2016 NCAA Zone Diving Qualification Preview

The NCAA Zone Diving qualification events begin this week, which is how the divers will qualify to compete at the NCAA Championships later in March.

There is a new qualifying system, where the top five female and top four male divers in each event at their respective zone meet will be eligible to compete at NCAAs. After that, divers who placed outside of the top 5 or 4 will be eligible based on the number of athletes that finished in the top 16 at last years NCAAs from that respective zone. To be eligible the diver must have achieved the zone qualifying score prior to NCAAs in all events that they wish to participate in.

Number of Qualifying Spots Per Zone

This can essentially be looked at like an A-cut in NCAA swimming, an automatic qualification if you make the time (or in this case, if you make the top-x in your event). The varying number of qualifiers per zone is based on the success of that zone at last years NCAAs.


Zone A:         1m: 5          3m: 6         10m: 6

Zone B:         1m: 9          3m: 8         10m: 7

Zone C:         1m: 12         3m: 7         10m: 10

Zone D:         1m: 6          3m: 9         10m: 9

Zone E:         1m: 9          3m: 11        10m: 9


Zone A:         1m: 4          3m: 5         10m: 4

Zone B:         1m: 10         3m: 10        10m: 8

Zone C:         1m: 7          3m: 9         10m: 8

Zone D:         1m: 7          3m: 7         10m: 8

Zone E:         1m: 8          3m: 5         10m: 8

Optional Entry

Any diver that is eligible to compete will be allowed to enter any other event(s) at the NCAAs, provided they finished in the top-12 at their zone meet and have the zone qualifying score in that event prior to NCAAs.

This is basically the B-cut standard for divers, as once they have been invited in an event, they must finish in the top-12 of the other event (or other two events) to be able to compete in them at NCAAs.

This is because diving is subjectively scored, and they want to reduce any influence that a given set of diving coaches could have on scores when they are judging at dual meets, thus having the divers compete against one another in their specific regions. This makes sure the NCAA Championships are as competitive as possible.

Zone Diving Schedule

Zone A

Annapolis, Maryland

March 7-9

U.S. Naval Academy

Zone B

Atlanta, Georgia

March 7-9

Georgia Institute of Technology

Zone C

West Lafayette, Indiana

March 10-12

Purdue University

Zone D

College Station, Texas

March 7-9

Texas A&M University

Zone E

Flagstaff, Arizona

March 7-9

Northern Arizona University

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About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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