As the season comes to a close we are seeing a lot of scratches for our last couple meets. For this week we will be missing about 40% of our swimmers. Previously I had written about the pros and cons of Opt-in and Opt-out for swim meets and after watching this season unfold, I believe my thinking still holds.
Originally I had thought that opting in or out from a meet as a binary decision: A swimmer was either participating or not. It turns out it isn’t that simple. Year round school is pretty popular here in Wake County, North Carolina and roughly 1/3 to 1/2 of our swimmers are in school for either all or part of the summer swimming season. Since our meets are held on Tuesday nights, they tend to run pretty late and some parents are taking their kids out of the late events (e.g. Butterfly and/or Freestyle Relay).
This has resulted in what my wife is referring to as a “partial scratch”. In addition to kids needing to leave early, we have also had some kids come late due to other commitments so they are missing one or two events early in the meet.
So as I sit down to implement opt-in and opt-out, I have concluded I need to account for partial participation in a swim meet.