ISL Announces 11-Match Schedule for Regular Season in Naples, Italy; Begins August 26

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Swimmers going off the blocks during the 2020 ISL season in Budapest -- Photo Courtesy: Mine Kasapoglu/ISL

ISL Announces 11-Match Schedule for Regular Season in Naples, Italy; Begins August 26

The International Swimming League (ISL) has announced its schedule for its regular season set to take place entirely in Naples, Italy, in late August and September. The season will consist of 10 scheduled matches with four of the 10 clubs participating in each match. Each team will compete on four separate occasions over the course of the regular season, and the top six teams will automatically qualify for the playoffs. The remaining four teams will compete in the 11th match, a play-in that will determine the final two teams that move on.

The 10 scheduled matches will take place over five weeks, with one Thursday-Friday match and one Saturday-Sunday match each week. The first, featuring Energy Standard, the Toronto Titans, the DC Trident and the Italian-based Aqua Centurions, will take place August 26-27, and the Cali Condors, LA Current, Tokyo Frog Kings and New York Breakers will compete in the second match August 28-29. The Adam Peaty-led London Roar and Team Iron will get into the mix with the third match, September 2-3.

This stretch of meets will begin less than a month after the Tokyo Olympics, leaving a fairly quick turnaround for many of the top athletes. The swimmers in Naples will compete and live in a “bubble” because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The ISL has yet to announce where the remaining elements of the 2021 season will take place, only that the playoffs will be held over three weeks in November and the final in early January 2022.

Energy Standard won the championship during the inaugural ISL season in 2019 at the final in Las Vegas, and they will once again have Sarah Sjostrom and Chad le Clos on their team in 2021. The 2020 season was conducted in October and November entirely in Budapest in a bubble-like format similar to what will be utilized in Naples. The Cali Condors were the champions in 2020, led by huge performances at the final from Caeleb Dressel and Lilly King. But one key storyline over the Naples stretch of meets will be the Aqua Centurions’ Federica Pellegrini competing in her home country as a swansong before retiring after a lengthy, decorated career.

Read the full press release from the league below:

Inaugural International Swimming League Champions Energy Standard, packed with superstars including Season 1 MVP Sarah Sjostrom, Chad le Clos and Florent Manaudou, will compete against Federica Pellegrini’s Aqua Centurions, DC Trident and Toronto Titans in the opening match of the ISL Regular Season in Naples, Italy, in August.

The ISL is pleased to announce the Regular Season match ups that start on 26-27 August, with the second match on 28-29 August featuring defending champions Cali Condors, led by Season 2 MVP Caeleb Dressel and Lilly King, Beryl Gastaldello’s LA Current, Tokyo Frog Kings and New York Breakers.

London Roar, with star swimmer Adam Peaty, and Team Iron, led by Katinka Hosszu, enter the fray in the third match on 2-3 September against Energy Standard and New York Breakers.

All matches will be broadcast live on ISL.Global, with exact timings of the match ups confirmed at a later stage.

DATE DAYS TEAM 1 TEAM 2 TEAM 3 TEAM 4
Match 1 26-27 Aug Thu-Fri ENS TOR DCT AQC
Match 2 28-29 Aug Sat-Sun CAC LAC TOK NYB
Match 3 2-3 Sep Thu-Fri ENS LON IRO NYB
Match 4 4-5 Sep Sat-Sun CAC LAC DCT AQC
Match 5 9-10 Sep Thu-Fri LAC IRO TOR DCT
Match 6 11-12 Sep Sat-Sun CAC LON TOK AQC
Match 7 16-17 Sep Thu-Fri CAC IRO TOR NYB
Match 8 18-19 Sep Sat-Sun ENS LON LAC TOK
Match 9 23-24 Sep Thu-Fri ENS LON TOR DCT
Match 10 25-26 Sep Sat-Sun IRO TOK NYB AQC
Match 11 29-30 Sep Wed-Thu TBD TBD TBD TBD

Energy Standard General Manager James Gibson said, ‘’Match 1 of the ISL 2021 is going to be very different to what we have seen in the previous seasons. The draft has fundamentally changed the dynamic of each team; Aqua Centurions and DC Trident will offer much stronger opposition than in previous years – especially Aqua. We also have to really understand the new rules in the 400-meter events and the skin selections as last year we were caught a little off-guard with the impact of the jackpot times. Both myself and our head coach Tom Rushton are very happy with our returning athletes and the new athletes joining us from the draft. Season 3 of ISL, I can sum up in one word: ‘unpredictable.’’’

The Regular Season – the first of three phases in Season 3 – will see the 10 ISL Clubs competing from 26 August to 30 September at the stunning Piscina Felice Scandone in Naples.

The Regular Season format will see each of the 10 clubs compete 4 times, during the first 10 matches. After the first 10 of the 11 Regular Season matches, the top 6 teams go straight to Playoffs. There will be an 11th match between the 7th to 10th ranked teams after the first 10 Regular Season matches, out of which the top 2 teams will qualify for the Playoffs.

The Play-off phase will take place over three weeks in November, bringing together the top eight ISL Clubs to compete for a spot in the ISL Final. The ISL Grand Final is set to take place early January 2022, when the ISL Champions will be crowned.

ISL is finalizing its global host city selection process for the second and third phases of Season 3, with announcements set to be made in the coming weeks following talks with iconic destinations in Asia, Europe and North America.

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