WSCA Opposes FINA Champions Swim Series Schedule

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Approximately 18 months ago, the World Swimming Coaches Association (WSCA) surveyed our board and membership to answer the question, What is your preferred timeframe for a professional swimming season? The answers were both overwhelming and clear on two points. First, the recommended timeframe was November through March. Second, no more than one meet per month.

The reasoning was as deep as the unanimity of the responses. Athletes from all over the world have experience with professional competition in the November through March timeframe. After March, however, the world’s coaches felt quite differently.

April begins the time for serious, focused preparation for the primary, long course competition of the year. Long travel and high-intensity meets distract from and disrupt the preparation needed for high-level international performance.

Further, travelling to more than one meet a month, on different sides of the world, is inviting Performance Enhancing Drugs (PEDs) in to our sport. Shorter races, more frequent competitions, less training and long travel are all factors that increase PED usage. All of these are being added to our sport with the FINA Champions Swim Series.

The WSCA has communicated to the WSA, the ISL and to FINA the findings of the coaches’ survey. This was done both via email and face-to-face. We are again asking FINA, their member federations, the ISL and any future professional swimming organizations to protect the integrity of our sport by preserving significant training blocks and confining professional leagues to the November through March timeframe.

We applaud FINA’s intent to invest more in professional swimming, however, rather than disrupt preparations for the World Championships, invest in the World Championships. Invest in appearance fees for the top 24 in each event. Create the first level bonus for the semi-finalists in every event and the second level of bonuses for the finalists. Finally, add to the “medal money” in every event. This would distribute funding to many times more swimmers, while maintain focus on the – your – primary event of the season.

— The above press release was posted by Swimming World in conjunction with the WSCA. For press releases and advertising inquiries please contact Advertising@SwimmingWorld.com.