James Gibson didn’t mince words when he spoke about the impact jackpots were having on the scoring during Match 8 of the International Swimming League (ISL) over the weekend.
Gibson, the head coach of inaugural league champion Energy Standard, voiced his displeasure for the jackpot scoring system during an on-deck interview midway through Day 1 of Match 8 with the ISL’s Mark Foster.
“Every team gets a little bit frustrated when they just miss those touches, you’re seeing the power of the jackpot,” Gibson said. “We get a touch, we’re 20 points up, and then Alia Atkinson just touched out Benny (Benedetta Pilato) by a couple of hundredths and then suddenly they’re 20 points in front.
“To be honest I’m not a huge fan of that scoring system, but that’s what it is.”
You can watch Gibson’s interview via the International Swimming League YouTube channel below:
Coaches from the London Roar and Tokyo Frog Kings echoed a similar sentiment during pre-match interviews with Foster, and it’s been a hot-button issue among fans ever since the system was introduced in Season 2.
The jackpot scoring system awards the winner of an event with the points that would’ve been allotted to any swimmers in the field that aren’t within a margin less than the given “jackpot time” of the first-place finisher.
The London Roar would’ve won the match with 475.5 points without the jackpot system in place, while Energy Standard would’ve taken second with 464.0.
But with the jackpots, Gibson’s club prevailed with 507.0 points to London’s 486.5, keeping Energy Standard perfect (3-0) this season.
Energy Standard’s Ilya Shymanovich led the way in terms of jackpot scoring, gaining an additional 10 points in both the men’s 50 and 100 breaststroke.