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|
|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|
400 medley relay
|ZONE QUALIFYING||DIVING ZONES||
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.
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
|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|
Women’s Qualifying Standards Changes
|Event||A STANDARD||B STANDARD||A Standard Change||
B Standard Change
|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||–||–|
if you qualify 4 swimmers can’t you bring all of your B cut relays?
That’s correct. And they can bring up to four uninvited relay swimmers to swim those relays.
I’m not sure we’ve had that happen yet. I think we’ve gotten close, but not sure if I remember it happening.
Are advance women’s NCAA tickets refundable for divers if they don’t qualify?
If you’re buying advanced tickets, you’re buying them through the school, who just paid money and purchased them from the NCAA.
You probably can’t get a refund.
But you can probably find someone to buy the tickets from you.
No idea how COVID is going to impact ticket sales come March, but the last few years, these meets have sold out.
Aren’t there different qualifying scores for diving zones A,B,C,D, and E?
No, each zone has the same qualifying scores.
How many can each Team enter in ONE INDIVIDUAL event?
Some teams have many that appear might qualify in the same event for NCAA.
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).
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.
Kinda strange they would not take LCM times into account given the schedule for Worlds. Any chance they would reconsider that?
All the men’s relays got faster….
Can’t have easy standards when relays like Virginia’s exist!
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?
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
Weyant and Gretchen Walsh might be able to provide some depth too
My guess is ACC’s isn’t much of a thing at Virginia anymore.
weird realization – none of Aaron Peirsol or Brendan Hansen’s best yards times would have achieved the current A cuts.
Mostly due to their focus on LCM events, although they were certainly dominant in SCY their LCM times were the focus.