The International Swimming League has published its technical information, breaking down event schedules, scoring, lineups and more.
We’ll break down all the info as best we can below. You can see a PDF with all the technical information by clicking here.
Each meet will be two days long, and each day will be broken up into 3 sessions. The main competitive aspect of these sessions is that each team can submit lineup adjustments during the breaks in sessions. That means teams can adjust their lineups on the fly based on how the meet is going to that point.
- Each team will get 2 entries into each event, individual or relay.
- Each team will have its own two lanes it uses for every event in that day. Lanes are randomly assigned.
- The meet lineup includes the 50 through 400 free, 50 through 200 of back, breast and fly, 200 and 400 IMs and five relays: men’s and women’s 4×100 medleys, men’s and women’s 4×100 frees, and a mixed 4×100 free relay. If a meet comes down to a tie at the finish, a mixed 4×50 medley relay will be used as a tiebreaker.
- Skins races: the meets will also include ‘skins’ races, or multi-round 50 free shootouts. In round 1, 8 athletes start, and 4 move to round 2. From there, the top two move into the final round. Each round will take place 3 minutes apart, and athletes can not use the competition pool for cool down in between.
Here’s a look at the event lineup, assuming the breaks come after each relay event:
|Women’s Event #||Day 1||Men’s Event #|
4×100 Free Relay
|4×100 Medley Relay||12|
|4×100 Free Relay||19|
|Women’s Event #||Day 2||Men’s Event #|
4×100 Medley Relay
|33||4×100 Mixed Free Relay||33|
|36||50 Free Skins||37|
|38||4×50 Mixed Medley (if tiebreak needed)||38|
Here’s how each event will score for team points:
|Individual Event||Relay Event||Skins Race|
Relays count for double, and skins races effectively triple, though if you get eliminated in the first round, your point totals drop significantly.
Penalties For No-Shows and Dogging Races
The format will also penalize teams if an athlete does not appear for their race (DNS), does not finish their race (DNF), or disqualifies (DQ). Teams will also lose points if an athlete is slower than a certain benchmark time in any event:
- No-show (DNS): -4 points or -8 per relay
- Did not finish (DNF): -2 points or -4 per relay
- Skins races:
- A DNS in round 1 is -4. In round 2 it moves up to -8, and in the final to -12.
- A DNF in round 1 is -2. In round 2 it moves up to -4, and in the final to -6.
- Slower than benchmark time: -1 point for individuals or -2 points for relays from what the swimmer or relay would have scored. (An 8th-place individual going slower than one of these times would score zero points. A 7th-place individual going slower than one of these times would score one).
- benchmark times below (in short course meters):
At the end of each meet, teams earn points toward the overall standings. These points are entirely separate from the meet points described above.
- 1st place team: 4
- 2nd place team: 3
- 3rd place team: 2
- 4th place team: 1
The top 2 US and top 2 European clubs at the end of the season will advance to the championship meet.
Athletes will also earn prize money based on a third set of point values. Relays count as double points, but each athlete gets 25% of the total points. Since that’s a lot of math, we’ve calculated it in a simpler way below. Skins races count triple:
|Individual Event||Relay Event||Skins Race|
Each “prize money point” correlates to a dollar amount: $300 per point in the regular season and $1000 per point in the final.
In addition, athletes earn:
- $1000 per swimmer per match attended for swimmers whose club makes the final and who participate in the final (i.e. swimmers on clubs that don’t make the final don’t make this; if a club makes the final but a swimmer skips the final, they also don’t make this).
- $10,000 per swimmer for the winning team in the final
- $5,000 per swimmer for the 2nd-place team in the final
- $3,000 per swimmer for the 3rd-place team in the final
- $1,000 per swimmer for the 4th-place team in the final
The big prizes are heavily weighted to the winning teams, and athletes will have to get their team to the final to earn the biggest bonuses.
Other Odds & Ends
Each meet will have its own MVP, and so will the whole series:
- Meet MVP: the man or woman with the most team score points (not prize money points) in that meet.
- Season MVP: the man or woman with the most team score points (not prize money points) for the entire season.
- The ISL suggests travel rosters of 24 (12 men and 12 women), plus two men and two women as “substitites.” The total roster a club can have is 32. It’s unclear whether teams are actually restricted to the limit of 24, as it’s listed as a suggestion.
Each club gets one captain and one vice-captain, and they have to be of different genders.