International Swimming League Releases 2021 Regular Season Schedule

The International Swimming League has released the official schedule for the regular season of racing for its 3rd season. The regular season will take place in Naples, Italy beginning on August 26, 2021, and will last for just over a month.

Season 3 will feature the same 10 teams that took part in season 2 of the league: the 8 original teams from the first season, along with the Toronto Titans and Tokyo Frog Kings which were introduced last year.

Each team will compete in 4 matches between August 26 and September 26 and 6 highest-ranked teams from the regular season will automatically advance to the playoff phase. The 4 lowest-ranked teams after September 6 will take part in Match 11 on September 29-30 and the top 2 finishers there will also advance to the playoffs.

Regular Season Schedule:

Some important things to note about the schedule include:

  • The top 2 finishers from season 2 Cali Condors and Energy Standard won’t face each other during the regular season.
  • The league’s 2 newest teams, Toronto Titans and Tokyo Frog Kings won’t race in any of the same meets during the regular season.
  • Tokyo Frog Kings and DC Trident won’t face each other during the regular season.
  • Energy Standard and London Roar, the top two non-American teams from last season, will go up against each other at back-to-back matches (Match 8 & 9).
  • Among the higlights of the season will be Match 8 from September 18-19, which will feature Energy Standard, London Roar, LA Current, and Tokyo Frog Kings – the #2, #3, #4, and #5 teams from last year. Energy, London, and LA are expected to be in the top 4 again this season, while Tokyo has seen a significant dropoff.

Strength of Schedule

The table below shows how many times each team will face each opponent this season, ordered by final rank in the 2020 season.

Other than the top 2 teams, Energy and Cali, not facing each other, the schedule does appear to be much more balanced this season than it was last season, where, for example, Energy Standard had a schedule on paper that seemed softer than other teams.

This year they’ll face last year’s #3 team London in 3 of their 4 regular season meets.

Tokyo faces a particularly difficult schedule: they face last season’s top 4 teams 7 times, which is more than any other team in the league. That’s going to be difficult with them losing many of their star swimmers from last season, and with multiple draft gaffes leaving them on an uphill battle already. They do get to see New York Breakers and Aqua Centurions twice each, though. Those are two teams expected to be at-or-near the bottom of the final league table.

Cali Energy Standard London Roar LA Current Tokyo Frog Kings IRON Toronto Titans New York Breakers DC Trident
Aqua Centurions
Cali 0 1 2 2 1 1 2 1 2
Energy Standard 0 3 1 1 1 2 1 2 1
London Roar 1 3 1 2 1 1 1 1 1
LA Current 2 1 1 2 1 1 1 2 1
Tokyo Frog Kings 2 1 2 2 0 0 2 0 2
IRON 1 1 1 1 0 2 2 2 0
Toronto Titans 1 2 1 1 0 2 1 3 1
New York Breakers 2 1 1 1 2 2 1 0 1
DC Trident 1 2 1 2 0 2 3 0 2
Aqua Centurions 2 1 1 1 2 0 1 1 2

Team Byes By Week

  • Week 1 (August 26-29): London Roar, Iron
  • Week 2 (September 2-5): Toronto Titans, Tokyo Frog Kings
  • Week 3 (September 9-12): Energy Standard, New York Breakers
  • Week 4 (September 16-19): Aqua Centurions, DC Trident
  • Week 5 (September 23-26): Cali Condors, LA Current

After Match 11, the top 8 teams in the league will advance to the 3-week playoff phase set to take place in November 2021. Each team will compete in 6 matches during the playoff phase and from there, the 4 highest ranked teams will move on to the Grand Final. The Grand Final will occur in December 2021.

The ISL recently completed its first-ever draft during which each team was permitted to retain up to 15 swimmers from their roster. After that, 1 additional swimmer was selected for each team via a fan vote, 1 ‘ISL rookie’ was drafted to each team, and then 8-10 swimmers were drafted to each team. Following the draft, the league entered into a 30-day free-agency period in order to sign additional athletes to fill out their rosters. Check out each team’s roster ahead of the free-agency period here.

Season 3’s schedule is the most robust lineup we have seen yet for the league. During season 1, there were only 7 matches during the “regular season”, followed by the Grand Final in Las Vegas where Energy Standard came away as victors. Then in season 2, we saw a 10-match regular season, followed by 2 semi-final matches and a Grand Final. As a reminder, here’s how season 2 played out:

Qualification Stage

RANK CLUB POINTS
1 CALI CONDORS 16
2 ENERGY STANDARD 15
3 LONDON ROAR 13
4 LA CURRENT 12
5 IRON 11
6 TOKYO KING FROGS 10
7 TORONTO TITANS 8
8 NY BREAKERS 6
9 DC TRIDENT 5
10 AQUA CENTURIONS 4

Semi-final 1

RANK CLUB POINTS
1 ENERGY STANDARD 580
2 LONDON ROAR 517.5
3 TOKYO KING FROGS 380.5
4 NY BREAKERS 239

Semi-final 2

RANK CLUB POINTS
1 CALI CONDORS 605.5
2 LA CURRENT 462
3 IRON 340.5
4 TORONTO TITANS 303

Final

RANK CLUB POINTS
1 CALI CONDORS 561.5
2 ENERGY STANDARD 464.5
3 LONDON ROAR 391
4 LA CURRENT 298

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Mike Kaczmarek
4 months ago

Is the ISL on tv anywhere??

Paul
5 months ago

Any clues on how you can watch the 2021 matches in Naples?

Braden Keith(@braden)
Admin
Reply to  Paul
5 months ago

Nope, unless you live in Italy no info yet.

Uncle
6 months ago

Thankful for Match 10 because the bottom teams don’t ever get a match where they can get the 4 points.

Also need more balance, why does ENS need to face LON 3 times and CAC 0…one of those matchups could have easily switched.

What’s the point of having so many teams and you don’t compete against ALL the teams in the regular season?

Last edited 6 months ago by Uncle
Taa
6 months ago

Too close to the olympics. The swimmers will just be getting back in the pool when the season starts.

Troyy
6 months ago

LON seems like the only team that meets ENS (3 times) or CAC in every match. They had a sh-t schedule last year too.

CACrushers
6 months ago

Maybe Salo should have kept his mouth shut

Aquajosh
6 months ago

Tokyo got an unfair schedule last year too. They can bolster their fortunes quite a bit if they can convince Ikee to swim ISL.

Troyy
Reply to  Aquajosh
6 months ago

If ISL stick to their rules it’s too late to add Ikee.

whever
6 months ago

Looks like they are trying to avoid a match between ENS and CAC in the regular season.

swimfan210_
Reply to  whever
6 months ago

In S2 they avoided a regular season match between ENS/LON (top 2 from S1)

Uncle
Reply to  whever
6 months ago

Yeah, makes no sense though.

Since they changed the playoff format, the standings from the regular season only determines who goes to playoffs because in the playoffs you are battling all the other teams, so why not give us a ENS Vs CAC match?

Do we really need to see LON get beat 3 times by ENS?