A Refresher Course on the New FINA World Cup Format

With the Eindhoven stop of the 2013 World Cup hitting the ground running today, a refresher and an update on what has changed with regards to the scoring lists and money awards.

First of all, Katinka Hosszu is about to make a lot of money. She’s already got $20,000 in her bank for two World Records, and South African Chad le Clos and Netherlands’ Ranomi Kromowidjojo each get $10,000 for their World Record swims.

Now that this is out of the way, here’s the breakdown:

Cash Prizes

Per event ($102,000 x 8 = $816,000)
Winners get $1,500
2nd place gets $1,000
3rd place gets $500

Per cluster ($200,000 + $300,000 + $300,000 = $800,000)

The series has been broken down into three clusters this year:

Cluster 1 (Eindhoven, August 7-8; Berlin, August 10-11)
Cluster 2 (Moscow, October 12-13; Dubai, October 17-18; Doha, October 20-21)
Cluster 3 (Singapore, November 5-6; Tokyo, November 9-10; Beijing, November 13-14)

Which will each have their own sets of rankings to award a total of $800,000 in prizes, in addition to that money given away above.

Europe $200,000
Men Women
$40,000 $40,000
$25,000 $25,000
$15,000 $15,000
$8,000 $8,000
$7,000 $7,000
$5,000 $5,000
Middle East $300,000
Men Women
$50,000 $50,000
$35,000 $35,000
$30,000 $30,000
$20,000 $20,000
$10,000 $10,000
$5,000 $5,000
Asia $300,000
Men Women
$50,000 $50,000
$35,000 $35,000
$30,000 $30,000
$20,000 $20,000
$10,000 $10,000
$5,000 $5,000

Overall Prizes ($180,000 x 2 = $360,000)

And, as always, the big prizes will be given to the overall winners, runners-up, and third-place finishers for the series based upon who has accumulated the most points in the series:

1st place: US$100’000 (male and female winners each receive this)
2nd place: US$80’000 (male and female each)
3rd place: US$30’000 (male and female each)

$1,976,000 in total prize money available for the 8 meet series, plus the $10,000 per World Record. With 4 World Records already, that means that a minimum of $2,000,000 will be handed out in prize money.


Along with a revamped cash award system, FINA has tweaked its scoring system. In the old format, the top 10 individual swims from each meet were rewarded with points. That put a lot of emphasis, though, on swimmers who were really good at a single event, despite most of the public interest coming with those athletes who were able to excel in multiple events in the compact, two-day schedule.

Top three performances at each meet

With the FINA Points Table used to standardize scoring across events, the top three performances at each meet receive bonus points, so this element of scoring isn’t totally lost:

Best performance: 24 points
2nd best performance: 18 points
3rd best performance: 12 points

Top three in each event

In addition, new this year, the top three in each event get points: 12 for a gold, 9 for a silver, and 6 for a bronze.

That means that the best individual event performances are worth double an event victory. That still makes the best performance rankings significant, but they can be trumped by a Megan Romano or Katinka Hosszu who is taking on 7 or 8 events at each meet.

World Record bonus

And, with the most relevance they’ve had since the 2009 series, World Records earn 20 bonus points, with World Records tied earning 10 bonus points.

So far, the new changes, coupled with the proximity to the World Championships, is working. The entry lists are bursting with Olympic and World Champions, and as noted, we had four World Records in a single day in the biggest such run in four years.

Will the enthusiasm sustain beyond the European legs? That remains to be seen. There were still plenty of empty seats in Eindhoven, disappointingly, so it’s taken some time for the fans to come around as well.

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C Martin

Nice to see the best swimmers receiving a good chunk of cash for their efforts.


I’m happy they put more emphasis on podium positions as for gathering points. This hopefully encourages elites to challenge each other in extraordinary events as they did yesterday to the some extent. We need to learn appreciate good racing at the cost of times but of course the fact that the meeting is held immediately after Barcelona results in fantastic times as swimmers are still almost at their peak.

By the way, the world record bonuses are restricted to the maximum pot of $50,000 at one meeting so WR bonuses will begin to dilute if new ones keep rolling in. Maybe swimmers should wait for Berlin before unleashing it all. 😉

Based on this the top guys should be even more enthusiastic about taking part in leg two and three, even more cash up for grabs.

I will definitely be there to watch the South Africans taking part in the Doha leg.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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