2019-2020 NCAA Cuts Released; 50 Free ‘A’ Cut Ventures Into The 18s

The NCAA has released its Division I qualifying standards for the upcoming 2019-2020 season, with virtually all of the ‘A’ cuts getting quicker.

For the men, only the 200 IM ‘A’ time remained the same as last year, while on the women’s side it was the 200 back. All others got faster, while all ‘B’ cuts went unchanged. Additionally, both the auto and provisional times for relays were lowered as well.

Here’s a brief refresher on how NCAA qualifying works (read the full explanation here):

  • Individual Events: In individual races, all swimmers with “A” standards automatically qualify for the NCAA Championships. Thereafter, swimmers are chosen event-by-event, lined up to an equal number across all events, until the maximum number of individual swimmers have been selected (235 for men, 281 for women).
  • Relay Events: All relays with the Qualifying Standard can swim at the NCAA Championships, provided they have 1 individual (swimmer or diver) invited to the meet as well. Once a team has a relay invited, they can swim any relay in which they have a provisional standard as well. Relays are qualified “to the team,” not to the individual swimmers, so teams can take whichever swimmers they want to participate in relays.

Maybe the most notable new cut is the ‘A’ in the men’s 50 free, which goes sub-19 for the first time in history. Last year it was 19.00, and it now falls to 18.96.

2019-2020 Men’s “A” 2019-2020 Men’s “B” Event 2019-2020 Women’s “A” 2019-2020 Women’s “B”
18.96 19.96 50 free 21.66 22.76
41.71 43.80 100 free 47.18 49.51
1:32.05 1:36.32 200 free 1:42.98 1:47.12
4:11.82 4:23.34 500 free 4:35.76 4:47.20
14:37.31 15:26.19 1650 free 15:52.41 16:30.59
45.05 47.43 100 fly 50.92 53.76
1:40.76 1:46.69 200 fly 1:53.20 1:59.23
44.95 47.77 100 back 50.93 53.94
1:39.16 1:45.04 200 back 1:50.50 1:57.11
51.67 54.27 100 breast 58.60 1:01.84
1:52.61 1:58.43 200 breast 2:06.84 2:13.97
1:41.34 1:46.77 200 IM 1:53.66 1:59.94
3:39.16 3:51.46 400 IM 4:03.62 4:17.30
2020 Men’s Auto 2020 Men’s Provisional Relays 2020 Women’s Auto 2020 Women’s Provisional
1:17.17 1:17.86 200 free relay 1:28.43 1:29.21
2:51.11 2:52.46 400 free relay 3:14.61 3:16.35
6:17.18 6:21.85 800 free relay 7:00.86 7:05.88
1:24.30 1:24.97 200 medley relay 1:36.40 1:37.05
3:05.95 3:07.74 400 medley relay 3:31.66 3:33.78
Standard 6-Dive List Diving
Standard 6-Dive List
300 1-meter 265
320 3-meter 280
300 Platform 225

Check out the official NCAA document here. For a look at last year’s standards, click here.

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1 year ago

Well f***

1 year ago

Why are the A cuts even a necessity? Why doesn’t the NCAA just invite the top 29/30/31 men and then allow swimmers to enter additional events using the B standard?

Easy E
Reply to  SwimFan
1 year ago

It’s my understanding that A standards are based on the previous year results…that the A standard would be the 8th or 16th or whatever th place at NCAAs. If that is the case, did we not know the A standard weeks ago?

Reply to  Easy E
1 year ago

Looking at the results from this past NCAAs, seems like most of the A standards would’ve been between 5-7th place at NCAAs

Reply to  SwimFan
1 year ago

A cut is an automatic invite to NCAAs

Reply to  SwimFan
1 year ago

A cuts allow you to swim other events that you only have B cut in. Also, by achieving an A cut, the swimmer doesn’t have to worry about NCAA qualification for the remainder of the season.

Reply to  dmswim
1 year ago

I think if you hit any of the times listed as an A standard above then you would be very confident that you will make the meet in a top 30 invitee scenario so the question is still what is the point of the A standard.

Reply to  dmswim
1 year ago

You don’t need an A cut to swim other events where you only have B cuts. You just have to be invited (top 30 or whatever it is for that event). So the A cuts are essentially meaningless. I guess they can stop an athlete from worrying about the possibility of not being invited, but if you’re swimming a sub 19 50 free, there should be no reason to stress over that since it has taken around a 19.3 the last few seasons. Same goes for all the other events.

Reply to  SwimFan
1 year ago

SWIMFAN, you are correct. Thanks for pointing that out. I got mixed up.

Reply to  SwimFan
1 year ago

The “A” cut provides a goal time in each event and an aspirational time to make the A Finals at NCAAs. They also provide some historical perspective. You are technically correct: they have not been of any practical value for at least 10-15 years. Further: how could we comment on this WOW MOMENT if there were no longer A cuts?

Reply to  SwimFan
1 year ago

NCAA A-cuts are meant to hurt your soul. Secretly, within the dark halls of the NCAA HQ, they’re also meant to crush the souls of old swimmers—–old swimmers with old best times that appear so very, very slowly in comparison).

WV Swimmer
1 year ago

100 back is STEEP

Reply to  WV Swimmer
1 year ago

I’m looking at this thinking it’s ALL steep!

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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