Texas Reduces Competitors for HS Swimming Championship Season Amid COVID

The University Interscholastic League (UIL) that governs most public high school sports in the state of Texas, along with 2 private high schools, has released a revised post-season plan for the 2020-2021 high school swimming & diving season. The changes are in response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The plan will scale back the number of participants at the 2nd and 3rd level of the state’s system, and additionally reduce the number of days required to travel for championship meets.

Schools in classes 1A through 4A were able to begin holding dual and tri meets only on August 17th, while schools in the state’s two largest classifications, 5A and 6A, are allowed to begin meets on September 7.

The state meets will still be in February, though most of the championship season will be pushed back by about a week.

The reductions in qualifications for both the Regional and State Championship levels will reduce the number of individuals in the facilities on any given day. For example, the State Championship meet will see roughly one-sixth the number of competitors in the building on each day of the meet as compared to a traditional year.

The State Championship meets are held at the Lee & Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center in Austin, Texas.

Major Changes to Championship Season:

  • The Girls’ State Championship meets will be held on February 19th and 20th (tentative), while the boys’ meets will be held on February 26 & 27 (tentative). Traditionally, both boys’ and girls meets are held at the same time.
  • The top 4 in each event shall advance from the district meets to the regional meets, as compared to the traditional 6. With 4 districts in each region, that means regions will have 16 swimmers per event, rather than the traditional 24.
  • There will be no consolation finals swum at district meets (some districts had them, others didn’t).
  • Regional Championship and State Championship meets will be 1-day meets, with prelims in the morning and finals in the afternoon. Previously, The Class 5A (and under) meet and Class 6A meet would both hold prelims one day, and finals the next, with one meet in the morning and one in the afternoon, rotating by year.
  • The winner of each region will advance to the state meet, plus the 8 swimmers with the next best regional finals times overall (there are 8 regions in each class). This is how the State Championship field was determined until the 2016-2017 season, when it was expanded to 24 swimmers or relays per event. That will be shrunk back down to 16, with all 16 State Championship qualifiers scoring, returning more emphasis to the Regional meets.
  • The top 2 divers in each regional meet will qualify fo the state finals.

Major Changes to Regular Season Meets:

  • Only dual meets and tri meets will be allowed, and only one level of competition (Varsity/JV) will be allowed at any given meet – reducing the number of swimmers at any given meet.
  • Dual and tri-meets may have an additional 3 swimmers or divers from schools who may only have one swimmer. All three additional swimmers or divers may come from the same school or one swimmer or diver from three different schools.
  • Double dual or double tri-meets are not allowed. Max of 3 teams at swim facilities at any given time.
  • Meets that are DIVING ONLY (no swimming) are limited to no more than 40 divers, there is no team limit, there is just the limit on number of competing divers of 40.
  • District Meets may only have one level of competitors participating on site at a given time. Example: if Varsity Boys/Girls are swimming, JV would not be allowed on site until the varsity athletes have left.
  • There are no limits to dual and tri-meets provided no school time is lost.
  • Additional information will be released at a later time concerning District, Regional, and State Meets



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1 month ago

I must say, turning the regionals and state meets into one day events will definitely cut down on the experience us former texas high school swimmers still remember, BUT the fact that there ARE meets planned at all is AWESOME!!!

Just being able to swim any meet at UT Austin is an honor, but for the VAST majority of swimmers, swimming your last race ever in the same pool Eddie and countless Olympians have graced perhaps not hours before hand is truly a blessing. Even if you didn’t make it to state, a send off in the house that Eddie built is more than enough.

1 month ago

I assume with this ruling there will be no TISCA this year, correct?

Reply to  SwimmerTX
1 month ago

The TISCA website mentions that “invitationals” can have no more than 8 teams, so the typical end of fall big TISCA meet sounds unlikely, at least the way its normally run.

1 month ago

HS swimming in TX runs from Aug till Feb?

Reply to  Mac
1 month ago

cc September 1 – March 15

Reply to  Mac
1 month ago


Reply to  Mac
1 month ago

Long season for teachers who only get the minimum stipend for coaching.

Reply to  Mac
1 month ago

Public schools use the participation as credit for PE. Taking PE year round as HS swimming affords the kids to take other classes or get out of school early (for Varsity swimming AMs). Club kids swim club practice in the afternoon and AMs with their HS teams (2 water, 2 dryland, 1 study hall per week). Makes for a much more collaborative working environment between HS and club too, it is rather nice.

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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