USA Swimming has announced the selection criteria for the pool side of the 2019 National Junior Team, and they are almost identical to the 2018 (and 2017) selection criteria. Similarly to the prior two years, the 2019 team will be chosen from results of all long course FINA and USA Swimming meets from January 1st, 2019 and August 31st, 2019.
Athletes will be chosen by priority: first the top 2 in each individual Olympic event, then the 3rd and 4th-ranked swimmers in the 100 and 200 free, and then athletes who are ranked in the top 75 (female) or top 100 (male) in the world in individual Olympic events. This is all with the caveat that swimmers who have been on a major long course team (Olympics, Pan Pacs, Worlds) are not eligible.
The one slight tweak for 2019 is that USA Swimming now reserves the right to remove athletes from the National Junior Team for a number of reasons, including crimes, drug use, Safe Sport violations, USA Swimming Code of Conduct violations, and doping violations – even if those are just allegations. Athletes have the right to appeal any revocation to the USA Swimming National Board of Review.
The doping clause has been most recently relevant. One member of the USA Swimming National Junior Team, Matthew Willenbring, tested positive for a banned substance at the 2017 World Junior Championships. If the clause is extended to the senior National Team, then Madisyn Cox would be a relevant example where the clause could be invoked after her positive doping test last season as well.
- All team members must be registered USA Swimming members at the time of the qualifying performance.
- The athlete must be eligible to represent the U.S. in International Competition as of September 1, 2019.
- Athletes must be 18 or under on September 1, 2019.
- The National Junior Team roster will be selected according to the FINA database as of September 2, 2019 at 8am Mountain Time; if a time is not in the FINA times database as of September 2, 2019 then that time will not be considered.
- To be selected to the National Junior Team, athletes must meet the General Selection Criteria. The Team will then be selected based on the following Performance Criteria.
- Priority One: The top two athletes in each individual Olympic event.
- Priority Two: The third and fourth ranked swimmer in the 100 and 200 meter long course freestyle.
- Priority Three: Additional FEMALE athletes who have a world ranking within, and including, the top 75 in an individual Olympic event and additional MALE athletes who have a world ranking within, and including, the top 100 in an individual Olympic event.
- Relay lead-offs, time trials, swim-offs and intermediate splits will NOT be considered.
- Long course times will be considered from January 1st, 2019 through and including August 31st, 2019 from all USA Swimming and FINA approved competitions.
- A minimum of 26 men and 26 women will be selected. If after applying all the selection procedures, the team size is below 26 men or 26 women, additional athletes will be included based on their highest world ranking, as outlined above, in an individual Olympic event until 26 men or 26 women are selected to the team. In meeting the minimum team size requirements, once an event has been filled with four swimmers no additional swimmers will be added in that event.
- Maximum team size will consist of 40 men and 40 women. Should more than 40 men or 40 women meet the selection requirements, those with the highest world rankings will be selected.
- Should there be a tie, either within in individual Olympic event or amongst a world ranking in two separate individual Olympic events, which would result in an increase to the team size beyond 40 men or 40 women, then the athlete’s next highest world ranking in an individual Olympic event will be used to break the tie. Should this not break the tie, the process will be continued until the tie is broken.
- Athletes who have competed in an individual Olympic event at The Olympic Games, Pan Pacific Games, or World Championships are not eligible for the National Junior Team Roster.
- Athletes will be considered regardless of year in high school, college or university as long as all other requirements are met.
- Athletes may not appear on the National Junior Team Pool Roster and National Team Pool Roster within the same season.
- Athletes will remain on the National Junior Team Roster until August 31st, 2020
- USA Swimming reserves the right to revoke the athlete’s position on the National Junior Team in the event that Athlete is alleged to have engaged in offensive conduct (including but not limited to any crime, drug use, doping offense, U.S. Center for SafeSport violation, or USA Swimming Code of Conduct violation) before a court of law, the American Arbitration Association, the USADA Anti-Doping Review Board, the U.S. Center for SafeSport, the USA Swimming National Board of Review or a USA Swimming Zone Board of Review. The Athlete can appeal any such revocation to the USA Swimming National Board of Review.