USA Swimming has announced the opening of the qualifying period for the 2020 U.S. Olympic Trials as November 28th – the first day of the U.S. Winter National Championships in Greensboro, North Carolina. While the dates for the event, which will return to Omaha, Nebraska’s CenturyLink Center for the 4th-straight occasion, has not been announced, when it is, the qualifying period ending will be determined.
Olympic Trials qualifying standards have been promised for late September 2018.
USA Swimming has also pledged to reduce the number of qualifiers to the meet after what they called “overcrowding” in the previous two editions. After 1,700+ swimmers competed at the 2012 and 2016 trials, USA Swimming has set their target at 1200-1400 participants for 2020. That means swimmers should expect significantly-faster standards than in 2016. USA Swimming already cut the 2016 standards significantly from 2012, but it didn’t yield much of a reduction in participation, meaning that even steeper cuts could be in order for 2020.
This also means that the 2018 Summer and Summer Junior National Championships will not count toward qualifying. This is a deviation from prior years, where the mid-year run did count. In fact, the 2016 qualifying period was set as the first day of the 2014 Summer Junior Nationals.
- 2012 qualifying period: October 1, 2009-June 24, 2012
- 2016 qualifying period: July 30, 2014-Entry Deadline
This change means that athletes will have one full long course cycle, 2019, to qualify for the meet. That reduced time period should also impact the number of qualifiers, as it will catch swimmers who have a bad taper in 2019, and also eliminate “trials tourists”: effectively-retired athletes who aren’t seriously training for the meet, but earn qualifying times as an alternative to purchasing tickets.
A new schedule will also have to be announced for the meet with the addition of the women’s 1500 and men’s 800 to the official Olympic event lineup.
Official Announcement from USA Swimming:
The 2020 Olympic Trials qualifying period will be from November 28, 2018 through the entry deadline in June of 2020. As the actual 2020 Trials dates have not yet been finalized, the closing date for qualification will only be announced once the Trials dates are confirmed. Time standards for the 2020 Trials will not be released until late September 2018.
This opening date for qualification (Nov. 28, 2018, the first date of the Winter Nationals in Greensboro, N.C.) is later than in past quadrennials, as the Trials organizers would like to better manage the total number of athletes that qualify for the competition. At both the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Trials there was overcrowding, with over 1,750 at each of the competitions. The goal for the Trials is to have 1200-1400 athletes in attendance.
Please note that performances from the summer 2018 Nationals and summer 2018 Junior Nationals WILL NOT count towards 2020 Trials qualifying.