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.
Our most recent poll asked SwimSwam readers what unique event would you like to see added to dual meets to make them more exciting:
Question: What would be the most exciting event to add to a dual meet to spice things up?
- Skins – like in ISL – 64.6%
- “Super Finals” – like at UVA/Texas – 26.3%
- “Golden Race” – like at World Cup (stroke 100 winners) – 9.1%
We’ve seen a number of unique events added to college dual meets over the years, with the University of Virginia introducing “super finals” for their dual with Texas in late October.
The super final made for a head-to-head matchup between each of the swimmer’s top teams in a given event, with the winner earning all of the points up for grabs.
Although different, they had a similar feel to the jackpots used by the International Swimming League (ISL) during its time, where the winner’s margin of victory could result in them stealing points from other swimmers.
The ISL also had an exciting end-of-match skins showdown that always made things interesting—they have been used in a variety of meets across the globe—where swimmers are eliminated in a series of heats, usually 50s.
Another unique event that was featured recently was the “Golden Race” at the World Cup stop in Budapest, where the winners of each stroke 100 raced head-to-head in a staggered start format designed to have all of them finish at the same time (based on their winning times from earlier in the meet).
When polled on what would be the “most exciting” addition to a dual meet, SwimSwam readers clearly favor skins, which picked up nearly two-thirds of the vote at 64.4 percent.
Of course, swimmers are generally swimming without rest during dual meets as it is, so fatigue could play a prominent role in skins perhaps more so than we saw in the ISL, but still, who wouldn’t want to see Jordan Crooks and Josh Liendo face off head-to-head after having already raced three 50s in five or six minutes?
The super final earned more than a quarter of the votes, which also brings in that head-to-head aspect while adding an all-or-nothing points aspect that surely adds intensity in a close meet.
The Golden Race only picked up nine percent of votes—it could be the most exciting from a variety of perspectives, including seeing swimmers who don’t usually race go to battle, but it also could be difficult (or pointless) to pull off if the stroke 100 winners are primarily from the same team.
Below, vote in our new A3 Performance Poll, which asks: Is Katie Ledecky the female GOAT?
The A3 Performance Poll is courtesy of A3 Performance, a SwimSwam partner.