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December 6, 2020 - Message to Our Membership from the General Chair

Message to Our Membership from the General Chair

Dear Pacific Swimming Community Members,

I would like to update you on developments since my last message to you on June 21st.  In response the Stay at Home Health Orders issued by Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco and Santa Clara Counties and City of Berkeley, the Pacific Swimming Executive Committee met on December 4th to decide on a course of action for our LSC.  The Committee decided on the following actions:

  • Meets scheduled for the weekend prior to the effective date of the orders were allowed to be held.
  • For the 5 Counties (Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco and Santa Clara) and City of Berkeley which have issued the new Health Orders, no further sanctions will be issued and any sanctions for meets scheduled after Dec 7th will be withdrawn.  Teams may hold unsanctioned time trials as part of their normal practice.  Officials will not be assigned.
  • We will continue to allow teams the maximum flexibility for teams in other counties to continue to hold meets and sanctioned time trials as long as they are permitted by local regulations and are compliant with the hosting facility guidelines and requirements.  
  • A new statement will be added to meet sheets stating that the meet will conform to all local public health guidelines and the rules and restrictions imposed by the hosting facility.  This will give the meet referee and/or the meet director the flexibility and authority to modify or terminate any sanctioned meet or time trial at any time in order to conform to any last minute changes in local rules and restrictions. Any modifications to the meet sheet shall immediately be sent directly to Pacific Swimming so it can be resanctioned.

These instructions also reflect the most recent guidance from USA-Swimming sent in a message from Joel Shinofield (Managing Director of Sport Development, USA-S) to all LSCs, club leaders and coaches as shown in this extract below:

“As we head into the first weekend of competition for the 18&UN Winter Championships, we implore each and every one of you to continue to be vigilant and attentive to all health and safety protocols across your respective regions.”

“The CDC has advised that staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.  We highly recommend that clubs, swimmers and coaches focus on attending competitions close to home, if it is safe to do so.  If a meet cannot be conducted safely and in full compliance with local, state, and Federal guidelines, it must be cancelled.”

The swimming community has shown both within CA and across the nation that lap swim and swim practice does not contribute to COVID transmission and our major objective at this time is to keep our pools open for the mental and physical health of our athletes. 

Unfortunately, traveling to meets is known to increase the risk of transmission of COVID-19.  While Pacific Swimming does not have the authority to prevent teams or parents from travelling with their athletes, we are strongly recommending that parents and teams not subject their athletes to this increased risk at this time. It is also possible that teams not in compliance with their State and local public health travel guidelines and restrictions risk the loss of their USA-S insurance coverage.

While this is sad news, please remember that we have been more fortunate both in being allowed to conduct swim team practices and to hold intrasquad and time trial meets than some our colleagues in other California LSCs.  There is light at the end of the tunnel and we will take every opportunity to return to competition as soon as our local health officers decide it is safe for us to do so.

Wishing you and your families Safe and Happy Holidays,

David Cottam, General Chair, Pacific Swimming