Few things are more fun in the summer than swimming.
Unless it's swimming with a couple hundred of your closest friends.
The Durham Summer Swim League annually draws more than 1,000 youngsters, ages 4 through 18, to one of 17 pools in the greater Durham area.
Their season is just about as long as the life of a lightning bug – six weeks – from the first of June to mid-July, culminating in a two-day championship at Koury Natatorium on the campus of UNC in Chapel Hill.
This year's championship will be July 11-12, where the Parkwood Piranhas will be trying for a 12th straight league title. But winning is not the be-all and end-all of the DSSL.
The league is more about participation than competition. Most pools host teams for the purpose of introducing children to swimming and fostering in them a love of the sport, as well as good sportsmanship.
But, yes, they do keep score. And this could be a more competitive year than most. Woodcroft, which edged out Parkwood 222-208 in the first meet of the year, looks to give the Piranhas a contest for the championship. The Whirlwinds are 3-0 in dual meets so far this summer.
Parkwood bounced back from that first loss and, last week, defeated Eno Valley 315-117 in a DSSL Division I dual meet.
The season continues Wednesday with Fairfield schedued to be at Parkwood, Woodcroft at Duke Faculty Club and Eno Valley Country Club at Hope Valley CC. In Division II, Garrett Farms is at Treyburn, Umstead Pines at Black Horse Run and Hope Valley Farms hosts Vance Aquatics. In Division III, Croasdaile visits Five Oaks and Homestead Heights hosts Levin Jewish Community Center, while Hardscrabble’s Hippos have tonight off.