael White
4 years ago

The number of people lecturing in the comment section is incredible. Swimming World magazine, stop doing your jobs!

Guy Gniotczynski
4 years ago

Folks this is bigger than swimming. We need to care more if kids are healthy than if they lose one season.

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