Northern Virginia Swim League
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (February 2009)|
The Northern Virginia Swimming League, or NVSL, is a summer swim league and a separate dive league in Northern Virginia in the United States. The stated goal of both NVSL and NVSL-Dive is "...to develop in the children participating in its program--a love for the sport, advanced aquatic skills, teamwork, and the principles of good sportsmanship." More than 15,000 children participate in the League's programs.
The Northern Virginia Swimming League (NVSL) currently consists of 102 teams divided into 17 divisions, with six teams in each division. For 2013, approximately 17,000 children participate in the NVSL. The league's motto is to promote "A love for the sport, advanced aquatic skills, teamwork, and the principles of good sportsmanship." Each team participates in five dual meets. There are five age groups for both boys and girls: 8&U, 9-10, 11-12, 13-14, and 15-18. Swimmers compete in freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke and butterfly individual events; in freestyle relays for the 8&U age group, and in medley relays for all other age groups; and in mixed age relays one each for boys and girls, for a total 52 events in a dual meet.
NVSL-Swimming Individual All-Stars
The NVSL Individual All-Stars swim meet is a competition between select swimmers in each age group and event. The races consist of swimmers with the top 18 times league-wide, with two alternate swimmers in case one or more scheduled swimmers are not present. Cards are pulled for additional swimmers in case either of the alternates or multiple scratches are made.
While most NVSL meets are focused on team competition, the Individual All-Stars meet is more oriented toward the league's best individual swimmers. There is also an All-Star Relay Carnival meet for the 18 top relays league-wide based on performance at each Division Relay Carnival held the week before. The relay carnivals are held earlier in the season on Wednesday evenings.
The NVSL Individual All-Stars meet is held on the first Saturday in August. There is no team score for this meet. However, the NVSL All-Star Relay Carnival is a scored team meet, and a winner is determined by total points at the end of the meet. In addition to the five dual meets for each team, the NVSL also schedules a Division Relay Carnival for each division, its All-Star Relay Carnival, Division Individual Championship meets for each division and Individual All-Stars.
Beginning in 1957, NVSL-Dive began sponsoring dive competition in Northern Virginia. The teams are sponsored by local community pools with diving boards. NVSL-Dive is currently composed of 47 teams that are divided into 8 divisions. The teams compete weekly over the course of a 5 week season, and a team is named the division champion. Meets are held on Tuesday evenings from late June through late July. In a dual meet, each team is allowed a total of 32 divers. Following the conclusion of the regular season, each division holds an Individual Division Championship, which is used to qualify for the League's Individual All-Star Championship Meet, which is typically held the first Sunday in August.
Divers are divided by gender into four age categories: Freshmen (10 & under - 3 dives), Juniors (11-12 - 4 dives), Intermediates (13-14 - 5 dives), and Seniors (15 and older - 6 dives). The category is determined by the diver's age on June 1 of each year. Divers are allowed to compete through the summer following their graduation from high school
NVSL-Dive hosts the annual Cracker Jack Invitational. This meet is the world's largest one-day diving competition. At the 2009 meet, which was hosted by Truro in Annandale, Virginia, 354 divers (218 girls and 136 boys) competed. Established in 1987 to provide a skill-appropriate championship for beginning divers. The first Cracker Jack Invitational was held at Freedom Park and attracted approximately 600 divers. For many years, this meet was hosted by Overlee pool in Arlington, Virginia, and moved to Cardinal Hill in Vienna for 2007 and 2008. In 2012, the meet was hosted by Mansion House.
Since its beginning in 1987, more than 9,000 divers have competed at Crackerjack. NVSL-Dive sponsors an annual 3-meter meet. Col. Wallace R. Martin arranged for the meet to be held at his home pool, Tuckahoe, in 1968 and then again every year thereafter for the rest of his life. Martin died in 1977, and in 1978 the NVSL 3-Meter Meet was renamed the Wally Martin 3-Meter Championship in his memory.
NVSL Hall of Fame
The NVSL and NVSL-Dive recognize graduating high school seniors who is an NVSL diver and/or swimmer.
The MacDuff Scholarship, created in 1991, is awarded annually to two NVSL swimmers or divers in honor of George MacDuff. The President's Scholarship, created in 1994, was named to honor all those volunteers who have served the youth of Northern Virginia. The Olivia Aull Spirit Scholarship was created in 2008 to honor Olivia Aull, and recognizes spirited swimmers and divers. The Swim Ninja Scholarship was created in 2010 and is sponsored by Swim Ninja LLC. It is awarded annually to an NVSL swimmer who serves his or her community as a leader both in and out of the water.