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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8 years ago

If they r going to add the 100 IM, why not add more 50’s? Would love to see 50 Back, Fly & Breast. There’s nothing better then the Men’s 50 Free, it just shows pure speed. I’d really like to see these added as Olympic events also.

8 years ago

This just in…. The 100 Yard T-shirt Relay and 25 Corkscrew will now be added to the 2016 NCAA Swimming & Diving Championships.

Reply to  TriStateSwimmer
8 years ago

i disagree, but an awesome comment nonetheless:)

Joel Lin
8 years ago

…and once again the NCAA has screwed over the 100 synchronized IM fans.

8 years ago

My dream heat: Lochte, Grevers, Morozov, Bovell, Nolan, Andrew,
(Walker, Staab) or (Seliskar, Ortiz)

Time Trial:
Natalie Coughlin 50.99 AR.

Reply to  floppy
8 years ago

Just looking for clarification: did Coughlin actually go 50.99 IM time tral?

8 years ago

Fastest 200 Fly = 1:38 (Realistically, if Phelps felt like it)
Fastest 200 Back = 1:36
Fastest 200 Br = 1:48
Fastest 200 Fr = 1:31
Fastest 200 IM = 1:39, pretty much the average of the above 4 (Nolan can’t do any of those 4 times individually, but he can push each stroke harder in the IM than for a full 200 stroke).

Same formula:
100 Fly = 44.2
100 Bk = 44.0
100 Br = 50.0
100 Fr = 40.7
Average of those four is 44.7.

8 years ago

I thought I would be done with summer league soon. 100 IM is a joke even in summer league for anyone over 14. Bad idea. You will have 8 swimmers so close to each other switching strokes every 5 seconds you will not be able to see anything. Yuck!

8 years ago

This is the best change ever for people who are good at all the events but are sprinters!
Do you think they will add it to younger age groups?

wave rider
8 years ago

Ryan Lochte is the best 100 im’er. He used to own the scm wr in 50.71 which converts to a 45.68 in scy. As far as the current NCAA goes it’s a toss up. Murphy, Conger, and Schooling would be 1,2,3 at the 50 with Seliskar and Dressle close behind. Seliskar would catch up in the breast but I don’t know by how much. I think it would take a 45 high to win and it would be really fun to watch. I think after a year at cal Seliskar would win. He went a 54 scm IM in a summer league meet without a block last year.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner 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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