NCAA Publishes Division I 2021-2022 National Championship Standards

The NCAA has released qualifying standards for the 2022 Division I Swimming & Diving Championships, and they’ve only changed very slightly from last year.

After the NCAA chose to leave the standards the same for 2021 when the 2020 NCAA Championships were canceled, the standards have stayed mostly the same for 2022 as well. These are the only standards that have changed:

  • Men’s 500 Free “A” standard (.2 faster)
  • Men’s 100 Fly “A” standard (.09 faster)
  • Men’s 100 Back “A” standard (.01 faster)
  • Men’s 200 Back “A” standard (.03 faster)
  • Women’s 100 Breast “A” standard
  • Women’s 200 Breast “A” standard
  • Women’s 400 Free Relay “Qualifying” standard
  • Men’s 200 free relay “A” and “B” standards
  • Men’s 400 free relay “A” standard
  • Men’s 800 free relay “A” and “B” standards
  • Men’s 200 medley relay “A” and “B” standards
  • Men’s 400 medley relay “A” and “B” standards

That makes 6 individual “A” standards and 1 women’s relay “Qualifying standard.”

Here’s a brief refresher on how NCAA qualifying works (read the full explanation here):

  • Individual Events: In individual races, all swimmers with “A” standards automatically qualify for the NCAA Championships. Thereafter, swimmers are chosen event-by-event, lined up to an equal number across all events, until the maximum number of individual swimmers have been selected (235 for men, 281 for women).
  • Relay Events: All relays with the Qualifying Standard can swim at the NCAA Championships, provided they have 1 individual (swimmer or diver) invited to the meet as well. Once a team has a relay invited, they can swim any relay in which they have a provisional standard as well. Relays are qualified “to the team,” not to the individual swimmers, so teams can take whichever swimmers they want to participate in relays.

In practice, we know that the qualifying times for the individual events are largely symbolic. Because swimmers are ranked based on individual event order, and because it’s rare for the “A” cut limits to come into play, or for a scoring athlete to be anywhere near a “B” cut even in a 3rd event, the change in standards don’t matter much in a practical sense.

Many teams use them as a benchmark, though, to evaluate in-season performances.

More significant is the change in the relay standard, because teams can’t qualify for NCAAs without those standards, and we often see relays that might score at NCAAs be left home because they miss the standard by very slim margins.

That being said, the .11 second change in the Qualifying Standard for the women’s 400 free relay last season wouldn’t have actually eliminated any of the qualified teams – Northwestern was the lowest-qualified group at 3:14.35.

In a very strange year in the NCAA, the Texas men and Virginia women both came away with the Division I team titles last season. Early indicators for next season are that teams will again be sticking closer to home for their regular-season schedules, though maybe not quite as conservatively as last season. There has been no announcement yet as to whether the NCAA Championship meets will include spectators – and probably no decision has been made yet, as organizers will wait and see what happens with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

2022 NCAA Division I Championship Dates:

  • Women: March 16-19, 2022, Atlanta, Georgia – Georgia Tech (seating for 1,900 spectators)
  • Men: March 23-26, 2022, Atlanta, Georgia – Georgia Tech (seating for 1,900 spectators)

2022 NCAA Division I Men’s & Women’s Swimming & Diving Championships – Qualifying Standards

B STANDARD A STANDARD Event A STANDARD B STANDARD
19.96 18.96 50 free 21.66 22.76
43.80 41.71 100 free 47.18 49.51
1:36.32 1:32.05 200 free 1:42.98 1:47.12
4:23.34 4:11.62 500 free 4:35.76 4:47.20
15:26.19 14:37.31 1650 free 15:52.41 16:30.59
47.43 44.96 100 fly 50.92 53.76
1:46.69 1:40.44 200 fly 1:53.20 1:59.23
47.77 44.94 100 back 50.93 53.94
1:45.04 1:39.13 200 back 1:50.50 1:57.11
54.27 51.59 100 breast 58.46 1:01.84
1:58.43 1:52.28 200 breast 2:06.58 2:13.97
1:46.77 1:41.34 200 IM 1:53.66 1:59.94
3:51.46 3:39.16 400 IM 4;03.62 4:17.30
PROVISIONAL QUALIFYING RELAYS QUALIFYING PROVISIONAL
1:17.80 1:17.07 200 free relay 1:28.43 1:29.21
2:52.46 2:50.99 400 free relay 3:14.50 3:16.35
6:21.32 6:16.80 800 free relay 7:00.86 7:05.88
1:24.83 1:24.22 200 medley relay 1:36.40 1:37.05
3:07.53 3:05.47
400 medley relay
3:31.66 3:33.78
ZONE QUALIFYING DIVING ZONES
ZONE QUALIFYING
300 1-meter 265
320 3-meter 280
300 Platform 225

Conversion Factors

Note that Short Course Meters times can be converted and used as official NCAA qualifying standards. Long Course Meters times cannot – which is significant, because many countries are expected to hold winter qualifying events for the 2022 World Championships, which will be held earlier in the year than normal.

Event
SCM Conversion Factors
400 meters to 500 yards 1.153
800 meters to 1000 yards 1.153
1500 meters to 1650 yards 1.013
All other events 0.906

Men’s Qualifying Standards Change

Event A STANDARD B STANDARD A Standard Change
B Standard Change
50 free 18.96 19.96
100 free 41.71 43.8
200 free 1:32.05 1:36.32
500 free 4:11.62 4:23.34 -0.2
1650 free 14:37.31 15:26.19
100 fly 44.96 47.43 -0.09
200 fly 1:40.44 1:46.69 -0.32
100 back 44.94 47.77 -0.01
200 back 1:39.13 1:45.04 -0.03
100 breast 51.59 54.27
200 breast 1:52.28 1:58.43
200 IM 1:41.34 1:46.77
400 IM 3:39.16 3:51.46
RELAYS QUALIFYING PROVISIONAL
200 free relay 1:17.07 1:17.80 -0.1 -0.06
400 free relay 2:50.99 2:52.46 -0.12
800 free relay 6:16.80 6:21.32 -0.38 -0.53
200 medley relay 1:24.22 1:24.83 -0.08 -0.14
400 medley relay 3:05.47 3:07.53 -0.48 -0.19
DIVING ZONES
ZONE QUALIFYING
1-meter 300 Unchanged
3-meter 320 Unchanged
Platform 300 Unchanged

Women’s Qualifying Standards Changes

Event A STANDARD B STANDARD A Standard Change
B Standard Change
50 free 21.66 22.76
100 free 47.18 49.51
200 free 1:42.98 1:47.12
500 free 4:35.76 4:47.20
1650 free 15:52.41 16:30.59
100 fly 50.92 53.76
200 fly 1:53.20 1:59.23
100 back 50.93 53.94
200 back 1:50.50 1:57.11
100 breast 58.46 1:01.84 -0.14
200 breast 2:06.58 2:13.97 -0.26
200 IM 1:53.66 1:59.94
400 IM 4:03.62 4:17.30
RELAYS QUALIFYING PROVISIONAL
200 free relay 1:28.43 1:29.21
400 free relay 3:14.50 3:16.35 -0.11
800 free relay 7:00.86 7:05.88
200 medley relay 1:36.40 1:37.05
400 medley relay 3:31.66 3:33.78
DIVING ZONES
ZONE QUALIFYING
1-meter 265 Unchanged
3-meter 280 Unchanged
Platform 225 Unchanged

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woods
1 month ago

weird realization – none of Aaron Peirsol or Brendan Hansen’s best yards times would have achieved the current A cuts.

Lead by Example
Reply to  woods
1 month ago

Mostly due to their focus on LCM events, although they were certainly dominant in SCY their LCM times were the focus.

Proudhoosier
1 month ago

All the men’s relays got faster….

hoos next
Reply to  Proudhoosier
1 month ago

Can’t have easy standards when relays like Virginia’s exist!

Curious George
Reply to  hoos next
1 month ago

I don’t understand all of the to do. UVA is good but not the first team to win ncaas, teams have won ncaa championships by more than they did…Dino won the ACC title about 23 more times than Desorbo has?

Little Mermaid
Reply to  Curious George
1 month ago

Plus 2022 championships is going to be very different on the women’s side vs the last one. Stanford is going to have depth coming into the program. Smith, Huske few others

Jim Wilson
Reply to  Little Mermaid
1 month ago

Weyant and Gretchen Walsh might be able to provide some depth too

Jim Wilson
Reply to  Curious George
1 month ago

My guess is ACC’s isn’t much of a thing at Virginia anymore.

Last edited 1 month ago by Jim Wilson
WahooSwimFan
1 month ago

Kinda strange they would not take LCM times into account given the schedule for Worlds. Any chance they would reconsider that?

DJTrockstoYMCA
1 month ago

Looking like NCAAs for the foreseeable future will be a dual meet between UVA and Stanford on the women and Texas and Berkley on the men.

Dave
1 month ago

How many can each Team enter in ONE INDIVIDUAL event?

Some teams have many that appear might qualify in the same event for NCAA.

Reply to  Dave
1 month ago

In the NCAA, there’s no limit on how many athletes a team can enter in a single event. Each team’s roster is capped at 18 athletes and each athlete can only enter up to 3 individual events. But if a team wanted to put all 18 of their swimmers into the 50 free, 100 free, and 200 free, they could do that (though, of course, they’d all be fighting each other for scoring spots).

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Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. 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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