Swimming Australia head coach Rohan Taylor said the Australian Swimming League (ASL) would offer regular elite competition in a boost to the sport in the nation.
The ASL will be a club-based competition with an annual draft.
Each club will have a set number of swimmers, split evenly between males and females, and include junior and multi-class athletes.
The ASL is planned to launch in October next year and will stage meets around Australia, offering prize money in a made-for-television format.
“The ASL is absolutely fantastic news for Australian swimming,” Taylor said in a statement on Monday.
“From a coaching perspective, an annual professional league will offer regular elite competition to drive performance outcomes and provide a vital opportunity for Australia’s best emerging talent to compete against our finest swimmers.
“With prize money on the line … I anticipate every round will be hotly contested and will offer viewers action-packed racing where the level of competition will see Australian swimming go to new heights.”
The new league will be privately-owned and operated with the backing of Swimming Australia (SA).
“Outside of major international events, it is important for Swimming Australia to create a high-profile domestic platform to showcase our current and future stars,” SA chief executive Alex Baumann said in a statement.
“We are delighted to be working with the ASL to establish an annual made for broadcast league that will provide high level competition for our swimmers while entertaining a broad audience.”
The new league follows similar privately-run swim competitions launched in recent years around the world, most notably the International Swimming League, where swimmers are drafted into the team-based competition.
A raft of high-profile Australian swimmers including Olympic 100m freestyle champion Kyle Chalmers and Cate Campbell have competed in the ISL.Jump to next article