In This Time Of Change, Can Swimming Find A Pool & Season For Professional Swimmers?

Building blocks - by Patrick B. Kraemer

Editorial. After considering the woeful state of the world cup, casting a glance at one of the biggest battlegrounds ahead – access to decision making – the following article invites you to think about what’s not worked, why and what might be done about it before we look at what a professional swimming world might one day come to look like. With seasons in mind, with consistency of offer never far from thought, what, if not the world cup, could swimming offer to swimmers and swimmers offer to swimming to translate their skills and thrills to a wider world while making a living from all their hard work and talent?

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The issue of what the calendar should look like and how to get the crowds to turn up and the media to take interest is a complex one. For a start, if the WSA gets up and running I would like to see a World Championships held every four years. Many would say this would be going backwards but as it stands far too many top swimmers feel they can afford to skip it, particularly in the year after an Olympic year. Having the WC’s once every four years would give it more of a now or never quality which makes the Olympics so compelling. I would also like to see the two swimmers per nation rule ditched. Many more nations today have real depth in swimming than was the case a few decades ago so there’s little danger of the sport failing to appeal for lack of national diversity.

Craig Lord

longstroke: your good points are a part of my suggestion. They won’t like it but it is essential. That more is less, and in swimming dilution has been damaging, is something FINA (among others) will not want to hear.


I don’t mind the two per country rule, but would be okay with borrowing from track and having a past champion’s provision where the defending world champion in an event gets a bye into the next WC (assuming they’re in good standing with their home federation and WADA) and their entry does not count against team size cap or event quota.

For all that the IAAF has made FIFA look like a model of good governance in recent years, their policies for what actually happens on track or field really do make for good and exciting events.


World Championships back to quadrennially ? Certainly not against that but this would almost certainly mean back to the even year between Olympic years. Of course, this would then necessitate moving other majors such as Euros onto a different schedule but that’s not really anything insurmountable. Comm Games ?? Probably a dying proposition at this point in time but swimming-wise; will certainly be demoted to being a “blooding” for the fringe candidates/best juniors.

Other adjustments to the calendar ? Southern Hemisphere nations ARE prisoners of their own geographic locations and the reality that their season are the reverse of the majority of major sporting nations. This view may be cold blooded but realistically the likes of AUS probably need to “bite the bullet” and move their major long course competition season to mirror that of the Northern Hemisphere.

Could this end up freeing up the earlier segment of the year as a potentially more viable time-slot for a new intl S-C series ? Maybe ? Of course, this WOULD necessitate a major act of courage from Swimming AUS ….. so I’m not exactly wagering ye olde family homestead on such a decision being taken

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