CSCAA National Invitational Championship (NIC) Set for March 2022 Return

The College Swimming & Diving Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) announced Monday that the annual National Invitation Championship (NIC) would return in March 2022.

The NIC serves as a ‘consolation championship’ of sorts for NCAA Division I swimmers and divers that have achieved NCAA ‘B’ times–or Zone standards for divers–but who are not invited to the NCAA Swimming & Diving National Championships.

The NIC has its own ‘A’ and ‘B’ cut times for qualification, though swimmers can also receive an automatic invite by winning a race at their respective conference championships. The meet will take place March 10th, 11th, and 12th, 2022, in Elkhart, Indiana, at the Elkhart Health and Aquatics Center. Read the full meet information packet here.

After the first two iterations of the NIC in 2014 and 2015, the meet went offline for two years before being reinstated in 2017. It was in 2017 when the NIC received official exempt status from the NCAA, meaning the competition, as well as practices leading up to the meet for those swimmers eligible, would not be curtailed by season-length limitations. Essentially, the NIC gives swimmers and divers that are not invited to NCAAs a final end-of-season meet.

The 2020 NIC was canceled after one day of competition, without spectators. The meet not staged at all in 2021, however, meaning that if it indeed goes through in 2022 it will be the first time the meet has been held in full since 2019.

The meet schedule differs from that of both national and standard conference championships in that it is only 3 days long despite offering 5 additional events and hosting both women’s and men’s meets at the same time. The five additional races offered at the NIC include the 50s of stroke (butterfly, backstroke, and breaststroke), the 100 IM, and the 1000 freestyle, which is swum within the 1650 freestyle.

Unlike the NCAA Division I National Championship, the NIC does contest the 1000 yard freestyle, albeit in its own manner. The 1000 freestyle is contested within the 1650 freestyle, meaning, a swimmer can only race the 1000 if they also race the 1650, and it is simply the swimmer with the fastest split at 1000 yards who will be declared the winner of the 1000 freestyle. Therefore, a swimmer could lead the field at 1000 yards, pick up an individual event title, then fall back and not win the overall 1650. A swimmer must declare their intention to enter the 1000, however; 1650 freestyle competitors are not automatically entered in both events.

Teams may qualify relays any of the following ways:

  • Teams do NOT have to use their fastest relay time for meet entry. Actual or aggregate relay times may be used.
  • Relay times, once achieved, belong to the team. Any swimmer may participate on a relay at the meet.
  • Teams with four individual qualifiers may enter any relay with their best time if it does not meet the meet qualifying time.
  • Teams may enter more than one relay, but only the “A” relay will be allowed to score.
  • If necessary, teams may bring a substitute relay swimmer should a qualifying relay member be unavailable for the meet. Substitute swimmers may enter individual events if they have the meet B time standard.

2022 CSCAA NIC Event Schedule


Thursday Friday Saturday
50 Butterfly 400 Individual Medley 1000/1650 Freestyle
50 Breaststroke 100 Butterfly 100 Individual Medley
500 Freestyle 200 Freestyle 200 Backstroke
50 Backstroke 100 Breaststroke 100 Freestyle
200 Individual Medley 100 Backstroke 200 Breaststroke
50 Freestyle 200 Butterfly


Thursday Friday Saturday
200 Free Relay 200 Medley Relay 1000/1650 Freestyle
–10 Minute Break— –10 Minute Break– 100 Individual Medley
50 Butterfly 400 Individual Medley 200 Backstroke
50 Breaststroke 100 Butterfly 100 Freestyle
500 Freestyle 200 Freestyle 200 Breaststroke
50 Backstroke 100 Breaststroke 200 Butterfly
200 Individual Medley 100 Backstroke –20 Minute Break–
50 Freestyle –20 Minute Break– 400 Freestyle Relay
–20 Minute Break– 800 Freestyle Relay
400 Medley Relay

2022 CSCAA National Invitational Championships Qualifying Standards

The Elkhart Health and Aquatics Center features a 10-lane, 50-meter pool and offers seating for up to 1200 spectators.

The CSCAA has not officially announced whether the 2022 meet will allow spectators, though the meet information packet suggests spectators will be allowed. This could change, however, given the unpredictability of COVID-19 pandemic. The 2021 NCAA Championships and 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games were both conducted without a live audience. In contrast, the 2021 U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials did allow fans in the venue, though at roughly 60 percent capacity.

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About Reid Carlson

Reid Carlson

Reid Carlson originally hails from Clay Center, Kansas, where he began swimming at age six with the Clay Center Tiger Sharks, a summer league team. At age 14 he began swimming club year-round with the Manhattan Marlins (Manhattan, KS), which took some convincing from his mother as he was very …

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