New PSS Event Order Announced; Stroke 50s To Be Consecutive Heats

With event details started to appear on USA Swimming’s website, the specifics of this year’s changes to the Pro Swim Series are starting to come into focus. Perhaps most notable: the stroke 50 shootouts will run in three straight rounds without events in between beyond other rounds of 50s.

That’s per the meet information for the Austin and Mesa Pro Swim Series stops. Only the odd stops will feature the 50 shootouts, and meet information for the fifth stop (Santa Clara) is not yet posted.

Here’s what the meet order will look like for the 2018 Pro Swim Series at both the even and odd stops:

Odd Stops

  • Austin – January 11-14
  • Atlanta – March 1-4
  • Mesa – April 12-15
  • Indianapolis – May 17-20
  • Santa Clara – June 7-10*
  • Columbus – July 6-8*

*No official meet information yet

The odd stops will include three new event features. Day 1 ends with the 4×100 mixed medley relay, swum by U.S. National Teamers in teams drafted by Olympic alums last year. Day 2 will be a traditional meet format, ending with the 200 IM. The top 8 from that race will swim the ‘mystery’ 200 IM the following day, an event where the stroke order is determined on the day of the race. Day 3 will also feature the stroke 50 shootouts, which will be three rounds each done consecutively between the men’s and women’s 400 frees.

Event Order

All events feature women and men back-to-back except where otherwise noted. New events are bolded.

Day 1:

  • 400 IM
  • 100 fly
  • 200 back
  • 200 breast
  • 200 free
  • Mixed Medley Relay

Day 2:

  • 800 free
  • 100 back
  • 200 fly
  • 100 breast
  • 100 free
  • 200 IM

Day 3:

  • Men’s 400 free
  • 50 free Round of 8
  • 50 back Round of 8
  • 50 free Round of 4
  • 50 back Round of 4
  • 50 free Round of 2
  • 50 back Round of 2
  • Women’s 400 free
  • 50 breast Round of 8
  • 50 fly Round of 8
  • 50 breast Round of 4
  • 50 fly Round of 4
  • 50 breast Round of 2
  • 50 fly Round of 2
  • Mystery 200 IM

Day 4:

  • 1500 free

The new order does pretty well quell questions about whether athletes will be willing to play along with 50 shootouts and a mystery IM while already swimming busy event schedules. Day 3 is now almost entirely new events, and it feels relatively unlikely that any 400 freestylers will be major potential players in the 50 stroke shootouts. Day 4 is reduced to just the longest distance event, which should make the rest of the meet a bit more inviting for spectators.

There will be no prelims for the mystery 200 IM, and the stroke 50s will have prelims in the morning to determine the top 8 and their seeds for the bracket-style finals shootout.

Even Stops

  • Austin – January 11-14
  • Atlanta – March 1-4
  • Mesa – April 12-15
  • Indianapolis – May 17-20
  • Santa Clara – June 7-10*
  • Columbus – July 6-8*

*No official meet information yet

Day 1:

  • 100 fly
  • 200 breast
  • 100 free
  • 800 free

Day 2:

  • 400 IM
  • 50 free
  • 200 back
  • 200 free

Day 3:

  • 200 fly
  • 100 breast
  • 100 back
  • 200 IM
  • 400 free

Day 4:

  • 1500 free

The even stops are a more traditional meet lineup, again with the miles pushed to the final day.

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dmswim

Putting the 1500 on the last day by itself seems odd. Is anyone going to stay for it? If you are travelling as a team and you have one or two swimmers interested in the 1500, probably not. Having it by itself on the first day makes more sense because teams could combine it with a travel day if the heats begin in the afternoon or a pre-meet rest day for the rest of the team.

Coach John

does not seem odd to me. most of the time at higher level meets and trials it’s towards the end. usualy at invitationals and mid-level meets it is towards the end or middle or it’s bookended (800 at start and 1500 at end or vice versa)

dmswim

At trials, the 50 free is usually the same day. At invites, there are usually other events as well on the last day. Also, at trials, people will stay to swim it because it Olympic Trials. At a Pro Swim Series meet, will teams pay another night at a hotel for a handful of swimmers to swim the 1500? I doubt it.

CHEEZ

Teams will have to get a hotel anyway if they are staying for day #3 finals. The mile is in the morning only of the last day. Flights can be scheduled in the afternoon. I’m not a fan of the mile being solo on the last day (makes it seem unimportant or an after-thought), but it definitely needs to be on the last day!

I hate to see the mile kind of orphaned at the end of the meet too…but not as much as I hate the traditional Sunday finals session where there are dozens of scratches. I’m not sure if there’s a perfect, but this is the best one that I can think of short of penalizing swimmers who scratch finals.

dmswim

But will swimmers stick around for the last night of finals anyway if they aren’t in the 1500 the next day?

I think people will stick around to fly out Sunday. I think the problem most people had was flying out Monday. For whatever reasons they have, people (both in swimming, and in general) seem more willing to miss work on Thursday or Friday than Monday or Tuesday.

Swimfan

Very good point! I like your idea of putting it on the first day, makes a lot of sense. Hope they do that.

CHEEZ

Mile on day #1 is an awful idea. If you swim the race correctly, it takes 24 hours to recover. It’s always best to have the mile on the last day of any meet.

dmswim

Plenty of college kids do miles in dual meets and recover. Also, the 800 and 400 (events those swimming the 1500 are most likely to also be entered in) would be 2 and 3 days respectively after the 1500. I don’t necessarily mind the 1500 on the last day, but I don’t like it being alone. No one is going to stay for it.

Coach Mike 1952

They usually do 1000’s & 500″s in dual meets, not 1650’s. PSS is meters.

Snarky

When the mile is on the first day a lot of top swimmers pass on it because it drains the athlete in shorter races. E.g. olympic Trials.

Tammy Touchpad Error

Dont like it. Really not creative at all. We want to see fast swimming not dead tired swimming. Even mid d or multi strokers will have to swim everything back to back within 2 days. LAME Seriously why is USA Swim so uncreative? Its almost unbelievable Intersperse the 50 stroke shootouts either back to back or scattered through lineup throughout a normal 3 day schedule. Rest for olympic eventers and sprinters alike. Someone like MA who is a focus 50 guy will get wrecked with current schedule. So dumb. Keep mile on last day. Does somebody want to hire someone like me to write a fair schedule or are we simply against real progress at USAS? How would this format… Read more »

Snarky

It’s a shoot out. It encourages fitness along with speed. Get in the pool and start training if you can’t handle three races in a row!

Tammy Touchpad Error

Don’t get me wrong, I get what it is about. And I’m a 400 IM/ 200 stroke guy so this isn’t about me. Its about progress, understanding sprinters, and (ideally not) trying to make them be something they aren’t. These are people that regularly have “pace” sets on multiple minutes (up to 10) interval and still don’t hit pace! This won’t serve any pure sprinter that has medal capabilities at Worlds or WR potential.

Shootouts aren’t gonna favor sprinters. Sure maybe the first heat unless they’re conserving. It’s always gonna be the 100 swimmer winning the last 2 heats. This definitely hasn’t been designed with true sprinters in mind.

IM FAN

I don’t like these changes. Having relays on the pro series dosen’t make much sense, the 50 shootouts are stupid, the 1500 is by it’s self on the last day, and someone please tell me what a mystery 200IM is?

samuel huntington

If you had read the article – ‘mystery’ 200 IM – an event where the stroke order is determined on the day of the race.

eagleswim

Mystery IM will be an IM where the order of strokes is determined randomly before the start of the race. I don’t know if it will be directly before the start of the race or before the start of the session or before the start of the meet, but I’m excited for it.

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson just can’t stay away from the pool. A competitive career of almost two decades wasn’t enough for this Minnesotan, who continues to get his daily chlorine fix. A lifelong lover of writing, Jared now combines the two passions as Senior Reporter for SwimSwam.com, covering swimming at every level. He’s an …

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