SEC Announces New Swim Season Dates with October Start; Dual Meets Only

2020 SEC Championships Photo Courtesy: Jeff Hanson / Alabama Athletics

SEC Announces New Swim Season Dates with October Start; Dual Meets Only

The Southeastern Conference on Monday announced new dates for the swimming and diving season, with the SEC schedule beginning no earlier than Oct. 1 and ending no later than Jan. 25, 2021.

The season will include “regionalized competition permitted upon the adherence of opponents to SEC Medical Guidance Task Force Requirements for COVID-19 Management.” Contests will be dual meets only – “unless alternative strategies are identified to limit the overall number of participants to ensure proper distancing” – and schools have control over what events will be contested. There is no restriction on the number of contests teams can engage in.

The release does not include information about the SEC Championships, which normally would be scheduled for February. Such a meet, obviously, would exceed the dual-meet stipulations in the regular season need some special dispensation to occur.

The SEC has tread lightly in schedule changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While other major conferences have postponed fall seasons or suspended athletics through the end of 2020, the SEC opted for delays and a piecemeal approach, including to its cash cow, football. It announced a delay to the fall season in July but didn’t render a verdict on winter sports, choosing instead to take those on sport by sport. Monday’s announcement covers swimming and diving and equestrian.

Per the SEC’s previously stated policy, any student-athletes who opt out of intercollegiate sports during the pandemic because of health and safety concerns will have their scholarships honored.