Six of the 22 organizations that compete in the Lancaster Summer Swim League have already called it quits on the 2020 season as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
If a few more organizations take a similar route, the league won’t have a season at all.
“We had determined that if 10 teams decide not to swim that we would back out as a league,” league president Larry Fittery said by phone Monday morning.
The six organizations that have decided not to compete this summer have largely done so because their home pools are either already closed for the summer or shut down indefinitely: Adamstown (Adamstown Community Pool), Conestoga (Conestoga Township Pool), East Petersburg (East Petersburg Community Pool), Hempfield (Hempfield Rec Center), Manheim (Manheim Community Pool) and Mountville (Mountville Swimming Pool).
Under normal conditions, the league was aiming to start practices for the 2020 season next week.
“We have pushed back to June 8 for a starting date,” Fittery said.
Additionally, the league has already canceled its end-of-season league and division meets.
“Without every team being able to be at that meet, we just felt it wasn’t fair to those teams not to be able to participate,” Fittery said.
Approximately 3,000 swimmers from kindergarten through high school seniors compete in the league every summer.
Fittery said most of the teams have been registration-only at this point, “so they don’t have to deal with refunds.”
“We’re pushing this off as long as we can,” Fittery said. “It is very important for the swimming community as a whole to have a season. ... We’re hopeful of getting together and having something to do and keeping the kids active and out of trouble.”