NCAA Will Only Reduce D1 Championship Size if Less than 50% of Teams Compete

The NCAA has announced its contingency plan for NCAA Division I Winter & Spring Championships.

The plans indicate that the NCAA plans to host all Division I winter & spring championships, including swimming and diving and women’s water polo, regardless of how many institutions are participating. This comes in wake of the Division III committee canceling all winter sport championships, including swimming and diving, because of low participation numbers.

In individual sports, like swimming & diving, if at least 50% of Division I sponsoring institutions are competing, the field size will remain at normal levels and the standard number of student-athletes will be invited. In Division I swimming & diving, that means 270 men and 322 women.

According to the latest NCAA data, 132 Division I institutions sponsor men’s swimming & diving, while 193 sponsor women’s swimming & diving. This means that at least 66 men’s institutions and at least 97 women’s institutions must be participating for the field to remain in-tact.

At present, 104 men’s swimming teams and 143 women’s swimming teams have results marked as eligible for NCAA Championship selection in the official NCAA results database. While we don’t know for certain that all of these teams will be competing 30 days prior to the deadline, this appears to put Division I swimming & diving well clear of the threshold for full NCAA Championship participation, with room to spare.

In team sports, like women’s water polo, if at least 50% of the automatic-qualifying conferences are competing, the field size remains at 100%.

In women’s water polo, 6 teams receive automatic bids to the NCAA Championships: the winners of the Big West Conference, CWPA, Golden Coast Conference, MAAC, MPSF, SCIAC, and Western Water Polo Association.

Then 3 at-large teams are selected without geographical restrictions.

  • Contingency Plan for Winter (Other Than Basketball) and Spring Championships.  The Coordination Committee approved a contingency plan recommended by the NCAA Division I Competition Oversight Committee for winter (other than basketball) and spring NCAA championships if participation rates dictate that the championships cannot be conducted at full capacity. The following information provides the details of the plan:
    • For team and individual/team sports, the field size will be determined by the number of eligible conferences competing (conferences qualifying for an automatic qualification) in the regular season at the designated determination date (30 days prior to selections).
      • If more than 50% of the automatic-qualifying conferences are competing, the field size remains at 100%, the format accommodates all eligible automatic qualifiers and the balance of the field allocations will be at-large selections.
      • If 50% or fewer of the automatic-qualifying conferences are competing, the field size will be reduced to 75% of the normal size, the number of competing teams will be adjusted to accommodate all eligible automatic qualifiers and the remaining field allocations shall be populated with at-large selections.
    • For individual sports, the field sizes will be determined by the percentage of institutions competing in the regular season at the designated determination date (30 days prior to selections).
      • If more than 50% of sponsoring institutions are competing, the field size remains at 100%, and the standard number of student-athletes are selected to the championships.
      • If 50% or fewer of sponsoring institutions are competing, the field size is reduced to 75%, and 75% of the standard number of student-athletes are selected to the championships.
    • The field sizes shall remain at the designated percentage verified on the determination date until championship participants are selected. The number of automatic qualifiers and at-large selections will be adjusted to account for any changes occurring during the 30-day period.

Division III of the NCAA and the NAIA are the only divisions of college swimming to have canceled a national championship event so far. Division I and Division II of the NCAA have not announced any cancelations yet, nor has the NJCAA.

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Hot Take
2 months ago

Huge

William Wallace
2 months ago

Noice.

Brandi
2 months ago

Great news!!

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

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