No Duel in the Pool in 2017; “Could Return in the Future”

Braden Keith
by Braden Keith 6

November 11th, 2017 News

USA Swimming will not hold a Duel in the Pool event in 2017 “due to sponsorship changes,” a USA Swimming spokesperson said, but the event could return in the future.

The former biannual competition, held in short course meters, was sponsored by Mutual of Omaha since its inception in 2003. Mutual of Omaha dropped its sponsorship with USA Swimming earlier in 2017 after 15 years. In the first 3 editions, in 2003, 2005, and 2007, an American all-star team faced off against an Australian all-star team twice in the U.S. and once in Sydney.

In 2009, the series shifted to a USA vs. Europe meet, where the Americans have faced European all-start teams of various national configurations. The first USA vs. Europe meet took place in Manchester England from December 19th-20th, 2009, with intense attention because this was one of the world’s last meets where the now-outlawed polyurethane boats suits were used, resulting in 8 World Records being broken by the Americans. In a twist, those records were never ratified as American Records, because USA Swimming had already outlawed the suits.

Team USA has won all 7 editions of the event, though the most competitive running came in 2013 when the meet finished in a tie, with a mixed 200 medley relay worth 1 point deciding the winner.

While not exactly the same format, in the absence of the Duel in the Pool, USA Swimming has participated in a separate “National Team vs.” series in each of the last two years: the USA College Challenge, which pits the American National Team against an all-start team made up of swimmers from a different NCAA conference.

Duel in the Pool matches
Year Winners Score Runners-up Host city Venue
2003  United States 196–74  Australia United States Indianapolis Indiana University Natatorium
2005  United States 190–102  Australia United States Irvine Woollett Aquatics Center
2007  United States 181.5–129.5  Australia Australia Sydney Sydney International Aquatic Centre
2009  United States 185–78  Europe United Kingdom Manchester Manchester Aquatics Centre
2011  United States 181.5–80.5  Europe United States Atlanta Georgia Tech Aquatic Center
2013  United States 132–131  Europe United Kingdom Glasgow Tollcross International Swimming Centre
2015  United States 155–107  Europe United States Indianapolis Indiana University Natatorium

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Ben M
5 years ago

Sad to see it go. I was a proud member of the OG team in 2003, and that was the first time I got to race in a flag cap. A day that I will never forget!

tea rex
5 years ago

There were lots of crazy unexpected swims at this meet over the years – from Libby Trickett breaking 53 seconds vs Phelps, to Matt Grevers WR at 30 years old. I would bet close to half the SCM American records came out of this meet.

5 years ago

That was the only time busy college students got to swim SCM without going overseas. ?

Phelps swims 200 breast rio
5 years ago

That’s a bummer

5 years ago

Boo Mutual of Omaha boo

Gary P
Reply to  Uberfan
5 years ago

Rather than boo, I’d to thank Mutual of Omaha for 15 years of very generous support. I can’t imagine the value of the exposure they got was anywhere close to the cost of the sponsorship.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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