Full Scoring Format For the 2020 ISL Season

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.

Race Scoring

Day 1 Events

Women’s Event # Day 1 Men’s Event #
1 100 Fly 2
3 200 Back 4
5 200 Breast 6
7
4×100 Free Relay
—Break—
9 50 Free 8
11 200 IM 10
13 50 Breast 12
4×100 Free Relay 14
—Break—
15 50 Back 16
17 400 Free 18
19 4×100 Medley Relay* 20

Day 2 Events

Women’s Event # Day 2 Men’s Event #
21 100 Free 22
23 200 Fly 24
25 100 Back 26
27 100 IM 28
—Break—
29 200 Free 30
31 50 Fly 32
33 100 Breast 34
35 4×100 Mixed Free Relay 35
—Break—
36 400 IM 37
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:

Most Events

Individual Event Relay Event
1st 9 18
2nd 7 14
3rd 6 12
4th 5 10
5th 4 8
6th 3 6
7th 2 4
8th 1 2
DNF or DQ -2 -4
DNS -4 -8

Teams can lose points outright for failing to finish (DNF), taking a disqualification (DQ), or leaving a lane empty (did-not-start, or DNS).

Skin Races

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
1st 9 9 14
2nd 7 7 7
3rd 6 6
4th 5 5
5th 4
6th 3
7th 2
8th 1
DNF or DQ -2 -4 -6
DNS -4 -8 -12

Jackpot Points

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.

MEN WOMEN MIXED
50 free 0.85 0.95
100 free 1.8 2.05
200 free 4 4.5
400 free 8.5 9.4
50 back 0.9 1.05
100 back 2 2.2
200 back 4.3 4.8
50 breast 1.05 1.15
100 breast 2.25 2.5
200 breast 5 5.4
50 fly 0.9 1.05
100 fly 2 2.2
200 fly 4.4 4.8
100 IM 2.05 2.3
200 IM 4.4 4.9
400 IM 9.4 10.4
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.

Distance Men Women
Freestyle
50 22.50 25.50
100 49.50 55.00
200 1.49.50 1.58.50
400 3.50,50 4.10.10
Backstroke
50 25.00 28.50
100 54.00 1.00.50
200 1.58.00 2.11.00
Breaststroke
50 28.50 31.50
100 1.00.00 1.08.50
200 2.12.00 2.28.50
Butterfly
50 24.00 26.50
100 53.00 58.50
200 1.59.50 2.12.00
Individual Medley
100 55.00 1.02.50
200 2.01.00 2.13.50
400 4.18.00 4.46.50
Freestyle Relay 4*100 3.17.00 3.39.00
Medley Relay 4*100 3.35.00 4.02.00
Mixed freestyle 4*100 3.28.00

Team Standings Points

At the end of the meet, each team earns season points for their finish:

Team Finish
Team Standings Points
1st 4
2nd 3
3rd 2
4th 1

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.

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Pvdh
15 days ago

Yea dawg I think I’m not gonna care about points or teams and just watch the swimmers do their thing and hope for some great times.

Khachaturian
15 days ago

Should we expect world records or am I getting ahead of myself?

swimmerfromcali
Reply to  Khachaturian
15 days ago

It’s always good to have high hopes.

Admin
Reply to  Khachaturian
15 days ago

It’s 2020. So, I assume that all World Records will be broken or none.

Heyo
15 days ago

Something something Dressel

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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