Professional Australian Swimming League (ASL) Announced For Q4 2022

While the International Swimming League (ISL) is finalizing rosters for its third season, a second professional swimming league born out of Australia has just been announced.

The Australian Swimming League (ASL) represents a national professional league whose inaugural series of competitions will begin in the fourth quarter of 2022. ASL is privately owned and funded and will run the competition with the support of Swimming Australia.

According to Swimming Australia, the ASL ‘will provide Australia’s world-leading swimmers and the next wave of young talent with the opportunity to compete against each other in elite competition on an annual basis, while delivering a fresh, exciting, and engaging entertainment product for fans both in attendance and watching at home.’

ASL competition will operate under a license model, with races taking place over several weeks at venues across Australia. More details are expected to be announced via an ‘opening night’ event this October.

Until that time, however, there are myriad questions regarding how the ASL will interact, interfere or co-exist alongside the aforementioned ISL. However, an ASL representative told SwimSwam, ‘ASL will stand alone in the swimming calendar and we don’t anticipate any crossover.’

We have reached out to the ISL for comment as well.

At a high level, there will be a number of ASL teams consisting of a set number of swimmers, split evenly between male and female athletes including multi-class and juniors. These athletes will be selected via an annual draft to help ensure equal spread across the league. The draft concept appears similar to what the ISL conducted for its season 3, although several swimmers were able to be retained by teams in a ‘protected status’.

The ASL will consist of representative teams from key Australian locations. The structure and makeup of these teams is yet to be determined. The number of teams of participating is also not yet defined.

In contrast, the ISL is not a national league, as each team consists of swimmers who represent many different nations when competing internationally, including Australia.

Prize money is reportedly on the line for ASL races, which is also what drives many swimmers to continue their careers within the ISL as professional athletes.

Amazon and Swimming Australia have already struck a deal that will allows the Australian Swimming Championships to be broadcasted live on the company’s streaming platform for the next two years. It’s unknown if Amazon will be involved with any of the ASL action.

Swimming Australia CEO Alex Baumann says of the ASL announcement, “Swimming is an integral part of Australian culture and leading recreational activity, not to mention the success our Olympic and Paralympic athletes have achieved in the sport.

“For generations, Australian swimmers have been some of the best in the world and are household names both at home and abroad. Outside of major international events, it is important for Swimming Australia to create a high-profile domestic platform to showcase our current and future stars which also supports our vision of delivering greater opportunities for Australia’s leading athletes.

“We are delighted to be working with the ASL to establish an annual, made for broadcast league, that will provide high level competition for our swimmers, while entertaining a broad audience in a way which excites and inspires.”

Swimming Australia National Head Coach Rohan Taylor said: “The ASL is absolutely fantastic news for Australian swimming. From a coaching perspective, an annual professional league will offer regular elite competition to drive performance outcomes and provide a vital opportunity for Australia’s best emerging talent to compete against our finest swimmers.

“With prize money on the line as part of this new professional league, I anticipate every round will be hotly contested and will offer viewers action packed racing where the level of competition will see Australian swimming go to new heights.”

ASL CEO Stuart Coventry said: “The ASL is thrilled to be partnering with Swimming Australia to establish and operate this new professional swimming league.

“The ASL will be swimming but not as you know it! It will be an exciting format that delivers a fast-paced event program that pits individuals and teams against one another in an elite competition with plenty of action in and out of the water.

“This competition will capture the imagination of a diverse audience through our fast-paced, action-packed, highly entertaining and family focused product. We look forward to sharing more details about the league over the coming months ahead of the inaugural series commencing in Summer 2022.”

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Dan
2 months ago

Just wonder if there is enough swimmers to support a league without bringing in swimmers from other countries. Will depend number of teams and swimmers per event etc I guess.

wow
Reply to  Dan
2 months ago

It may be like the Pro Swim Series in the US, just with a more fan-friendly format to make it exciting.

Troyy
2 months ago

This is great news but I do wonder how economically viable it will be.

Corn Pop
Reply to  Troyy
2 months ago

Aust has money , public &private . About time we looked around & seen what is needed here & use it . Gina Hancock stepped in to cover swimming after 2012 ,so jts time we demand other companies contribute. .

As for Govt , they don’t have to give hundres of millions to The international Foundation Bullies such as Gates & Clinton’s any more..They are evil. Our money for the youth , indigenous & environment .

An intelligent independent foreign policy would save billions also . Pass it on .

Last edited 2 months ago by Corn Pop
Sub13
Reply to  Troyy
2 months ago

I agree. Despite what people on here seem to think, the average Australian could not care less about swimming. It’s an interesting idea but I don’t see it getting any traction.

Aussies watch swimming for one week every four years and that’s it.

Troyy
Reply to  Sub13
2 months ago

It’s true. Swimming Australia even got dumped by the local broadcaster last year.

Verram
Reply to  Troyy
2 months ago

I don’t think it’s essentially about the TV fan or money (though they’re strong incentives) but I think it’s to give swimmers more domestic race practice because there’s no NCAA college swimming in Australia and not all swimmers get invited to race at ISL so it’s about promoting the sport beyond the current stars and I’m all for it

Last edited 2 months ago by Verram
Ragnar
2 months ago

Definitely the one country that would have the public interest to fill the seats, plus if all top Aussie swimmers choose to participate the racing will be great! Local sponsors could easily make it worth their while, plus would Thorpe/Hackett be involved in coaching/being relay team members? Would Matt Targett and Mags suit up? Not having to travel will be a great selling point as well

Jack
2 months ago

Who would join theis other than athletes not good enough or drafted for ISL. Lower competition level, less viewership as it will only be aussies interested and thus less important competitions. They can say it won’t rival ISL all they want but swimmers cannot race 365 days of the year, they need core training and 2 leagues, Trials and the international comp would assumingly be wayyyy to much to be successful at the highest and most important competitions (Worlds/ Oly) and would not interest their top swimmers.

Corn Pop
Reply to  Jack
2 months ago

So nothing ever new ever? Regarding the athlete’s, there are plenty here better than some of the ISL .eg Ariarne Titmus, Kaylee . The Aust summer is wide open for some meets & I’m pretty certain State Govts would contribute to hosting one meet each. Everyone is desperate to revive tourism & there will be few international visitors until 2023. A few top marquee foreigners could come for some meets . Who would not want to compete the 100/200/400 free in Aust ? There will be no shortage of swimmers wanting to come for a half a summer down under.

Perth Adelaide Gold Coast Nth Qld Hobart & final at Sydney . Doable . If Aust has success in… Read more »

Last edited 2 months ago by Corn Pop
Dan
Reply to  Jack
2 months ago

The plan is to start in 2022 so no impact on ISL this year, but I could see several of the Aussie swimmers skipping ISL next year and if the ASL would allow other swimmers maybe a few other swimmers from Southeast Asia and maybe some of the swimmers that go to Australia to train for part of the year.
I do not see them as trying to compete with the ISL, but some might choose one over the other to have a chance to train and less travel.

Verram
2 months ago

I hope it’s similar to the now defunct Qantas Skins that was quite popular back in the day

Joel
Reply to  Verram
2 months ago

I remember that ! Loved it 😊

Jen
2 months ago

Maybe they are doing this because the Australian government has made it incredibly difficult for Australian citizens to leave and enter the country due to covid. There are also new rugby tournaments in NZ and Australia because of travel restrictions and quarantine hotels limits which make the usual international match-ups impossible.

Troyy
Reply to  Jen
2 months ago

If this werre because of covid it’d be happening sooner than Q4 next year.

About Retta Race

Retta Race

Swim analyst, businesswoman.

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