This season for the first time the locations of Pro Swim Series stops was determined by a bidding process. This weekend’s Knoxville Pro Swim Series stop was the first of the meets selected to host by this bidding process.
The meet went smoothly. Plenty of pro swimmers put up fast times, but overall participation was down. Knoxville saw an average of 28.3 prelims swimmers per event. Last year’s PSS, held at more traditional sites, saw an average of 65.2 swimmers per prelims event, more than double this year’s average. The smallest meet last year was Mesa with 43.2 per event.
The Austin meet last year was at a similar time on the schedule and had 53.2 swimmers per prelim event.
Knoxville had D finals which meant that 32 swimmers in each event qualified for a night swim. With an average of only 28.3 swimmers in prelims in each event, many events gave every single swimmer entered a second swim.
It’s impossible to say if this reduced entries trend will continue at the future stops on the new look Pro Swim Series. Maybe reduced prelims session times were one of USA Swimming’s goals with this change – the faster qualifying standards would support this theory. If so, mission accomplished. However, more entries means more parents in the stands buying tickets/concessions and more awareness of the PSS from participating clubs and swimmers.
The next PSS stop is in Des Moines, Iowa. The Des Moines meet falls at the same time in the calendar as the Atlanta meet from last year. That meet had 52.3 swimmers per event, a similar number to Austin. It will be interesting to see if the reduced entries trend continues.
Knoxville vs 2018 Pro Swim Series
|Total Swims||Finals||Prelims||Individual Events||Prelims Swims Per Event|