USA Swimming has reinstated prize money for the remainder of the 2022 Pro Swim Series. The announcement came along with a revised national meet schedule driven by the dramatic changes in the international calendar over the last month.
Event winners will receive $1,500, second-place finishers will receive $1,000, and third-place finishers will receive $500.
With 28 events at each Pro Swim Series meet, that will result in $84,000 in prize money awarded at each of the remaining Pro Swim Series meets.
- March 2-5: TYR Pro Swim Series Westmont (Westmont, Ill.)
- March 30-April 2: TYR Pro Swim Series San Antonio (San Antonio, Texas)
- June 1-4: TYR Pro Swim Series Mission Viejo (Mission Viejo, Calif.)
In the 2020 Pro Swim Series, USA Swimming awarded these same prize outputs, but also planned to award a $10,000 series prize to the top male and female with the best performance from the whole series.
A truncated 2021 series did not have any prize money, and the originally-announced 2022 series did not come with any prize money either.
USA Swimming says that the decision to restart prize money came after the postponement of the 2022 World Championships in Fukuoka to 2023, but before the newly-announced 2022 championship in Budapest.
“In the wake of the World Champs originally being postponed, and these athletes missing out on a funding opportunity, the National Team worked with our finance team to reconfigure budgets to find funding for our athletes,” a spokesperson said. “After all of the changes, we chose to move forward with the funding to help our athletes during this shortened quad.”
The announcement of new prize money for the meets comes after the International Swimming League announced exclusivity clauses to contracts that will pay salaries, in addition to prize money, for season 4. Per the terms of those “Pro” contracts, athletes won’t be able to swim in events like the Pro Swim Series once the ISL season begins, except with special permission of the league.
The salary for “Pro” contracts, which include exclusivity during the season, is $10,000. “Semi-pro” contracts, which don’t include exclusivity clauses, receive no salary, but are still eligible for prize money.
The ISL season begins on June 3, which overlaps with the Mission Viejo meet, which could cause conflict for American athletes. Only 4 of the league’s 10 teams (Cali Condors, Aqua Centurions, London Roar, and New York Breakers) compete in that opening weekend, and of those teams, only the Cali Condors have more than a few American swimmers. With the first 5 matches of the ISL season planned to be hosted in North America, this means that most athletes could race at the Pro Swim Series stop before beginning competition for their ISL teams, though the “Pro Contract” clauses could limit that.
Because the Westmont and San Antonio meets are outside of the ISL season, they would not provide a conflict with the no-competition clause in the ISL’s “Pro Contract.”
The first two meets in the Pro Swim Series schedule were canceled. January’s stop in Knoxville was canceled because of rising cases of COVID-19 nationally, while an early March meet was canceled citing “ensuring that (the domestic calendar) provides the best competitive opportunities at the most impactful time.”
The Des Moines meet has now been replaced by a meet at the FMC Aquatic Center in suburban Chicago the same weekend. The final two meets of the series, in San Antonio and Mission Viejo, will have outdoor 50 meter racing options.