NCAA Approves 100 Yard IM, Synchronized Diving for College Competition

The NCAA has unveiled a sweeping set of new events and rules for the 2015-2016 college swimming season that will be among the most fundamentally-transforming changes in recent history.

The NCAA on Thursday announced 5 new rules changes:

  • Synchronized diving approved for dual and invitational meets to replace any springboard or platform event.
  • Backstroke starting wedges approved
  • 100 IM approved for inclusion at conference championship meets (though it isn’t required).
  • Removing requirement to separate hands before taking dolphin kick on breaststroke pullout
  • Requirement for allowing strobe lights for deaf or hearing-impaired swimmers.

We will break down many of these changes in separate articles, but there’s two key themes among them: one is to bring the NCAA in line with FINA rules, with regard to approving backstroke starting wedges, and the breaststroke pullout. Both of those rules were approved for USA Swimming and FINA sanctioned competition in December of last year, which left a gap in the rules between those events and college competition.

The other is a preliminary expansion of NCAA events. While no new events have been added to the NCAA Championship schedule, both synchronized diving and the 100 IM have expanded the opportunity for coaches to add more wrinkles to the standard meet schedule.

More to come on each rule change. The full release from the NCAA is below.

The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel on Wednesday approved synchronized diving to be an optional event in non-championship and invitational meets starting in the 2015-16 academic year.

If the teams in a dual-, tri- or quad-meet agree to have a synchronized diving event, it can replace either the 1-meter or 3-meter diving events — or both. In invitational meets, synchronized diving can replace any springboard or platform diving event.

The use of synchronized diving must be mutually agreed to by all the coaches involved in the meet or invitational.

A synchronized diving competition will consist of five dives from each same-gendered pair, and a minimum of three diving judges must be used.

Backstroke starting blocks

The panel also approved making the use of backstroke starting blocks permissible for next season.

The devices have already been developed by manufacturers and the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Swimming and Diving Committee wanted to allow swimming programs the choice to use them. The backstroke starting blocks are designed to help prevent competitors from slipping at the start of their races.

Fast finish

The panel also approved a rule allowing conferences to add the 100-yard individual medley to championship competition. It is not required.

The event will follow the 1,650-yard freestyle competition on the final day of the meet. The race is commonly held as the last event of international meets.

Other approved rules changes include:

• After the turn in breaststroke races, swimmers will be allowed to do a single butterfly kick before their first breaststroke kick.
• For all starts involving deaf or hearing-impaired swimmers, a strobe light should be positioned so swimmers can view it.

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bobo gigi
5 years ago

Do you think there’s a chance to see one day the 100 IM added at NCAAs?

bobo gigi
Reply to  bobo gigi
5 years ago

I don’t need upvotes or downvotes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I want an answer! 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆

Reply to  bobo gigi
5 years ago

Yes, I do. It’s one of the more spectator friendly events and as long as it doesn’t cost the NCAA any money they will eventually add it. Great third day event for non-free sprinter.

Hulk Swim
5 years ago

Just a few years too late for Vlad Morozov.

samuel huntington
Reply to  Hulk Swim
5 years ago

what could Morozov have gone – 45?

Hulk Swim
Reply to  samuel huntington
5 years ago

I think he’d be in the 46 high zone for sure. Who knows? If Dressel or Murphy goes 47 low I’d say Vlad was good for a 46 low. I think we’ll have to wait and see… it’s never been done fully rested before by a huge star….

Vlad, to me, would be the benchmark. His 4x100s are faster than anyone else’s 4x100s, in a quick browse through my head.

Reply to  Braden Keith
5 years ago

If only Florent Manaudou was an NCAA swimmer!

Mike pearson
Reply to  Hulk Swim
5 years ago

just 38 years too late for me! (Sob)

Reply to  Hulk Swim
5 years ago

I wouldn’t feel too bad for Vlad. His family received so many perks while he was in high school (housing, club dues, meet fees, etc.), in fact, a USA Swimming official had a mandatory parent meeting for high school swimmers and threatened us all that if parents continued talking about the freebies Vlad was receiving and the wrong person heard, it could affect his NCAA eligibility. This meeting was 16 months before Vlad’s graduation and this official already knew he was getting a full scholarship and if any of us did anything to jeopardize his eligibility we would have to deal with her.
The sad part is that many of us had no idea why we were being yelled… Read more »

So what?
Reply to  bwiab
5 years ago

Dream on. You weren’t fast. He was. It’s the way of the world.

5 years ago

Vlad is FAST af but I don’t think he can go a 45 which would be an average of 11.25 for each 25. What was his best breast? Like a 52? And if he had the consistency to go 11.25 for each I’d imagine he’d be a monster in the 200 im. I think he could go around a 47 low or 46 mid

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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