The selection criteria to qualify for the American World Junior Championship team has been released by USA Swimming.
The team will be made up of up to 26 male swimmers who will be between the ages of 15-18 as of December 31st, 2017 along with 26 female swimmers between the ages of 14-17 as of December 31st, 2017.
Qualification for the team will be based on USA Nationals which will take place June 27-July 1. There are five ways that a swimmer can qualify for the team.
- PRIORITY ONE – (A) the four best finishing available swimmers based on the final results swum at the Qualifying competition in the 100-meter and 200-meter freestyle. (B) the available swimmer based on the final results swum at the qualifying competition in each event other than the 100 and 200m freestyles.
- PRIORITY TWO – The second available swimmer based on final results swum at the qualifying competition in each individual event other than the 100 and 200m freestyles.
- PRIORITY THREE – Highest placing available swimmer in non-Olympic events based on the final results swum at the qualifying competition.
- Swimmers finishing below the sixth placing available swimmer will not be considered for selection to the team with the exception of the 100 and 200m freestyles which includes up to the 8th placing available swimmer from the qualifying competition.
- If all priority #3 swimmers are selected to the team and the maximum team size of 26 swimmers/gender is not selected, no additional swimmers will be added to the team.
Oftentimes junior swimmers finishing within a higher spot at the qualifying meet will turn down their offer to swim with the World Junior Championship team in order to take a position with a Senior National team, indicating why USA Swimming would not select any available swimmer below a sixth place finish for all events beside the 100 and 200 freestyles, which allows up to an eighth place finish. The “sixth” and “eighth” place finished don’t reflect sixth or eighth overall at the meet, but just sixth and eighth among eligible swimmers for the competition.
On the contrary, if USA Swimming ends up with more than 26 swimmers/gender who’ve matched the priority 1, 2, and 3 qualifying procedures, they’ll take the following measures to select the team:
- All priority #1 swimmers will be selected
- If the team is not full by that point, all priority #2 swimmers will be named to the team. If adding priority #2 swimmers would bring the total number of athletes above 26/gender, then the athletes will be selected based on their world rankings until a full roster has been selected.
- If after all priority #1 and priority #2 swimmers have been selected and there’s still spots available, the same procedure used for priority #2 will be used. Priority #3 swimmers will be added based on world rankings. If the number of swimmers still does not add up to 26/gender, then the team will remain as is with no other athletes added to the roster.
The team will assemble August 19th in Indiana before embarking on a three-day pre-competition prep from August 20-22. On August 23 the competition begins, finishing on the 28th. The team has a “team activity and dismissal home” scheduled for August 29th.
A spokesman for USA Swimming clarified that swimmers who qualify for the U.S Junior Worlds Team and the senior Worlds team can compete at both competitions.
To see the document outlining all selection criteria click here.