NCAA Releases 2024 Championship Standards, Long Course Conversion Formula

The NCAA has published the qualifying standards for the 2024 NCAA Division I Swimming & Diving Championships, with the majority of events getting incrementally quicker.

After the standards returned to their normal flow of progressively getting faster last year, with the canceled 2020 championships and the slower-than-normal 2021 edition making the cuts a bit stagnant, things have continued to get faster in college swimming after the incredible 2022-23 season that saw 15 U.S. Open records go down.

The ‘A’ standards are calculated by using the three-year average of the eighth-best time from previous seasons, while the ‘B’ or “Provisional” standards are computed using the three-year average of the 125th-fastest times (unless either average is slower than the current cut). See the full explainer below.

2024 Division I Swimming & Diving Qualifying Standards

Men’s B Standard Men’s ‘A’ Standard Event Women’s ‘A’ Standard Women’s ‘B’ Standard
19.79 18.82 50 free 21.63 22.67
43.46 41.50 100 free 47.18 49.36
1:35.79 1:31.74 200 free 1:42.84 1:47.12
4:21.99 4:10.74 500 free 4:37.89 4:47.20
15:25.12 14:37.31 1650 free 15:52.41 16:30.59
47.08 44.64 100 fly 50.69 53.63
1:45.89 1:40.16 200 fly 1:52.86 1:59.23
47.47 44.71 100 back 50.88 53.82
1:44.60 1:39.13 200 back 1:50.50 1:57.07
53.63 51.10 100 breast 58.02 1:01.46
1:57.44 1:51.09 200 breast 2:05.73 2:13.86
1:46.16 1:41.03 200 IM 1:53.66 1:59.56
3:50.68 3:38.90 400 IM 4:03.62 4:17.30
1:17.38 1:16.80 200 free relay 1:28.43 1:29.21
2:51.86 2:50.44 400 free relay 3:14.10 3:16.25
6:18.94 6:16.02 800 free relay 7:00.86 7:05.88
1:24.32 1:23.71 200 medley relay 1:36.24 1:37.00
3:06.84 3:04.96 400 medley relay 3:31.38 3:33.48


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

*Qualifying point total in any 6 dive list
**Qualifying point in any 5 dive list

Men’s Standards

  • Eleven of the 13 individual events saw the ‘A’ standard get faster, with the biggest jumps coming in the 500 free (0.66) and 200 breast (0.45).
  • The 1650 free and 200 back remained the same as last year.
  • Three of the 100s, 100 breast (0.30), 100 fly (0.18) and 100 free (0.14) all got faster by more than a tenth, a relatively significant margin given the distance.
  • The ‘A’ cuts for the 400 free and 200 medley relays both got slightly faster, while the other three relays remain the same.

Women’s Standards

  • Only five of the women’s individual events got faster, with the 200 breast (0.45) and 100 fly (0.23) the only ones to improve by more than a tenth.
  • The 500 free got significantly slower, jumping from 4:35.76 last season to 4:37.89, marking a 2.13-second add.
  • The 100 free, 200 free, 1650 free, 200 fly, 200 back, 200 IM and 400 IM all have the same ‘A’ cut as last season, as do all five relays.

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.


The NCAA has consistently had a conversion formula available for short course meter swims (25-meter), giving athletes the opportunity to qualify for the championship meet while racing SCM, but this season that will also be the case for long course.

The NCAA Swimming & Diving Committee announced that it would approve swims from the Olympic-sized pool to qualify for NCAAs in late July, with the 2023 U.S. Open and 2024 World Championships having been approved as LCM qualifying opportunities.

The NCAA also recently approved new rules relating to bona fide meets and not allowing non-collegiate swimmers in the same heats as college swimmers. The Committee will, however, make an exception to those new rules for “other approved meets,” such as the U.S. Open and 2024 Worlds.

Below, find the long course-meter conversion factors for NCAA qualification. To put it simply, you translate a LCM time into seconds and then multiply it by the factor for that given event to get the subsequent SCY converted time.

As an example, the men’s 200 backstroke factor is 0.859, so a time of 1:55.40 in long course (115.40) multiplied by the factor gives us a yards time of 1:39.12, right under the ‘A’ cut.

The short course meter conversion factors and the altitude conversions both remain unchanged from last season.


Women’s Factor Event Men’s Factor
0.881 50 Freestyle 0.870
0.884 100 Freestyle 0.873
0.884 200 Freestyle 0.875
1.122 400 Freestyle to 500 Freestyle 1.115
1.13 800 Freestyle to 1000 Freestyle 1.115
0.985 1500 Freestyle to 1650 Freestyle 0.975
0.863 100 Backstroke 0.845
0.867 200 Backstroke 0.859
0.88 100 Breaststroke 0.866
0.888 200 Breaststroke 0.868
0.887 100 Butterfly 0.878
0.891 200 Butterfly 0.876
0.877 200 IM 0.867
0.886 400 IM 0.875
0.881 200 Freestyle Relay 0.870
0.884 400 Freestyle Relay 0.873
0.884 800 Freestyle Relay 0.877
0.879 200 Medley Relay 0.868
0.878 400 Medley Relay 0.866


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


3000-4,250 FT. ELEVATION 4,251-6,500 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

The 2024 Women’s Division I NCAA Championships will take place in Athens, Georgia from March 20-23, while the men’s competition will be held in Indianapolis, Indiana, from March 27-30.

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10 months ago

Can NCAA Championship qualifying times only be achieved at NCAA meets?

Reply to  Jess
10 months ago

Mostly yes, but every year the committee adds a few exceptions.

The Original Tim
10 months ago

I like seeing the LCM conversion factors listed, that’s something that most conversion calculators online don’t publish.

For fun I ran my masters LCM times through those conversion factors and, as expected, the margin of error is significant at the 200 level and in the ballpark in the 50 and close-ish in the 100s. I’m 100% a short course swimmer with much better underwaters than surface swimming, so I imagine that those swimmers who’d actually utilize the LCM conversion as designed would be the ones who aren’t as lopsided as I am.

10 months ago

I still don’t understand why D1 and D2 have different SCM-to-SCY conversion rates?

Also…should there be some mathematical statistical analysis on altitude adjustment times? Where did those come from to begin with? Seems way too randomly round numbers to be proper from a statistical analysis standpoint.

10 months ago

A thought experiment that’s been in my head for the last few months: If you had to pick a single swimmer competing today (man or woman) who would be tasked with achieving the World Aquatics A cut (long course) in every stroke/distance that is competed at in the pool at World Championships in a single calendar year (let’s supposed that their life depended on it) who would you pick and how realistic do you think it would be that they could achieve it?

Reply to  Jonathan
10 months ago

It would have to be an IMer wouldn’t it? Marchand and McIntosh probably.

Reply to  Joel
10 months ago

The two names I had in mind were McIntosh and Ledecky. But I don’t know if Ledecky is too weak in the non-freestyle strokes for this. We know she’s world class in the 400 IM.

If we go with Marchand, which event would be the hardest one for him to achieve the A cut?

Reply to  Jonathan
10 months ago

50 free by far

Reply to  Tennessee
10 months ago

Those sprint free cuts are insane

Reply to  Jonathan
10 months ago

Ledecky is probably too distance focused and I think you’d have better luck with someone who excels more in the 200 meter range. She’s overkill for distance free qualifications and I imagine that someone like Kate Douglass would find it easier to qualify in the 1500 free than for Ledecky to do it in like the 50 breast or fly

Reply to  Joel
10 months ago

Yes if meet schedule allows for it. Great people just continue to getterdone n have fun

Little green vegetable
Reply to  Jonathan
10 months ago

Marchand Bc McIntosh would fail on br

Reply to  Little green vegetable
10 months ago

She goes 2:28 2 breast and would definitely be faster at a taper meet

Reply to  Jonathan
10 months ago

I think Kate Douglass could do it with the right training.

Reply to  Jonathan
10 months ago

Coughlin Hosszu and Hoff in their prime. Now I’d actually go with Mary Sophie Harvey as a dark horse. Girl has some range that’s never talked about

Tom Dean
10 months ago

Men’s breaststroke is getting ridiculously fast. There is a ton of breaststroke talent that left the ncaa and potentially a lot of Olympic redshirts. For the first time in awhile there will be a new NCAA Champ in the 100 breast.

10 months ago

I know why it’s not really necessary but imagine if D2, D3, NAIA, and NJCAA also these for Olympic seasons under their own QT’s.

Last edited 10 months ago by PFA
10 months ago

Looking at how LCM world records converted compare to SCY US Open records, the vast majority of converted LCM times are slower than the SCY counterparts. I think it makes sense for NCAA purposes but obviously not so useful for comparing swims outside of that

Of the 26 individual events (not counting the 800/1000 free), the only 5 where the converted times are faster than the actual SCY times are in the women’s 200 fly (WR converts to 1:48.53), men’s 200 fly (WR converts to 1:36.66), men’s 100 breast (converts to 49.25) and men’s 400/1500 free (WR convert to 4:05.38 and 14:09.24 respectively). Not super surprising there since for the most part, the top dogs in those events have… Read more »

Last edited 10 months ago by jeff
Awsi Dooger
10 months ago

I hope we can stop trying to cleanse and protect the longer women’s events. The caliber is laughable, as demonstrated by the 2+ second add in the 500.

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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