Knoxville Pro Swim Series Participation Less Than Half of 2018 PSS Average

by Andrew Mering 38

January 14th, 2019 National, News, Pro Swim Series

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
Santa Clara 2646 1084 1562 28 55.8
Indianapolis 3211 786 2425 28 86.6
Mesa 2362 894 1468 34 43.2
Atlanta 2222 757 1465 28 52.3
Austin 2371 563 1808 34 53.2
Columbus 3602 790 2812 28 100.4
Knoxville 1743 781 962 34 28.3

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Samuel Huntington
2 years ago

Not surprised. And I predict similar low numbers in Des Moines.

Reply to  Samuel Huntington
2 years ago

Probably even lower.

Coach ryan
2 years ago

Of course pros were there in force, national teamers are required to attend a certain amount of pro swim series meets. I bet it will be even lower in Iowa.

Chris Abrams
Reply to  Coach ryan
2 years ago

Why? Is it just weather or a lack of interest?

Coach ryan
Reply to  Chris Abrams
2 years ago

I think weather/travel is a factor, not sure how much. The previous March meet was in Atlanta and is a much easier city to travel too, plus it has a lot more swimmers locally that can attend.

2 years ago

Ever been to Knoxville in January?

Reply to  gator
2 years ago

Des Moines in March ? Summer in Fresno…

Reply to  Swimming4silver
2 years ago

Richmond in April is actually lovely!