As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the NCAA Division III Championships Committee confirmed new selection dates and bracket sizes for the 2021 NCAA winter championships on Tuesday, September 29. These changes are in response to the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic, and will both reduce the size of gatherings involved in the meets and will reduce costs of hosting the championships amid significant financial impacts from canceled NCAA events.
The meeting on Tuesday reaffirmed recommendations made by the same committee at a meeting two weeks ago, in which it was recommended that the winter and spring 2021 national championships should not surpass 75% of their standard capacity. This applies to both individual and team sports.
Here is how these recommendations will affect men’s and women’s swimming and diving:
- The selection announcement date will be on March 10.
- No in-person zone diving meets will be held for qualifying purposes. A new selection method will occur instead.
- The 75% capacity limit means that 239 women and 195 men will compete at the championships.
The committee agreed that it is important to fill out brackets in each sport. It is unclear what this means for swimming and diving, but the assumption is that at least 16 people will be maintained per event.
The committee also agreed that it is important to maintain automatic qualification standards as well as access to other qualification methods for teams that are not affiliated with the automatic qualification process. However, sports that seee a reduction of national sponsorship this year may have their brackets reduced as a result.
They will be reviewed by the Division III Management Council from Oct. 19-20.
Kiki Jacobs, the committee chair and director of athletics at Roger Williams, stated the following of these recommendations: “The Division III Championships Committee would like to thank the sport committees for providing their comments and suggestions about bracket composition. These are difficult decisions that have to be made right now.”
In addition, the men’s and women’s basketball NCAA bracket will be reduced to 48 teams.
To see a full-list of how this will affect other winter sports, go to this link.