A message from the MCSL Executive Board

May 21, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic continues, and Montgomery County currently has a higher rate of infection, hospitalization, and death than many other counties in MD. Our county government has yet to remove the ?stay at home? restriction and will be looking for sustained downward trends in several key COVID-19 related metrics (number of new cases in an environment of increased testing, hospitalization rate, ICU admissions, deaths and emergency room visits) before restrictions will be loosened. Unfortunately, there is no way to accurately know when these circumstances will occur. Nor is it predictable when outdoor pools will be allowed to open, or what level of restrictions will be required at that time.

As we all know, MCSL competitions involve the gathering of large groups and the close sharing of spaces, even if limited to some type of virtual meets. If the county eventually allows for the opening of outdoor pools, it is expected that those openings will be permitted under a condition of continued strict social distancing guidelines and group limitations. It will be incredibly difficult, if not impossible, to execute competition in a safe manner.

Since the very beginning of the pandemic, our primary concern has been and remains the safety and health of our athletes, coaches, and volunteers, as well as all the other people with whom these individuals associate. We delayed a final decision about this summer?s season as long as we felt possible to ensure a determination based on the most current information and guidelines. After much research, contemplation, consideration, and discussion, we regret to announce the cancellation of the MCSL competitive swim season for 2020.

We encourage our swimming community to use this opportunity to examine ways that this difficult and unexpected time of adversity may be used to help build resilience and perseverance, skills that will serve any competitive swimmer not just in the pool, but in life. We also hope that teams will find ways to stay connected this summer and, if permitted, find safe ways to sustain the sport of swimming.

We expect and anticipate that this announcement may produce a wide range of responses and emotions in our community members. Some will feel relief, others frustration, and many (if not all) sorrow. We not only acknowledge this, but we understand it, as we also feel these emotions. We respectfully ask each athlete, parent, and coach to focus on the health, well-being and happiness of their respective pool communities this summer. In this manner we work together to ensure the continued health of both the individual pools and our league moving forward.