Op-Ed: MCSL Championship Meet

[Editor’s Note:  Kevin, a reader of Reach For The Wall, asked Reach for the Wall to publish the following article that he wrote calling for an MCSL Championship Meet.  At RFTW, we welcome and greatly appreciate the contributions of our swim community.  We are not affiliated with MCSL, nor do we have a position on this proposal.  We are hoping to bring more open forum topics to our site as we continue to grow.  Please sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts.]

Open Call for a MCSL Championship Meet

The current MCSL competition format has been in place for a long time: each team is assigned to a division and all team-scored meets are within the same division for the whole season, so a team has no chance to compete with teams in other divisions.  After the divisional meet, the team is done for the season even though there are still two more meets ahead: All-Star Relay and Individual All-Star.

MCSL should consider an end-of-season championship meet that can bring all teams from all divisions together.  However, it does not mean MCSL has to create a brand new meet:  just convert the All-Star Relay and Individual All-Star meets into the team-scored championship meets and use the existing qualifying times and procedures.  For All-Star Relay, we can combine the two sessions into one sessions and only top 16 relays can qualify regardless of divisions. A swimmer should be able to swim all qualified relays.  For Individual All-Star, only top 16 swimmers can qualify regardless of divisions and each swimmer should be able to swim at least 3 events rather than 2 now. The top 16 swimmers and relays will all score points and the scoring system should be similar as follows:

Individual Events: 20, 17, 16, 15, 14, 13, 12, 11, 9, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

Relay Events: 40, 34, 32, 30, 28, 26, 24, 22, 18, 14, 12, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2

The new championship meets will neither change the current MCSL schedule nor create a new burden on MCSL teams and swimmers because the All-Star Relay and Individual All-Star meets are already in place:  we would just rename them.

The benefits of the new championship meets are:

  • The new championship meets will bring all MCSL teams together for one time in the season.
  • A team that loses the divisional title can still have hope to win an MCSL title.
  • Every team has a chance to win an MCSL title, not just a team in Division A. Even a team from Division O could shine in the championship meets.

This is the format NCAA and high school swimming are using now and it should work for MCSL. The only extra effort for MCSL is to calculate the team scores and put the champion team’s name in a big wooden NUMBER ONE (yeah, we need to bring that tradition back).  I have my pen and paper ready, and I can voluntarily calculate the team points for MCSL.

12 thoughts on “Op-Ed: MCSL Championship Meet

  • Aug 5, 2016 at 2:01 pm
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    Comparing the MCSL to high schools and the NCAA is absurd. High schools and the NCAA have championship meets because teams from different conferences/leagues typically do not compete against each other during the regular season. However, the conferences aren’t populated based on the prior season’s results. Instead, they are formed based on geography, size or other criteria. Often, teams are very similar talent-wise and will match up well in a championship meet. On the other hand, the MCSL’s divisions are established each season using the prior season’s results.

    Also, those who have been around the MCSL for a while know that the format for All-Stars was changed to reduce the number of events an individual swimmer could participate in from 3 to 2. This allows more participation in the meet and makes sense given the size of the league now.

    This focus on an overall winner misses the point of summer swimming entirely.

    Reply
    • Aug 5, 2016 at 8:11 pm
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      I vote to reduce the number allowed to only 1 event per swimmer for all Rockville events in order for more kids to participate and buy a t-shirt.

      MCSL pays a LOT of $$$$ to rent the Rockville pool for the Coaches LC and the All Stars weekend. A very high % of each team’s dues goes to support meets for a limited number of swimmers. Participants should pay a surcharge and/or event entry fee to reduce the toll on the MCSL coffers. I believe that this is now the case for the PVS observed meet.

      And I also respectably veto this idea on the grounds that the team competition phase is over now. Families have delayed their vacation plans long enough in order to not hurt their teams. These All Stars are now for the individuals.

      Reply
  • Aug 5, 2016 at 9:01 pm
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    Saying that a summer league cannot have championship meet is really absurd. The division assignment is based on the last year performance, not the current year, check what happened to Upper County. The championship meet will give every team a chance in the current season. Let’s do it next year.

    By the way, in Montgomey county, the high school division assignment is also based the prior season’s performance, not geography, and they do have a championship meet.

    Reply
    • Aug 6, 2016 at 2:27 pm
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      Using the unprecedented Upper County situation is ridiculous; logic is clearly not your forte. What is driving this need for you to declare a champion? The A division winner has always been considered the league champ. I’m guessing you have not been around this league for more than a decade at most. It ain’t broke – no need to fix it! The MCSL has changed very little in its long history; that is part of its charm – kids swim the same events in the same order, grow up and have kids and they do the same thing in the same places. It unifies neighborhoods for two months every summer. It creates lifelong relationships. It’s fun! A championship meet is not part of it and it never will be if sanity prevails (and it will…).

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      • Sep 3, 2016 at 2:10 am
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        Every year, there are teams in Division B or C that could compete in Division A, because teams can put-perform their division assignment if, say, a couple of high-scoring kids switch pools or move away. Yes, the Division A champ is usually the best team in the MCSL, but under the current system only 6 teams have the chance to be the mythical MCSL champ, based on the previous year’s results.

        That doesn’t seem right, but a lot of things aren’t really right in MCSL. The team that usually wins Division A is pretty much a club team with a home-field advantage in meets such as Coaches LC (example: the rules to that meet state that there is no warm-up/warm-down pool available, but RMSC/Rockville swimmers always warm up and warm down in the south pool inside anyway at that meet. The cover was lifted off those shenanigans a couple of years ago when a big storm hit during that meet and lots of swimmers and parents ran inside the Swim Center — only to find a bunch of RMSC/Rockville Rays swimmers warming up and down in the south pool. Whoops.

        MCSL is a great swim league that just happens to have some inequities. Not every team has the same (or any) resident requirement. Not every team observes the “no recruiting” rule, some teams can pay three times what others can pay for coaches. Some teams are the products of true neighborhood pools run by parents; other teams (like Rockville) are loaded with kids who are not from the surrounding community and have a lower participation cost because they’re subsidized by the county. Again, it’s a great league with a long tradition, but let’s not pretend that it’s perfect and should never be changed.

        Reply
        • Sep 15, 2016 at 1:46 pm
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          Is there a point to this post? I can’t tell what you’re argument is.

          Regarding the “mythical MCSL championship”, I don’t believe the overwhelming majority of swimmers care about that at all.

          Regarding the night of the storm during LC…really? I was there and saw a few kids in that pool during the storm. I also saw a large group of women doing a water aerobics class in that pool. There were no shenanigans going on. I’m not a fan of the Rockville team – they are the antithesis of what the MCSL should be about – but that accusation is just absurd.

          Reply
          • Sep 15, 2016 at 1:48 pm
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            Your not you’re!!! Me fail English? That’s unpossible…

  • Aug 6, 2016 at 12:28 am
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    I know for a fact that my swimmers hold off on vacations until after allstars and ASR, but this new format would probably cause many to leave for vacation after divsionals/ focus on zones/sectionals instead

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    • Aug 6, 2016 at 11:57 pm
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      Base on the article, the new format does not change the current schedule. Why will it cause many to leave for vacation after the divisionals?

      Reply
  • Aug 6, 2016 at 6:55 pm
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    I agree with Kevin. In addition, a new MCSL championship will mean another trophy for the Rays.

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    • Aug 7, 2016 at 12:08 am
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      The dual meet performance will not guarantee the championship title, which is the charm of the championship meet.

      Reply
  • Aug 7, 2016 at 12:20 pm
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    And who do you think could when the meet other than the Rays?

    Reply

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