The College Swimming and Diving Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) has awarded hosting duties for the 2018 National Invitational Championship (NIC) to the United States Naval Academy. The organization has also announced the qualifying standards for the national-level meet that has received special status this year, and as such is expected be a hallmark event in a rocky early history of this meet that was launched in 2014.
Navy’s Lejeune Hall will host the 5th edition of this meet, and for the first time, it’s been granted a more formal championship status, which means that it falls under NCAA rules granting exceptions to season-length limitations for national championship events.
The previous status, which required teams to start their seasons later to participate in this meet, has limited its growth and willingness of coaches to send athletes.
To qualify for the meet, swimmers will have to have won an individual or relay Division I conference title,and/or achieved NCAA ‘B” and Zone time standards, but who have not qualified for the NCAA Championships.
From the press release:
The NIC was created because of a growing number of students denied an opportunity to participate in a national-level championship. Since 2005 the number of men and women competing in Division I swimming and diving has grown by 10.8% and 12.2% respectively while the number of women’s teams is up nearly 4% over the past decade.
“As Division I has continued to grow,” explained CSCAA Executive Director Joel Shinofield, “the number of postseason opportunities has not. The NIC remedies this.”