Lopatcong Swim Team, May 2020 Update
At the bottom of this email is what we can do as a swim team, but first here's a run down of where NJ & Lopatcong Township stand on pool openings:
- The town council voted to cancel this year’s pool budget. This doesn’t mean they cannot reauthorize it, but there are no plans to prep for opening at this time.
- I advocated for keeping open the possibility of opening the pool in July if allowed; however, they did not seem keen on that idea either. I understand their hesitancy, for both public safety and budgetary reasons, there’s no incentive to go out on a limb for perhaps just a few weeks of pool use.
NJ Executive Order #143, issued May 14, 2020
- Clarified that EO #118 referring to state parks and forestry include recreational areas, which reasonably interpreted means township pools too.
- Clarified EO #133 that state parks and rec areas may be reopened if townships follow CDC guidelines, but that townships may take additional measures to provide for the public safety.
- In consideration to opening rec areas, EO #143 specifically advises individuals “decline participation in organized sports”. That’s a strange way to word it (“decline”), but obviously we fall into that category. I believe the wording is meant to discourage sports that are difficult to maintain social distancing and wearing masks (IE: swimming, wrestling, football, etc.), but allow things like golf or tennis. Basically, I think Governor Murphy understandably doesn’t want to get into arguments about the details of each recreational sport, hence the broad statement about them.
- EO #143 also specifically uses language to distinguish between “140 miles of beaches” that can open under certain conditions, compared to “pavilions” and “water play areas such as splash parks” and “ancillary buildings” which must remain closed. Note, they did not specifically cite pools, but let’s face it, are we more like a beach or a water play area/splash park?
- EO #143 also specifically states to block access to benches and tables, which obviously makes running meets difficult too.
Penn Jersey Swim League
- Most of the PJSL Executive Board, with the exception of Rich McCormick, just wanted to call the season off this year and hope for the best for next year.
- I advocated for holding our Spring meeting and forming a committee that would plan for different possibilities (what if pools are allowed open in late July and one or two actually do open, could we run limited age group competitions to reduce the number of people on deck, under what conditions (# of pools, # of functioning teams), would we run as a league this summer or next within the guidelines).
- The executive board decided to hold the PJSL Spring meeting next week, but there’s no guarantee they will want to form a committee to even look at possibilities.
Where does this leave us as a team?
If a pool in the area opens, if a new executive order allows us more leeway in July/August, if we can hold practices and meets safely within CDC and state guidelines, and if there is actually some time to do so in July to mid August, we will operate as a full team.
If some of the above does not allow us to operate as a team or hold meets, but does allow us to make use of public pools in general, then we can incorporate some alternative programming, such as strictly defined and scheduled small group training within the guidelines. If other teams are similarly inclined, perhaps some small scale competitions, time trials, or intramural races may be feasible too.
FEEL FREE to REGISTER to get on our email list and reserve your spot (we may have to limit the number of swimmers this year if we gain pool access); make no payments at this time though.