SwimSwam Pulse: 47% Like ISL’s Experimental 800 Free Format

SwimSwam Pulse is a recurring feature tracking and analyzing the results of our periodic A3 Performance Polls. You can cast your vote in our newest poll on the SwimSwam homepage, about halfway down the page on the right side, or you can find the poll embedded at the bottom of this post.

Our most recent poll asked SwimSwam readers to weigh in on the ISL’s experimental new 800 free format:

RESULTS

Question: Should the ISL add an 800 free with points given at the 100, 200, and 800 marks?

  • Yes, it’s a great addition – 47.6%
  • No, too complicated – 31.7%
  • No, not viewer-friendly enough – 13.5%
  • Don’t know – 7.2%

Almost half of voters considered the experimental 800 free a “great addition” to the ISL’s event lineup. When we created the poll, the format was still in the works – it wound up featuring points awarded at the 100-, 400-, and 800-marks, not the 100-, 200-, and 800-marks as listed in our poll question.

You can read about the ISL’s 800 free test event here. It featured two swimmers, Mykhailo Romanchuk and Henrik Christiansengoing under the European record. And two other swimmers, Felix Auboeck and Zane Grothegoing after the front half of the race to pile up early checkpoint scores.

31.7% of readers were concerned about the complicated nature of scoring. That’s still a hurdle, as the test event itself featured some complex scoring wrinkles. Swimmers who get jackpotted at the finish give up the points they won at the earlier checkpoints – that’s a bit of a competitive necessity to keep teams from entering a sprinter in one lane to grab early checkpoints with big jackpots, but it also creates a pretty complicated scoring system for many fans to follow.

On the other hand, only 13.5% said the race wouldn’t be friendly enough to spectators. That’s one of the major hurdles for the ISL, which has packed its event lineups into tight two-hour sessions that work well for TV broadcasts. Adding an 800 for men and women would add at least 20 minutes to each meet, and that clashes with the ISL’s clear priority of drawing in spectators and conforming to television broadcast needs.

 

Below, vote in our new A3 Performance Pollwhich asks voters to pick the best of the 7 world record swims in the ISL’s 2020 season:

What was the best swim of the ISL 2020 Season?

View Results

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ABOUT A3 PERFORMANCE

A3 Performance is an independently-owned, performance swimwear company built on a passion for swimming, athletes, and athletic performance. We encourage swimmers to swim better and faster at all ages and levels, from beginners to Olympians.  Driven by a genuine leader and devoted staff that are passionate about swimming and service, A3 Performance strives to inspire and enrich the sport of swimming with innovative and impactful products that motivate swimmers to be their very best – an A3 Performer.

The A3 Performance Poll is courtesy of A3 Performance, a SwimSwam partner

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Khachaturian
1 month ago

I think it should be an elimination 800.

Fraser Thorpe
Reply to  Khachaturian
1 month ago

Agreed that’s exciting, they’re really fun when in the track, but how’re they don’t in the pool?

USAUSAUSA
Reply to  Fraser Thorpe
1 month ago

I like cutting 8th at the 200, 7th at the 300, 6th at the 400, 5th at the 500, 4th at the 600 and 3rd at the 700. Maybe not cut the 3rd person or cut 2 at a time at 200, 400, or 600. If my little caveman brain can come up with that I’m pretty sure ISL can come up with something (but not paychecks apparently. Couldn’t help it sorry).

Coach Mike 1952
1 month ago

Any video? Chances are that few of us even saw it.

Olympian
1 month ago

We should be adding 4×50 relays

Khachaturian
Reply to  Olympian
1 month ago

I like the idea but with the program they have right now it perfectly fits into 2 hours. Or maybe they could have certain meets have different events? Like one more focused on 50’s and one with the longer events like the 1500, 800 and heck maybe 4 x 200 medley and freestyle relays.

Olympian
Reply to  Khachaturian
1 month ago

Too many 4×100 relays, let’s stick to the mixed one and add a 4×50.
And it’s only my opinion, no need to hate me for that… but 400 is already painfully long to watch, unless they’re making it an elimination 400 or something it’s just boring!!

And bring back the super suits!! Let’s make it REEEALLY different, don’t get me wrong, I loved every minute of it and support the ISL but it’s still just looking like a fancy World Cup.

Last edited 1 month ago by Olympian
swimfin5
Reply to  Olympian
1 month ago

No to the suits! Fancy World Cup? I don’t think you have ever seen a swimming World Cup if you say that

Olympian
Reply to  swimfin5
1 month ago

I’ve swam a handful of those myself

swimfin5
Reply to  Olympian
1 month ago

But then you for sure didn’t swim in the ISL

Olympian
Reply to  swimfin5
1 month ago

👀… Not sure how you can be so sure LOL

Last edited 1 month ago by Olympian
Dan
Reply to  Olympian
1 month ago

I think it might have a big difference when and where you swam the world cup.

USAUSAUSA
Reply to  Khachaturian
1 month ago

Give me a meet with 25s! Or 4×25 relay! I’m dead serious that would be so much fun. Like a preseason meet or something.

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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