Swimming Professional's International League ("SPIL")

Swimming Professional's International League ("SPIL")

Post by RunnSw » Fri, 11 Apr 1997 04:00:00


A Professional Swimming League

Gary Hall Jr and Sr have recently proposed a
plan for professional swimming, in which teams
would compete against each other.  One
suggestion was for a Team USA to compete in
round robin meets against teams from Asia,
Europe, etc.  Another suggestion was for
corporations to sponsor teams, analogous to
professional cycling (Team Mazda, Team
Speedo, etc.).

An equally important question is the FORMAT
of the competition.  What are the most spectator
friendly events?

I would like to toss out one proposal.  Features
are as follows:

1. General audiences have a short attention
span. The entire competition cannot take more
than 3 hours in a single afternoon or evening.

2. Repetitive events are boring.  There should
not be, for example, 4 different ***stroke
races.

3. An ideal duration of a race is 2 minutes. This
is about the length of a thoroughbred horse race,
which is much more interesting from a spectator
point of view than a quarter horse race lasting
much less than a minute.  200s are more
interesting than 100s.  In 100s, the person that
takes it out first more often than not ends up
being the winner.  The audience cant really
focus on anyone beside the leader.  In 200s,
there are commonly lead changes, late charges,
and ample opportunity to survey the goings on
in all lanes, while the event is not so long to
cause ones attention to drift.

4. The most interesting of all races are the IMs,
because of the variety and often dramatic nature
of the lead changes.  It is the one individual
event where a 400 holds a spectator's attention
for the entire race.

5. 3 meter and platform diving are terrific,
spectator-friendly events.  The competition
should be broken in the middle with either a 3 or
10 meter diving competition.  But more than 30
minutes of diving gets to be repetitive and
boring, so the diving competition should be
limited to 5 dives, in a single 30 minute session.

6.  Short track skate racing is exciting, in part
because of the contact.  A terrific event would
be an open water 800 freestyle swim, where
up to 16 competitors would swim at once, IN
THE POOL.  This would NOT be swum in
lanes, but all of the competitors would start at
one end of the pool, in the water (not a dive
start), treading water.  When the gun went off,
they would swim down to the other end of the
pool and round a set of pylons, come back and
round pylons, and so forth, for a total of 16
lengths (8 laps).

Contact would be part of the race.  Incidental
contact would result in no penalties.  Flagrant
fouls would result in DQ.  Minor fouls
(swimming over someones back), would result
in time penalties ... administered to each
swimmer on the team which commits the
foul...where referees would stop the swimmers
for various times in a penalty box (depending
on the nature of the foul), before letting them
resume the race.

This type of format would turn the most boring
races (the distance races) into the most exciting.  
It would actually look like a race (instead of a
confusing mixture of people going back and
forth, without a clear picture of who was in the
lead).  It would have team strategy..drafting, etc.
It would be a way of bringing open water
distance swimming (where contact and finding
clear water is often an integral part of the race)
indoors.  It would certainly create an
opportunity for distance swimmers.

7.  The only places that matter are gold,
silver, and bronze, so there should be points
only for the first three finishers.

8.  Relays are exciting.  There should be a 400
medley relay and a 400 free relay, which would
give 100 meter stroke and free specialists a
chance to do their thing.

9.  Team scoring ought to be only combined
mens and womens.  This is a great opportunity
to draw in women and men to cheer for the co-
ed team.

So heres my suggested meet format.

1. 4 x 100 Free Relay (W and M)
2. 200 IM
3. 200 Free
4. 200 ***
5. 200 Back
6. Diving
7. 400 IM
8. 50 Freestyle
9. 200 Fly
10. 800 Open Water freestyle
11. 4 x 100 Medley Relay

With one heat for both men and women and
with 30 minutes for diving and time for
introductions, public address system
commentary and the like, I calculate that the
whole thing could be completed in well under 3
hours.

Comments and/or alternative suggestions?

-Larry Weisenthal

 
 
 

Swimming Professional's International League ("SPIL")

Post by David Weis » Sat, 12 Apr 1997 04:00:00

Quote:

> A Professional Swimming League

> Gary Hall Jr and Sr have recently proposed a
> plan for professional swimming, in which teams
> would compete against each other.  One
> suggestion was for a Team USA to compete in
> round robin meets against teams from Asia,
> Europe, etc.  Another suggestion was for
> corporations to sponsor teams, analogous to
> professional cycling (Team Mazda, Team
> Speedo, etc.).

> An equally important question is the FORMAT
> of the competition.  What are the most spectator
> friendly events?

> I would like to toss out one proposal.  Features
> are as follows:

> 1. General audiences have a short attention
> span. The entire competition cannot take more
> than 3 hours in a single afternoon or evening.

> 2. Repetitive events are boring.  There should
> not be, for example, 4 different ***stroke
> races.

> 3. An ideal duration of a race is 2 minutes. This
> is about the length of a thoroughbred horse race,
> which is much more interesting from a spectator
> point of view than a quarter horse race lasting
> much less than a minute.  200s are more
> interesting than 100s.  In 100s, the person that
> takes it out first more often than not ends up
> being the winner.  The audience cant really
> focus on anyone beside the leader.  In 200s,
> there are commonly lead changes, late charges,
> and ample opportunity to survey the goings on
> in all lanes, while the event is not so long to
> cause ones attention to drift.

> 4. The most interesting of all races are the IMs,
> because of the variety and often dramatic nature
> of the lead changes.  It is the one individual
> event where a 400 holds a spectator's attention
> for the entire race.

> 5. 3 meter and platform diving are terrific,
> spectator-friendly events.  The competition
> should be broken in the middle with either a 3 or
> 10 meter diving competition.  But more than 30
> minutes of diving gets to be repetitive and
> boring, so the diving competition should be
> limited to 5 dives, in a single 30 minute session.

> 6.  Short track skate racing is exciting, in part
> because of the contact.  A terrific event would
> be an open water 800 freestyle swim, where
> up to 16 competitors would swim at once, IN
> THE POOL.  This would NOT be swum in
> lanes, but all of the competitors would start at
> one end of the pool, in the water (not a dive
> start), treading water.  When the gun went off,
> they would swim down to the other end of the
> pool and round a set of pylons, come back and
> round pylons, and so forth, for a total of 16
> lengths (8 laps).

> Contact would be part of the race.  Incidental
> contact would result in no penalties.  Flagrant
> fouls would result in DQ.  Minor fouls
> (swimming over someones back), would result
> in time penalties ... administered to each
> swimmer on the team which commits the
> foul...where referees would stop the swimmers
> for various times in a penalty box (depending
> on the nature of the foul), before letting them
> resume the race.

> This type of format would turn the most boring
> races (the distance races) into the most exciting.
> It would actually look like a race (instead of a
> confusing mixture of people going back and
> forth, without a clear picture of who was in the
> lead).  It would have team strategy..drafting, etc.
> It would be a way of bringing open water
> distance swimming (where contact and finding
> clear water is often an integral part of the race)
> indoors.  It would certainly create an
> opportunity for distance swimmers.

> 7.  The only places that matter are gold,
> silver, and bronze, so there should be points
> only for the first three finishers.

> 8.  Relays are exciting.  There should be a 400
> medley relay and a 400 free relay, which would
> give 100 meter stroke and free specialists a
> chance to do their thing.

> 9.  Team scoring ought to be only combined
> mens and womens.  This is a great opportunity
> to draw in women and men to cheer for the co-
> ed team.

> So heres my suggested meet format.

> 1. 4 x 100 Free Relay (W and M)
> 2. 200 IM
> 3. 200 Free
> 4. 200 ***
> 5. 200 Back
> 6. Diving
> 7. 400 IM
> 8. 50 Freestyle
> 9. 200 Fly
> 10. 800 Open Water freestyle
> 11. 4 x 100 Medley Relay

> With one heat for both men and women and
> with 30 minutes for diving and time for
> introductions, public address system
> commentary and the like, I calculate that the
> whole thing could be completed in well under 3
> hours.

> Comments and/or alternative suggestions?

> -Larry Weisenthal

Your proposed format is interesting; let's  hear other's ideas.  One
point about professional swimming. The success of such a venture will
clearly depend on attracting spectators.  This will have to include a
wider segment of the public than the current swimmimng community (which
consists almost exclusively of the swimmers' family and friends and
ex-swimmers.  Having recently returned from the men's NCAA's in
Minneapolis I can tell you that indoor swimming will never attract a
large spectator base until indoor pools are designed with spectator
comfort in mind.  The extremely hot and humid conditions in many of even
the top flight competitive facilities will prevent the public from
supporting such events.  If professional events are limited to outdoor
facilities, the season will have to be short or events will have to be
held only in warm weather locations.

 
 
 

Swimming Professional's International League ("SPIL")

Post by Totalswi » Sat, 12 Apr 1997 04:00:00

Larry:
You have some very interesting ideas here. I particularly like the idea of
an open water format race in the pool but with everyone going back and
forth repeatedly it could become a wet version of roller derby with real
injury potential and *** in the water. That will bring out the hockey
fans.
I don't think you'll find too much support from swim fans for including
diving events. Just a personal viewpoint but I always tune them out during
college meets. Interesting anecdote about including the diving scoring in
HS and college swim meets.*** Shoulberg, no fan of diving, once likened
its inclusion in the scoring of a swim meet to this:
"It's like being the coach of the track team and during a break in the
meet, they hold a gymnastics exhibition and you come back from your break
to find the gymnasts have lost the meet for you."
Terry Laughlin

 
 
 

Swimming Professional's International League ("SPIL")

Post by John Heena » Sun, 13 Apr 1997 04:00:00



Quote:
> A Professional Swimming League

> Gary Hall Jr and Sr have recently proposed a
> plan for professional swimming, in which teams
> would compete against each other.  One
> suggestion was for a Team USA to compete in
> round robin meets against teams from Asia,
> Europe, etc.  Another suggestion was for
> corporations to sponsor teams, analogous to
> professional cycling (Team Mazda, Team
> Speedo, etc.).

As if swimming wasn't professional already.

It appears the Hall plan has no other purpose other than to use swimming as
a money making venture for competitive swimming participants.  Fine.  You
then need to look at the realities of the market place.  Swimming as a
competitive sport on its own, other than long distance swimming, does not
appear to be able to hold its own in the market place.

There is already a set of international competitions run on a points basis
and held in different countries every few weeks or so.  Interest appears to
be negligible.  Swimming tournaments been well known swimmers such as Tom
Jager and Matt Bondi were hardly an overwhelming money making success.
Both Jager and Bondi, who were highly respected and liked unlike Hall JR,
retired soon afterwards, not an expected result if financial success was
the outcome. The FINA world swimming championships barely attracts more
than a yawn from the public.

With respect perhaps Hall senior should stick to surgery and perhaps Hall
junior should consider getting training for real work.  Let them try of
course.  However they have no right to complain if they find the market
place is capricious and ruthless with their fantasies.  The number of
swimmers who will make money from swimming will always be likely to very
small.

John Heenan

 
 
 

Swimming Professional's International League ("SPIL")

Post by fishyb » Mon, 14 Apr 1997 04:00:00

Just a few follow up ideas:

1. remove the rule regarding medley order from all medley events, ie. the
swimmer can start with whatever stroke preferred - same for relay.

2. replace 4 x 100 relays with team x 50 relays, or 10 x 50 relays mixed
men and women.

3. have each team select a double point event - one only per team.

4. Use the one start rule.

5. check on the technical feasibility of an electronic 50m sprint knockout
event which would go like this:

a. hitch up the athlethic track start pads (ie. for 100m start) to the
starting blocks.

b. Handicap the swimmers in accordance with their PBs, male and female
mixed.

c. Use the electronic timing system to activate a light below each
starting block to start each swimmer - breaks disqualify.

d. A certain number go through to next round where the handicap is
recalculated on the previous round results .... etc.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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Highlands, Passage West
Co. Cork, IRELAND
tel/fax: 353-21-863060

Web: Http://indigo.ie/~fishybiz/

 
 
 

Swimming Professional's International League ("SPIL")

Post by Phil Luebk » Tue, 15 Apr 1997 04:00:00

Quote:

> 6.  Short track skate racing is exciting, in part
> because of the contact.  A terrific event would
> be an open water 800 freestyle swim, where
> up to 16 competitors would swim at once, IN
> THE POOL.  This would NOT be swum in
> lanes, but all of the competitors would start at
> one end of the pool, in the water (not a dive
> start), treading water.  When the gun went off,
> they would swim down to the other end of the
> pool and round a set of pylons, come back and
> round pylons, and so forth, for a total of 16
> lengths (8 laps).

> Contact would be part of the race.  Incidental
> contact would result in no penalties.  Flagrant
> fouls would result in DQ.  Minor fouls
> (swimming over someones back), would result
> in time penalties ... administered to each
> swimmer on the team which commits the
> foul...where referees would stop the swimmers
> for various times in a penalty box (depending
> on the nature of the foul), before letting them
> resume the race.

> This type of format would turn the most boring
> races (the distance races) into the most exciting.
> It would actually look like a race (instead of a
> confusing mixture of people going back and
> forth, without a clear picture of who was in the
> lead).  It would have team strategy..drafting, etc.
> It would be a way of bringing open water
> distance swimming (where contact and finding
> clear water is often an integral part of the race)
> indoors.  It would certainly create an
> opportunity for distance swimmers.

I always thought it would be cool if someone built a pool in the style
of a running track (i.e. a c***of water that runs in an oval). I saw
something similar to this at a SeaWorld-type place in Florida, but it
was intended for sharks.

Phil
--
"Michael was on a rant, quite justified, I thought, about all of
this media-hype generation nonsense going on at the moment.
Apparently we're all 'slackers.' Daniel, who thinks up these things?"

  from "Microserfs" by Douglas Coupland, whose book, "Generation X,"
  popularized usage of the terms "Generation X" and "slackers."
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
Phillip Christiaan Luebke                        ph.&fax 319.339.4788
2120 Russell Drive, Iowa City, IA 52240-5823 United States of America