Global Swim Series

As outlined on the Global Swim Series site. Please reference there for additions or updates.

1)  The key guiding principle is that each race or event is independent and will be in charge of their own specific rules for their own race(s).  Our goal isn’t to standardize races, rules or distances and have races lose their local flavor, that is what makes each race different, interesting and exciting.  However we do have some overriding standards that are common among all the races and are used to derive the points, ranking system and season’s Global Champions.

2)  Categories: All races must have offer results in following 4 categories for which the Global Swim Series recognizes champions.  The categories are:

  • Men’s Non-Wetsuit (also known as “Naked” in some races)
  • Women’s Non-Wetsuit
  • Men’s Wetsuit
  • Women’s Wetsuit

*GSS defines “Non-Wetsuit” or “Naked” as textile swim suits that do not extend below the knee for women and do not extend below the knee or above the waist line for men.

3)  All races must track the swimmers ages as of the next April 30th (end of the GSS season), so that a swimmer is in the same age group for the season.

4)  Global Rankings will be calculated by 10 year age groups and within each Category.  The following are the official GSS age groups:

  • 19 & Under
  • 20-29
  • 30-39
  • 40-49
  • 50-59
  • 60-69
  • 70-79
  • 80 & Over


The Global Swim Series Ranks swimmers off total accumulated point scores they get during the season.  After the completion of the last race of the season the top swimmer in each of the 4 Categories will be crowned Global Champion.  The top age group swimmers will also be recognized.

1) Individual Race Point Scores are calculated as follows:

  • Maximum possible points per race: 100
  • Every competitor will receive 50 points for participating.  This allows slower swimmers to rank higher in the overall Series if they do more races than faster swimmers that don’t do as many races.  Life is a participation sport!
  • Every person will also receive a portion of the next 50 points based on their percentile ranking in the race. So if you place first you will get up to 50 points to add to your 50 participation points based on the number of other competitors, usually amounting to around 99 points for a race win (eg. 50 participation points + 49.9 placing percentile points = 99.9 points for the race).  Given that it is a percentile, you can’t get exactly 100, but the larger the race, the closer your points are to 100, if you win.

2) Points in the series are added up throughout the season with all the GSS races you do around the globe counting towards your total score

3)  You can NOT combine the points from different races if you swam one race in a “Wetsuit” and another “Non-Wetsuit”.  You would simply have 2 separate rankings, one in “Wetsuit” and one in “Non-Wetsuit”.

4)  If a swimmer was able to swim in more than one race at the same event on the same day, only one race would be included in the GSS rankings.  So for example if an event offered a 1km, a 3km and 5km race on the same day and a swimmer competed in more than one of those events only one of those scores would count towards the series.  We would select the race in which the swimmer achieved the most points.

5)  Some races and swimmers do not count towards the Series (ie. Kid’s Splash and Dash, swimmers using fins, snorkels and other aids, etc.  Ask the local Race Director if unsure).

6)  Swimmers who DNF (did not finish) do not get any points in the Series

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