2020 NCAA Last Chance Qualifying Meets Begin this Weekend

2020 NCAA Division I Championships

  • Women: Wednesday, March 18-Saturday, March 21 – Athens, GA
  • Men: Wednesday, March 25-Saturday, March 28 – Indianapolis, IN

2020 End-of-Season Competition Period

  • Division I Women: February 21 – March 1, 2020
  • Division I Men: February 28 – March 8, 2020

Last Chance Entries Due:

  • Division I Women: No later than noon (Central time) Monday, March 2, 2020
  • Division I Men: No later than noon (Central time) Monday, March 9, 2020

Beginning this weekend, there will be a series of meets where NCAA swimmers will have a “last chance” opportunity to qualify for the NCAA Championships.

These “last chance” meets, held after conference championships, are designed to give swimmers and relays that are teetering on the edge of NCAA qualification one last shot at a season-best time to improve their selection odds. Every year, a handful of qualifiers (and in the cases of many relays, scorers) come out of these last chance meets.

The NCAA stipulates that all post-championship season meets must be governed by the same rules as any other NCAA meet, and that failure to follow those regulations will result in the disqualification of any time standards achieved at the end-of-season meet.

End-of-season meets must follow the regulations of “bona fide competition” as outlined in Rule 9* of the 2019-20 and 2020-21 Swimming and Diving Rules Book. USA Swimming sanctioned or approved meets may be approved by the NCAA swimming and diving committee as end of season meets if they follow the rules of bona fide competition, appear on the calendar and meet the requirements outlined in [the] document. It is preferred that hosts secure at least four officials for end-of-season meets. All officials must be present during all competition including preliminaries, finals and time trials. Also, relay takeoff pads are required for relays to attain a qualifying standard.

*Rule 9 states:

  • Meet is open to the public (spectators);
  • Competition is between two or more teams of the same gender at the same time and site, from different collegiate institutions;
  • All NCAA competitors must be eligible by NCAA standards;
  • Meets must be in institutions’ approved competition schedule;
  • Meets must have published results; and
  • Depending on the governing body, meet official(s) must be qualified and/ or certified.

The bona fide competition question came up in 2018 at the Liberty Last Chance Meet, where two male swimmers met the qualifying standards but did not race against swimmers from another team.

As at any other NCAA meet, swimmers usually have one opportunity to race an event in prelims, one opportunity to race in finals (they’re usually designed so that everybody finals and gets a second swim), and one opportunity to race each event in a time trial. If, after those three opportunities, they still haven’t hit the qualifying time (either automatic, or presumed to be good enough), then that swimmer is out of luck.

Below are the upcoming approved Championship Qualification Meets, in chronological order. Many of these meets are held in conjunction or at the same site as a conference championship meet but are still open to swimmers who didn’t compete in that conference.

See Also:

Meet Name Host Gender Dates Time Other Information
Liberty Last Chance Invite Liberty Saturday, February 29 Prelims 10 AM; Finals 6 PM
Boiler-Make-It NCAA Last Chance Purdue Women Saturday, February 29 12 noon Live results
Bulldog Invitational – Last Chance Georgia Men and Women Saturday, February 29-Sunday, March 1 Prelims 10 AM; Finals 4 PM
Mizzou Qualifier Missouri Men and Women Saturday, February 29-Sunday, March 1 All day
Tennessee Last Chance Tennessee Men and Women Saturday, February 29-Sunday, March 1
Ohio State Last Chance Ohio State Men and Women Sunday, March 1 All day
Pac-12 Invitational Federal Way, WA Women Sunday, March 1 All day
UNC Invitational North Carolina Women Sunday, March 1 All day
American Short Course Austin, TX Men Thursday, March 5-Saturday, March 7
UNC Invitational North Carolina Men Saturday, March 7 All day
Boiler-Make-It NCAA Last Chance Purdue Men Sunday, March 8 Prelims 10 AM; Finals 2 PM Live Results
Michigan Last Chance Michigan Men Sunday, March 8 All day
Pac-12 Invitational Federal Way, WA Men Sunday, March 8



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10 months ago

So all relay takeoffs must be activated? What happens if they aren’t used?

About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four daughters, all of whom swim/swam in college. With an undergraduate degree from Princeton (where she was an all-Ivy tennis player) and an MBA from INSEAD, she worked for many years in the financial industry, both in France and the U.S. Anne is currently …

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