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.”