SwimSwam Pulse: 56% Think King Shouldn’t Have Been DQed In ISL Final

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 if they agreed with the decision to disqualify Lilly King and the Cali Condors in the women’s 400 medley relay during the ISL Final:


Question: Should Lilly King (and therefore the Cali Condors) have been disqualified in the women’s 400 medley relay at the ISL Final?

  • No – 56.3%
  • Yes – 22.7%
  • Not sure – 20.9%

The disqualification that ultimately decided the ISL Final was a hotly debated topic following the conclusion of the match two weeks ago.

The Cali Condors were leading the ISL Final, and had initially won the women’s 400 medley relay to open a fairly significant advantage on Energy Standard as the first day of competition was coming to a close.

Then came the DQ, which was on breaststroker Lilly King for a non-simultaneous touch. This resulted in a 50-point swing between the two clubs, and Energy Standard went on to win the championship by just 12 points.

More than half of voters, 56.3 percent, believe that it was a bad call, and that King’s turn shouldn’t have gotten the Condors DQed.

The ISL released the underwater footage of the turn, and several swimmers (including members of different clubs and some not in the ISL) flooded the league’s Instagram post saying the turn looked legal.

However, it is important to note that this is the second time that King has been disqualified for this infraction, with it also happening in the prelims of the 200 breast at the 2019 World Championships.

22.7 percent believed it was the right call, while more than 20 percent aren’t sure either way.

If you slow down the video, it does appear to be a non-simultaneous touch, but it’s hard to distinguish that in real-time. It seems that many people’s issue with the call is that it might be illegal when analyzed in slow motion, but is that level of scrutiny looked at for every questionable call? If it was, it’s hard to believe we wouldn’t have seen more DQs over the course of the season.

Below, vote in our new A3 Performance Pollwhich asks: Which 2016 US Olympian that missed the team in Tokyo do you think has the best chance of qualifying for the 2022 World Championships? (This is a female-only poll, and we’ll look at doing one on the men’s side in the future):

Which 2016 US Olympian that missed the team in Tokyo do you think has the best chance of qualifying for the 2022 World Championships?

View Results

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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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9 months ago

The real lesson here is that if we want underwater cameras to help with officiating swimming, there need to be a lot of cameras, the cameras need to be in exactly the right place, and very high quality. Seems like the ISL cameras didn’t provide conclusive evidence of King’s non-simultaneous touch, so even their video setup isn’t sufficient for judging purposes.

But very few events can afford such a setup. Such a video system would surely cost a lot more than relay take-off pads, and a lot of meets don’t even have those.

If only high-end national meets have these camera systems, athletes will be judges to a different standards than at meets that don’t have them, which is antithetical… Read more »

9 months ago

I think she was definitely cheating, in fact as a d1 swimmer myself I aspired to learn how to swim like she did because the ability to add an extra dolphin kick was obviously faster than not. I couldn’t figure it out but I tried to knowing that it was cheating

Wanna Sprite?
Reply to  Lily
9 months ago

Uh she was dqd for a non simultaneous touch🤔

Scotty P
Reply to  Wanna Sprite?
9 months ago

That video was pretty straightforward.

Reply to  Lily
9 months ago

Um you sure you’re a d1 swimmer? Because that video pointed out a non simultaneous touch (which I personally think it wasn’t), not extra dolphin kicks. You good bro??

Mr Piano
9 months ago

Ranked choice voting pls

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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