The International Swimming League (ISL) announced Monday that its Season 3 playoffs will take place in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, with matches running November 11-28.
Unlike in its first two seasons, there will be an extended layoff before the league final, which will take place in January 2022.
View this post on Instagram
In Season 1, the Grand Final took place about a month after the semi-final matches wrapped up, while in Season 2, which was competed under a COVID-restricted bubble in Budapest, the final was almost immediate due to the circumstances.
The previously-announced regular season for the ISL’s third campaign will run from August 26-September 26 in Naples, Italy, with an additional wildcard-type match September 29-30 where the four lowest-ranked clubs will have an opportunity to join the top six in the playoffs.
This will be followed by the “Play-off phase,” where the top eight clubs will compete for four spots in the ISL Grand Final in January.
‘’We are very pleased to have come to an in-principle agreement with the city of Eindhoven for the hosting of the ISL Season 3 Play-off phase, and we will now work closely with them to finalise the formal contract,” said ISL Founder and President Konstantin Grigorishin.
‘’We are very happy that Eindhoven is ready to join Naples, Budapest, Dallas, Las Vegas, London and others on the list of exciting cities the ISL has partnered with. The Dutch are knowledgeable and passionate swimming fans, who I am sure will be delighted to see local stars such as Ranomi Kromowidjojo, Kira Toussaint, Femke Heemskerk and Arno Kamminga in action.’’
Competition will be held at Pieter van den Hoogenband Stadium, named after the famed Dutch freestyle legend, which has held many high-level national meets over the years.
“We are looking forward to welcoming all swimmers, their supervisors and teams in Eindhoven in November,” Stijn Steenbakkers, Eindhoven councilor for sport and economy, said. “Especially after all the beautiful swimming performances we were able to see in Tokyo. An international major event like the ISL is interesting for Eindhoven – the swimming capital of the Netherlands.
“The many big names in swimming will be an inspiration for the youth and regular users of the Pieter van den Hoogenband Stadium and people will have the opportunity to enjoy this top competition up close.”
Steenbakkers added that the official contract with the ISL has yet to be signed, but appears to be imminent in the coming weeks after their “summer recess.”
Per the ISL, 15 Dutch athletes will compete in Season 3 of the ISL, including incoming Aqua Centurion rookie Kamminga, who won a pair of silver medals at the recent Tokyo Olympic Games in the men’s 100 and 200 breaststroke.
“They will put the global spotlight on the city of Eindhoven as swimming fans around the world tune in on television, through streaming platforms and on social media to watch their favourite stars,’’ Grigorishin said f the Dutch athletes.
“The ISL will bring to Eindhoven an incredible ‘sportainment’ show that will make for an amazing live experience for sports fans – the likes of which they will have not seen before at a professional swimming competition.’’
The ISL says it is now working to finalize its host city selection process for the league final, with locations in Asia, Europe and North America all still in play.