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:
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 Christiansen, going under the European record. And two other swimmers, Felix Auboeck and Zane Grothe, going 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 Poll, which asks voters to pick the best of the 7 world record swims in the ISL’s 2020 season:
The A3 Performance Poll is courtesy of A3 Performance, a SwimSwam partner