The 2020 International Swimming League season begins tomorrow. The second season adds several more scoring wrinkles to an already-complex system. We’ve broken down the system as much as we can below for fans following this weekend’s season openers live.
Day 1 Events
|Women’s Event #||Day 1||Men’s Event #|
4×100 Free Relay
|4×100 Free Relay||14|
|19||4×100 Medley Relay*||20|
Day 2 Events
|Women’s Event #||Day 2||Men’s Event #|
|35||4×100 Mixed Free Relay||35|
|38||50m Skin Race*||39|
|40||4×50 Mixed Medley (if tiebreak needed)||40|
*The winner of the women’s 4×100 medley relay gets to pick the stroke of the women’s skin race the next day. Same goes for the winner of the men’s 4×100 medley relay and the men’s skin race.
Each ISL meet includes 39 events, divided by several point-scoring formats:
|Individual Event||Relay Event|
|DNF or DQ||-2||-4|
Teams can lose points outright for failing to finish (DNF), taking a disqualification (DQ), or leaving a lane empty (did-not-start, or DNS).
The Skin race point system has changed from last year. Instead of triple-points determined by overall finish order, the new format scores each of the three rounds individually. Only the top four make it to round 2, and the top two from the second round move on to the final round.
The big change is that now, cruising to 4th in the opening round and 2nd in the second round would actually yield less points than winning all three rounds. In addition, the penalties for a DQ increase as rounds go on.
|Place||Round 1||Round 2||Round 3|
|DNF or DQ||-2||-4||-6|
The biggest new wrinkle this year is jackpot times, which allows a swimmer who wins by a wide margin to steal points from the bottom-end finishers in the event.
If a swimmer beats any other swimmers by the jackpot time margins below, the winning swimmer steals the finish points of the other athlete.
Teams also steal jackpot points if another team takes a DQ, a DNS, or a DNF in a race.
|4×100 free relay||9||10||10|
|4×100 medley relay||10||11|
Cutoff Time Penalties
In addition, the league will continue to use cut-off times, meaning athletes will lose points if they swim slower than a set time.
A swimmer failing to meet these times will have a one-point penalty, while a relay will have a two-point penalty. These penalties are assessed after finish points are determined – so a swimmer taking 8th but missing the cutoff time will earn one point for the 8th-place finish, then take the one-point penalty for a total of zero points.
If a swimmer misses the cutoff time and gets their points stolen by jackpot, the cutoff penalty remains, but the finish points get stolen. So an athlete taking 8th, missing the cutoff time and falling outside the jackpot margin would incur -1 point for their team, taking the cutoff penalty, but having their 8th-place finish point stolen by the jackpot swim.
Team Standings Points
At the end of the meet, each team earns season points for their finish:
Team Standings Points
The top 8 teams in standings points at the end of the season will make the semifinals, and the top two teams from each semifinal will make the season final.