World Cup Begins Friday: Schedule, Prize Money, Event Lineup & More

The 2019 FINA World Cup begins this week, with the first of seven stops coming in Tokyo, Japan – the host city of next summer’s Olympic Games.

We’ll break down the important details of this year’s series: the schedule and host cities of the tour, the event lineup and the all-important prize money breakdown. All information is from FINA’s full World Cup rules & summons, which you can view here.

Prize Money System

The World Cup gives prize money for individual performances at meets, plus series points. Bonuses are then awarded for how well an athlete finishes in points within a cluster, and finally on the tour as a whole:

Individual events:

  • 1st: $1500 & 12 points
  • 2nd: $1000 & 9 points
  • 3rd: $500 & 6 points
  • 4th: $400
  • 5th: $300
  • 6th: $200

Ties: when athletes tie, they both receive the point totals of the place they tied for – i.e. a tie for gold earns both athletes 12 points. Prize money, on the other hand, is added up and split. So a tie for the win would add up the prize money for first and second ($1500+$1000=$2500) and divide it by two, earning each athlete $1250.

Each athlete is only able to earn points for their three best finishes per meet. They can earn prize money for an unlimited number of swims per meet.


  • 1st: $3000
  • 2nd: $2000
  • 3rd: $1000

Relay prize money goes to the national federations, who distribute it to swimmers. For our purposes in tracking money earned, we assume each of the four swimmers will get a fourth of the total prize money for that relay.

World Records:

  • Breaking a WR: $10,000 & 20 points
  • Tying a WR: 10 points (no prize money)

If two swimmers break the world record, only the fastest swimmer earns the bonus.

Meet Performance Points:

The top 3 men’s and women’s swims in FINA points from each individual meet will earn bonuses:

  • Top FINA points: 24 points
  • 2nd FINA points: 18 points
  • 3rd FINA points: 12 points

Ties: if two athletes tie for a top-3 FINA point swim, the tiebreaker is their second-best event of that meet in FINA points.

Each athlete can only earn one bonus. So if one swimmer has the two best swims in FINA points, they can only earn the top bonus, not both the top and second bonuses.

Cluster Bonuses:

The top swimmers in points for each cluster will earn bonuses – the top 8 men and top 8 women. But each swimmer must compete in all the meets in that cluster to be eligible for the bonuses:

  • 1st: $50,000
  • 2nd: $35,000
  • 3rd: $30,000
  • 4th: $20,000
  • 5th: $10,000
  • 6th: $5,000
  • 7th: $4,000
  • 8th: $3,000

Ties: if two swimmers tie in cluster points, the first tiebreaker is whether either swimmer has broken a world record. If neither have, then the swimmer with the best FINA points swim of the cluster wins the tiebreak.

Full Series Bonuses:

The top swimmers in overall series points earn the biggest bonuses – to the top 3 men and top 3 women:

  • 1st: $150,000
  • 2nd: $100,000
  • 3rd: $50,000

Ties: if two swimmers tie in series points, the first tiebreak is world records set. The second tiebreak goes to the swimmer with the highest point total in any of the three clusters. The third tiebreak goes to the top swim in FINA points over the whole series.

Tour Schedule

  • Cluster 1:
    • Tokyo (JPN) – August 2-4
    • Jinan (CHN) – August 8-10
    • Singapore (SGP) – August 15-17
  • Cluster 2:
    • Budapest (HUN) – October 4-6
    • Berlin (GER) – October 11-13
  • Cluster 3:
    • Kazan (RUS) – November 1-3
    • Doha (QAT) – November 7-9

Event Lineup for Each Stop

Day 1 (10 events)

  • W 400 free
  • M 400 free
  • W 50 back
  • M 200 back
  • W 200 fly
  • M 100 fly
  • W 200 breast
  • M 100 breast
  • W 50 free
  • M 50 free

Day 2 (12 events)

  • W 400 IM
  • M 1500 free
  • M 50 back
  • W 200 free
  • M 200 IM
  • W 100 back
  • M 50 breast
  • W 50 fly
  • M 100 free
  • W 100 breast
  • M 200 fly
  • Mixed 4×100 free relay

Day 3 (12 events)

  • M 400 IM
  • W 800 free
  • W 100 fly
  • M 50 fly
  • W 200 back
  • M 100 back
  • W 50 breast
  • M 200 breast
  • W 100 free
  • M 200 free
  • W 200 IM
  • Mixed 4×100 medley relay

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Indeed – this summer we are “full of swimming”! Thank you SwimSwam team for your relentless coverage!

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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