Barry Revzin contributed to this report.
The International Swimming League has implemented significant change for its second season, including a sizeable increase in prize money.
The five-week, 13-match campaign, set to begin on Friday, will have over $6 million USD up for grabs for the athletes ($6,050,000). That total is almost 2.5x larger than last season ($2,580,400).
The increase comes from changes in racing prize money, MVP earnings and the team bonuses, not to mention there will be more meets (13 compared to last season’s seven) and more events per meet (with the addition of the 100 IM).
The total racing prize money saw a significant increase, up to $3,780,000 from $1,435,200 last season. An individual event now offers $5,200 (up from $3,900), a relay offers $10,400 (up from $7,800), and a skins event earns $16,800 (up from $11,700). An athlete winning a skins event could earn up to $9,600 (from $5,400 last season).
The breakdown per event in the regular season is as follows:
|1st Place||2nd Place||3rd Place||4th Place|
|Skins Round 1||$2,400||$1,600||$800||$400|
|Skins Round 2||$2,400||$1,600||$800||$400|
|Skins Round 3||$4,800||$1,600|
In the semi-finals, the prize money will be 1.5x larger, and in the final, 2x larger.
For MVP scoring, last season there was $5,000 awarded for the top scorer in each match. Now, $20,000 will be distributed amongst the top-three scorers, with the swimmer accumulating the most points earning $10,000. In total, $300,000 is available in bonuses for the MVP on a per-meet basis (for the top-three scorers), and an extra $430,000 in bonuses for the MVP across the whole season (the 10 highest overall scorers).
Theoretically, if a swimmer was the top scorer in all of their matches for the season, they could earn up to $175,000 in MVP bonuses alone. Sarah Sjostrom, the 2019 MVP, earned a total of $139,700 for the season, which included racing and team bonus prize money.
There is also an extra $1,576,000 in various team bonuses – split between $1,036,000 awarded on a per swimmer basis for the top performing clubs and $540,000 given to the clubs themselves to be awarded as they see fit.
For a breakdown of this season’s scoring format, click here.