WSA Will Announce ‘Ring of Fire’ Tour Details in March

After announcing preliminary plans for the “Ring of Fire” tour in November 2017, World Swimming Association organizers will announce specific venues and dates in March.

The Association was first conceived of in 2016 as an alternative governing body for international swimming as a response to widespread criticism of FINA, and part of its plan is to offer a WSA Pro Swim Tour as an alternative to FINA‘s World Cup Tour. Thus, the Ring of Fire tour was born.

We already know the tour will be based in Asia, but an announcement of the exact format was promised in the first quarter of 2018.

The announcement will inevitably stir up a participation issue with any athlete who competes for a FINA member federation, as FINA currently prevents member athletes from competing in events hosted my non-member bodies (see General Rule 4 in the FINA Constitution). Interestingly, professional ice skating faced a similar dilemma last year. In response, the European Commission ruled against the International Skating Union, citing EU anti-trust laws, therefore allowing professional ice skaters to compete in independent competitions so long as those events “pose no risk to legitimate sports objectives.”



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I don’t know if WSA bureaucrats will be better than the FINA’s ones but this business is desperately crying for fair competition. FINA as the association of national swimming organizations has a lot of duties of promoting, developing and standardization of aquatic sport. But money and professional earnings shouldn’t be under its complete control.


I hope it succeeds. FINA is just a club with self-serving officials rather than a body that gives a voice to the people who matter most – the swimmers and and coaches. I also despair about whether there is enough competence at the senior levels of FINA to take the sport forward. A bit of competition would be a good thing. A total overhaul, even better.

About Torrey Hart

Torrey Hart

Torrey is from Oakland, CA, and majors in media studies and American studies at Claremont McKenna College, where she swims distance freestyle for the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps team. Outside of SwimSwam, she has bylines at Yahoo Sports, SB Nation, and The Student Life newspaper.

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