USA Swimming has released its selection criteria for the 2018 Short Course World Championships, selecting the team from the current National Team roster as established by the results of this summer’s long course championship meets.
Team USA will select its Short Course Worlds participants from the 111 athletes named to the 2018-2019 National Team earlier this week. Those swimmers were selected based off of the top 6 times from combined results of prelims and finals at the U.S. National Championships, the Pan Pacific Championships and the Junior Pan Pacific Championships. You can check out the full National Team roster here.
USA Swimming’s selection criteria defines “Individual Olympic event” and “Individual Non-Olympic event” as individual races held in long course meters only, which are held at the 2018 Short Course World Championships. Olympic events are those held at the Olympics, non-Olympic events those not included in the Olympic program (namely, 50s of fly, back and breast and the 100 IM). That would imply that the selection priorities calling for the fastest times in each event are specifically asking for the fastest time in long course meters, not short course meters.
You can see the full USA Swimming selection criteria here. We’ll break things down as simply as possible below.
The U.S. team for Short Course Worlds is notoriously hard to predict, as many athletes will decline their roster spots. Swimmers still in school and competing at either the college or high school level are particularly likely to decline the invite to the event, which takes place from December 11-16 in Hangzhou, China.
Simplified Selection Procedures
Roster capped at 26 men and 26 women
Roster selected only from 2018-2019 U.S. National Team members
- Priority #1: Swimmers with top 4 times in 100 free, top 3 times in 50 free and 200 free, top 1 time in other individual Olympic events
- Priority #2: Swimmers with second-fastest time in individual Olympic events besides 50/100/200 free
- Priority #3: Top-placing swimmer from Nationals in the non-Olympic events (stroke 50s & the 100 IM)
- Priority #4: Swimmers with fifth-fastest time in 100 free, fourth-fastest times in 50 free and 200 free
- Priority #5: Swimmers with sixth-fastest time in 100 free, fifth-fastest times in 50 free and 200 free
- Priority #6: More swimmers at the discretion of USA Swimming’s staff
It’s worth noting that most priorities call for the fastest times in Olympic events – that would appear to mean the fastest long course meter times. Priority 3 is the only priority which calls for the highest-placing athlete from Nationals, rather than the fastest time.
There are further restrictions based on FINA rules – a nation can only enter up to two athletes per event and can only enter two if both have hit FINA A cuts in either long course or short course. That’s typically not an issue for USA Swimming, but is included in the selection criteria and could be relevant if enough swimmers in a specific event decline the invite.