Jamaica’s double-world record holder Alia Atkinson has joined a growing number of elite athletes who have joined the newly formed International Swimming League.
Set to rival the FINA World Cup Series, the ISL includes 12 teams, 6 in Europe and 6 in the United States.
European Teams – Energy Standard, Stuttgart, Rome, Marseille, Budapest and London.
United States – Los Angeles, San Francisco, Austin, Washington DC, and Phoenix.
Meets will run almost every weekend between the 2019 Pan American Games and the end of the year with a month break between the regular season and the semi-finals.
Athletes will be allowed to swim unlimited events.
The top 8 clubs from the regular season (the top 4 American clubs and top 4 European clubs) will advance to the semi-finals.
The minimum prize money available (without club salaries or appearance fees) for the season is $5.3 million….a figure that doubles the prize money currently offered for the world cup series.
Meets will be scored via 9-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 for the top 8 finishers (with relays scoring double). At the end of a meet, teams will be ranked and receive league points that will go into the regular season table.
The meets will also include a ‘skins’ race at the conclusion, for extra points.
Additionally all athletes that compete for the league-champion team will receive $10,000, in addition to all other money.
Atkinson who has adopted the moniker Iron Jaguar has signed up with the Hungarian-based Iron Swim Budapest team that’s owned by league ambassador and multiple Olympic gold medalist Katinka Hosszu.
Each athlete will sign a contract with their team and another with the ISL – creating two sources of money, one that runs through the clubs, and one that comes directly for the league. In 2019, the ISL will cover all travel costs for all athletes.