NCAA Eliminates Automatic Relay Qualifying for D2 (Time Standards)

The 2017-2018 NCAA National Championship meet qualifying standards for Division I (the biggest schools) and Division III (non-scholarship) swimming were released weeks ago. The cuts to qualify for the Division II meet, however were mysteriously absent from the NCAA’s reference page until late this week, when they were finally released.

While a request for comment to the NCAA for the cause of the delay hasn’t been answered, speculation on decks around the country is that there was disagreement over the relay qualifying times. The initially-proposed B cuts were so fast that in some instances, only 7 teams would’ve hit them last season, for example.

In either regard, the standards have been released. While they did, overall, get faster from last year (as they almost always do), those drops were in most cases fairly modest. The men’s 50 free, for example, saw both the “A” and “B” cut times get only .02 seconds faster. Some events were more significant, even on scale, like the 100 free where the times dropped about 3-tenths of a second for both the A and B on the men’s side, but overall not a huge increase in challenge.

Several times, especially on the women’s side, remained unchanged or by very, very small amounts.

The biggest change is that automatic qualifying times for relays were eliminated. The NCAA hasn’t put out any documentation on why this happened, but this could support the above-mentioned disagreement, and points to a “compromise” solution. The “Provisional” relay standards are much faster than last year’s provisional standards, but still slower than last year’s automatic standards – they’re a midway point, of sorts.

Without any announcement of a change in selection procedure, we must presume that “Provisional Standards” mean what they did last year – which is that teams who hit those standards and have one-or-more selected student athletes selected as an individual (swimmer or diver) can bring up to 4 non-invited student-athletes to swim any relay where they’ve hit the Provisional mark.

Last year, no relay teams hit the automatic Qualifying Standard, though many hit the Provisional Standard. The chart below shows the number of teams in each event that hit the 2017 Provisional Standard, and the number who would’ve still hit the 2018 Provisional Standard before NCAAs.

Men Men Women Women
Eligible 2017 Under 2018 Standard Eligible 2017 Under 2018 Standard
200 free relay 27 16 35 19
400 free relay 29 17 35 20
800 free relay 29 17 32 21
200 medley relay 24 14 31 22
400 medley relay 23 22 29 22

4
Leave a Reply

3 Comment threads
1 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
3 Comment authors
newest oldest most voted
David

A quick review of the Men’s 2018 Relay Standard shows the Committee selected roughly the 16th seeded team from 2017 Championship Psyche sheet as this year’s standard. Seems a little fast and eliminate any slightly slower team a chance to excel in a Championship Meet. In fact several team swam their way into Finals and scoring who were seeded outside the top 16.

So what would be reasonable ~ Let’s look to Division I. Their “Provisional” standard is roughly the 24th seeded team from last year’s Division I Championship. There isn’t a substantial difference between 16th and 24th, and adds an eliminate of performance in morning Trials dictates who makes it into Finals, not just qualifying times.

Patrick Snively

I always appreciate when Division II gets press, but I wish to clarify a few items. As the NCAA D2 Swimming and Diving Championships Committee continues to seek out the most competitive meet and best representation of the fastest swimmers in the country competing in the Championships, we must do so within the constraints of the participant cap. Over the past couple of years, we sought out suggestions from coaches within the division and found that we could allow the fastest swimmers to make the meet and more access to the meet by moving to an individual-only qualification process. We brought the idea to the CSCAA Convention in 2016, but felt that not enough coaches were represented, so we asked… Read more »

Pat Snively

I always appreciate when Division II gets press, but I wish to clarify a few items. As the NCAA D2 Swimming and Diving Championships Committee continues to seek out the most competitive meet and best representation of the fastest swimmers in the country competing in the Championships, we must do so within the constraints of the participant cap. Over the past couple of years, we sought out suggestions from coaches within the division and found that we could allow the fastest swimmers to make the meet and more access to the meet by moving to an individual-only qualification process. We brought the idea to the CSCAA Convention in 2016, but felt that not enough coaches were represented, so we asked… Read more »

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

Read More »

Don't want to miss anything?

Subscribe to our newsletter and receive our latest updates!