NCAA Publishes Division I 2022-2023 National Championship Standards

Braden Keith
by Braden Keith 3

August 01st, 2022 News

The NCAA has released qualifying standards for the 2022 Division I Swimming & Diving Championships, and after very small changes last year, they have changed more normally for for next year.

Because of the way that the standards are calculated, and because of the COVID-19 pandemic, they haven’t changed much in the last two years. The 2020 NCAA Championship meet was canceled, and the 2021 meet wasn’t as fast as normal because of both absences and interrupted training.

But with the 2022 meet back on track, and even enhanced by the “5th year” rule, the standards have begun tracking downward again (A full analysis will follow in a separate article).

The 2023 NCAA Division I Swimming & Diving Championships for women will be hosted in Knoxville at the University of Tennessee for the first time, running from March 15-18. The men’s meet will be hosted at the University of Minnesota from March 22-25.

The Virginia women are the two-time defending champion, while the Cal Golden Bears won last year’s men’s title.

Note that there was a small but significant change to the NCAA Short Course Meters to Short Course Yards conversions, which is explained below.

How the Standards are Created

  • The “A Standard” for individual events is calculated by using the three-year average of the eighth best time on the performance list unless the current “A Standard” is faster than the three-year average.
  • The “B Standard” for individual events is calculated by using the three-year average of the 125th best time on the performance list unless the current “B Standard” is faster than the three-year average.
  • The “Qualifying Standard” for relay events is calculated using the three-year average of the 16th best time on the championship finals performance list unless the current “Qualifying Standard” is faster than the three-year average.
  • The “Provisional Standard” for relay events is calculated using the three-year average of the 24th best time on the championship finals performance list unless the current
    “Provisional Standard” is faster than the three-year average.

How the meet is selected:

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.

2023 NCAA Men’s and Women’s Swimming & Diving Championship Qualifying Standards

Swimming

Men’s B Standard Men’s A Standard Swimming Women’s A Standard
Women’s B Standard
19.82 18.88 50 free 21.66 22.71
43.59 41.64 100 free 47.18 49.44
1:35.88 1:31.98 200 free 1:42.84 1:47.12
4:22.35 4:11.40 500 free 4:35.76 4:47.20
15:26.19 14:37.31 1650 free 15:52.41 16:30.59
47.23 44.82 100 fly 50.92 53.69
1:46.31 1:40.20 200 fly 1:52.86 1:59.23
47.59 44.79 100 back 50.89 53.91
1:44.82 1:39.13 200 back 1:50.50 1:57.07
53.87 51.4 100 breast 58.1 1:01.56
1:57.95 1:51.54 200 breast 2:06.18 2:13.89
1:46.52 1:41.22 200 IM 1:53.66 1:59.56
3:51.31 3:39.16 400 IM 4:03.62 4:17.30
1:17.58 1:16.80 200 free relay 1:28.43 1:29.21
2:52.44 2:50.52 400 free relay 3:14.10 3:16.32
6:20.41 6:16.02 800 free relay 7:00.86 7:05.88
1:24.42 1:23.76 200 medley relay 1:36.24 1:37.02
3:06.84 3:04.96 400 medley relay 3:31.38 3:33.54

Diving

Men’s Zones Diving Women’s Zones
300 1-Meter 265/220*
320 3-Meter 280/235*
300 Platform 225

Denotes 6/5 dive qualifying standards

Altitude conversions

Remain unchanged

3000-4,250 Ft. Elevation 4,251-6,500 Ft. Elevation
Above 6,500 Ft. Elevation
100 Yards/Meters (Individual Events) 0 0.1 0.15
200 Yards/Meters (Individual Events) 0.5 1.2 1.6
500 Yards/400 Meters (Individual Events) 2.5 5 7
1000 yards/800 meters 6.3 11.4 18.5
1650 yards/1500 meters 11 20 32.5

Short Course Meters to Short Course Yards Conversions

There was actually a subtle change here, and the standards do not reflect what is in the NCAA Swimming & Diving rules book (though a note on the selection document confirms the change).

Specifically, the events 200 meters and shorter moved the conversion from .903 to .906. That makes it slightly tougher to qualify for those events in short course meters. As an example of how this will impact things: a 1:55 in the short course meters 200 free last year would have converted to 1:43.85 in yards. This year, it will convert to about 1:44;19. So about two-tenths of a second in a 200 yard race.

This checks out, as historically, it has seemed a little easier to qualify in short course meters than short course yards in these events.

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

 

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Michael Andrew Wilson
4 months ago

Nice that Jeff Kostoff’s mile and Matt Biondi’s 100 would still make the meet.

James Beam
4 months ago

Women have meets only with 5 dives? Never knew that…

Scott Bonney
4 months ago

Change 2022 to 2023 in first paragraph, please.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

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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