Swim Poll of the Week: 88% Want FINA To Work With World Coaches On Structured Swim Calendar


This is the Swim Poll of the Week for Wednesday April 15, 2020, sponsored by Strechcordz Swim Training Products. In our last poll, we wanted to know: Do you think the World Swimming Coaches Association and FINA should work together and determine a structured season for the swimming calendar?

Growing demands from many of the world’s top swimmers to drop plans to host the Fukuoka 2021 World Championships either immediately after the new July 23-August 8, 2021 dates for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games or in September-October 2021 are just one side of a pincer-movement of pressure building win the FINA leadership, Swimming World has learned.

The World Swimming Coaches Association (WSCA) has written to colleagues on the in-house FINA Coaches Commission to ask it to back the views of an organisation representing more than 14,000 coaches worldwide.

It is understood that there is now support within FINA for WSCA’s proposal after the organization’s president George Block wrote:

“From the 14,000 WSCA members, even the thought of having a World Championships, post-Olympics, is ludicrous. It looks to most of us like [the sport is being] asked to choose between 2-weeks post-Games and 8-weeks post-Games. To most of us, that seems like a false choice.”

He urges the FINA Coaches Commission to “help FINA to see this [the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic) as an opportunity, rather than a problem” adding:

“We see this as an opportunity to de-clutter the international schedule, create co-branding strategies with FINA, and use this as the opportunity to re-think international swimming, rather than focus on short-term finances.

“This is a chance to bring the many new and traditional meet hosts to the table – under the guidance of the coaches – to rebuild a quadrennial schedule.”

In a three-point plan, the WSCA, with backing from some key figures within FINA, urges the international federation and the ISL to return to the negotiation table and set aside “ignoring coaches” and “overreaching on their schedule”. The coaches urge FINA to:

  • Bring the ISL back to the table … Give them the SC months of October through March and let FINA reclaim the LC season of April through August.
  • Get rid of universality. Instead, replace it by cobranding the regional championships (African, European, Asian, Pan-American, etc.) and allow their champions to be qualifiers for the World Championships that don’t count against national totals. Make it like FIFA, where the regional championships lead to the World Championships.
  • Return to one World Championship per quadrennium. Perhaps the first year of the quad would focus on Juniors, the second on Regional Championships, the third on the World Championships and the fourth on the Olympics. That is just one example, but one that focuses on the natural development of athletes, development of media stories, development of heroes from around the globe, and all of that develops our sport.

In his letter, George Block adds:

“If FINA learns how to co-brand, they could make much more money with one championship, rather than two (ask FIFA).”

So, as for the swim poll: should FINA and the WSCA work together to form a structured calendar for the sport of swimming moving forward?

We asked for the swim poll and you answered with…

Here are the answers:

Yes, add some structure – 88%

No, don’t make too many changes – 12%