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