Every eight years or so, the NCAA reviews the gender breakdown in Division III swimming to recalculate the number of swimmers that should be selected for the NCAA Championships.
This year, it’s clear that women and men no longer each make up 50 percent of DIII swimmers.
In years past, approximately 16 individual swimmers per event made it on to Nationals for both the men’s and women’s sides. Now, the NCAA will allow approximately 20 women per event to go to Indianapolis in March. The 25% increase in the cap space will allow for 52 more women to attend the meet.
Overall, 319 women will be invited to the meet in 2018. Divers will take 29 of those spots, up from 24 last year. The men’s cap will remain the same, at about 260.
Relays will be capped at exactly 20 teams per event.
As has always been the case, swimmers who make an “A” cut will be considered first, then those with “B” cuts will take up the remaining space. You can find all the 2017-2018 women’s time standards here.
According to a member of the NCAA Championship Committee, “the cap growth came as a result of the NCAA participation survey and the participation ratio.” While men’s participation remained steady, women’s participation increased to a point where the Championship ratio needed adjustment.
You can read about the 2018 selection process here.