NCAA Zone Diving Set to Begin on Monday – Here’s the Rundown

Zone Diving is set to begin on Monday for zones A, B, and D at Virginia Tech, the Greensboro Aquatic Center, and the University of Minnesota, respectively. Those meets run through Wednesday, when Ohio State and the U.S. Air Force Academy will begin hosting zones C and E for Thursday through Saturday.

In January, we ran a story on how many spots each zone gained or lost, and how that might affect the NCAA Championships. Read more about that story here.

For those unfamiliar with how NCAA Championship qualifying works for diving (and it’s a very important part, and could have huge impacts upon the NCAA Championship meet this year with Texas’ depth), it’s fairly simple.

Each zone receives a certain number of divers to put through to NCAA’s. There is a predetermined hierarchy of qualification, based on the chart below.

If you place this in the specialty to the right: These are your invitation priorities: 1-meter These are your invitation priorities: 3-meter These are your invitation priorities: platform
1 3 2 1
2 5 4 8
3 7 6 12
4 10 9 16
5 13 11 20
6 15 14 24
7 18 17 28
8 21 19
9 23 22
10 26 25
11 29 27
12 31 30

This system looks more complicated than it is. The winner of the platform in each zone will be the first person invited from that zone. The winner of the 3-meter in each zone will be the second person invited from that zone. The winner of the 1-meter in each zone will be the third person invited from that zone. Then the runner-up in the 3-meter. Then the runner-up in the 1-meter. And so on. We’ll spell it out more clearly at the end of this article. Yes, platform specialists get the short end of the stick in this ranking.

The next questions you’re asking is “won’t some of those people be the same”? The answer to your question is ‘yes’. That’s why the rankings go down to 30. In effect a swimmer’s second placing in a qualifying spot will be overlooked, and the hierarchy will keep marching. It’s exactly the same scenario used to select swimmers.

Below, we’ve laid out each zone down to the lowest possible spot that could get invited to that zone (which in reality will never happen). Every time a unique name shows up above the “cutoff line” that is in excess of the number of invited spots for that zone, the cutoff line moves.

As we said, it’s not as complicated as it sounds, and we will spell things out very clearly all week long.

Note: Team rankings are based upon our mid-season top 25 rankings.

Zone A
(5 men/6 women)
Christiansburg, Virginia, March 10th-12th
Teams ranked in the top 25 in this Zone:
Men – (#17 Penn St., #24 UVA)
Women – (#13 UVA)

Men’s Qualification

1. Platform – 1st Place –
2. Three-Meter – 1st Place –
3. One-Meter – 1st Place –
4. Three-Meter – 2nd Place –
5. One-Meter – 2nd Place –
–Everyone above this line goes, no matter what–

6. Three-Meter – 3rd Place –
7. One-Meter – 3rd Place –
8. Platform – 2nd Place –
9. Three-Meter – 4th Place –
10. One-Meter – 4th Place –
11. Three-Meter – 5th Place –
–Above this is the lowest spot that could still possibly get invited–

Women’s Qualification

1. Platform – 1st Place –
2. Three-Meter – 1st Place –
3. One-Meter – 1st Place –
4. Three-Meter – 2nd Place –
5. One-Meter – 2nd Place –
6. Three-Meter – 3rd Place –
–Everyone above this line goes, no matter what–
7. One-Meter – 3rd Place –
8. Platform – 2nd Place –
9. Three-Meter – 4th Place –
10. One-Meter – 4th Place –
11. Three-Meter – 5th Place –
12. Platform – 3rd Place –
13. One-Meter – 5th Place –
14. Three-Meter – 6th Place –
–Above this is the lowest spot that could still possibly get invited–

Zone B
(7 men/9 women)
Greensboro, North Carolina, March 10th-12th
Teams ranked in the top 25 in this Zone:
Men – (#3 Florida, #8 Auburn, #9 Georgia, #12 NC State, #14 Florida St., #15 Tennessee, #19 Duke)
Women – (#2 Georgia, #3 Florida, #7 Tennessee, #12 UNC, #14 Auburn, #22 Miami, #23 Florida State)

Men’s Qualification

1. Platform – 1st Place –
2. Three-Meter – 1st Place –
3. One-Meter – 1st Place –
4. Three-Meter – 2nd Place –
5. One-Meter – 2nd Place –
6. Three-Meter – 3rd Place –
7. One-Meter – 3rd Place –
–Everyone above this line goes, no matter what–
8. Platform – 2nd Place –
9. Three-Meter – 4th Place –
10. One-Meter – 4th Place –
11. Three-Meter – 5th Place –
12. Platform – 3rd Place –
13. One-Meter – 5th Place –
14. Three-Meter – 6th Place –
15. One-Meter – 6th Place –
16. Platform – 4th Place –
17. Three-Meter – 7th Place –
–Above this is the lowest spot that could still possibly get invited–

Women’s Qualification

1. Platform – 1st Place –
2. Three-Meter – 1st Place –
3. One-Meter – 1st Place –
4. Three-Meter – 2nd Place –
5. One-Meter – 2nd Place –
6. Three-Meter – 3rd Place –
7. One-Meter – 3rd Place –
8. Platform – 2nd Place –
9. Three-Meter – 4th Place –
–Everyone above this line goes, no matter what–
10. One-Meter – 4th Place –
11. Three-Meter – 5th Place –
12. Platform – 3rd Place –
13. One-Meter – 5th Place –
14. Three-Meter – 6th Place –
15. One-Meter – 6th Place –
16. Platform – 4th Place –
17. Three-Meter – 7th Place –
18. One-Meter – 7th Place –
19. Three-Meter – 8th place –
20. Platform – 5th Place –
21. One-Meter – 8th Place –
22. Three-Meter – 9th Place –
–Above this is the lowest spot that could still possibly get invited–

Zone C
(8 men/9 women)
Columbus, Ohio, March 13th-15th
Teams ranked in the top 25 in this Zone:
Men – 8 (#4 Michigan, #10 Louisville, #11 Indiana, #16 Ohio St, #18 Purdue, #20 Minnesota, #22 Kentucky)
Women – (#11 Indiana, #16 Louisville, #18 Notre Dame, #19 Purdue, #25 Michigan)

Men’s Qualification

1. Platform – 1st Place –
2. Three-Meter – 1st Place –
3. One-Meter – 1st Place –
4. Three-Meter – 2nd Place –
5. One-Meter – 2nd Place –
6. Three-Meter – 3rd Place –
7. One-Meter – 3rd Place –
8. Platform – 2nd Place –
–Everyone above this line goes, no matter what–
9. Three-Meter – 4th Place –
10. One-Meter – 4th Place –
11. Three-Meter – 5th Place –
12. Platform – 3rd Place –
13. One-Meter – 5th Place –
14. Three-Meter – 6th Place –
15. One-Meter – 6th Place –
16. Platform – 4th Place –
17. Three-Meter – 7th Place –
18. One-Meter – 7th Place –
19. Three-Meter – 8th place –
–Above this is the lowest spot that could still possibly get invited–

Women’s Qualification

1. Platform – 1st Place –
2. Three-Meter – 1st Place –
3. One-Meter – 1st Place –
4. Three-Meter – 2nd Place –
5. One-Meter – 2nd Place –
6. Three-Meter – 3rd Place –
7. One-Meter – 3rd Place –
8. Platform – 2nd Place –
9. Three-Meter – 4th Place –
–Everyone above this line goes, no matter what–
10. One-Meter – 4th Place –
11. Three-Meter – 5th Place –
12. Platform – 3rd Place –
13. One-Meter – 5th Place –
14. Three-Meter – 6th Place –
15. One-Meter – 6th Place –
16. Platform – 4th Place –
17. Three-Meter – 7th Place –
18. One-Meter – 7th Place –
19. Three-Meter – 8th place –
20. Platform – 5th Place –
21. One-Meter – 8th Place –
22. Three-Meter – 9th Place –
–Above this is the lowest spot that could still possibly get invited–

Zone D
(7 men/9 women)
Minneapolis, Minnesota, March 10th-12th
Teams ranked in the NCAA Championship top 25 in this Zone:
Men – (#2 Texas, #13 Missouri, #25 Texas A&M)
Women – (#4 Texas A&M, #9 Texas, #10 Minnesota, #15 Missouri, #20 Wisconsin, #21 SMU)

Men’s Qualification

1. Platform – 1st Place –
2. Three-Meter – 1st Place –
3. One-Meter – 1st Place –
4. Three-Meter – 2nd Place –
5. One-Meter – 2nd Place –
6. Three-Meter – 3rd Place –
7. One-Meter – 3rd Place –
–Everyone above this line goes, no matter what–
8. Platform – 2nd Place –
9. Three-Meter – 4th Place –
10. One-Meter – 4th Place –
11. Three-Meter – 5th Place –
12. Platform – 3rd Place –
13. One-Meter – 5th Place –
14. Three-Meter – 6th Place –
15. One-Meter – 6th Place –
16. Platform – 4th Place –
17. Three-Meter – 7th Place –
–Above this is the lowest spot that could still possibly get invited–

Women’s Qualification

1. Platform – 1st Place –
2. Three-Meter – 1st Place –
3. One-Meter – 1st Place –
4. Three-Meter – 2nd Place –
5. One-Meter – 2nd Place –
6. Three-Meter – 3rd Place –
7. One-Meter – 3rd Place –
8. Platform – 2nd Place –
9. Three-Meter – 4th Place –
–Everyone above this line goes, no matter what–
10. One-Meter – 4th Place –
11. Three-Meter – 5th Place –
12. Platform – 3rd Place –
13. One-Meter – 5th Place –
14. Three-Meter – 6th Place –
15. One-Meter – 6th Place –
16. Platform – 4th Place –
17. Three-Meter – 7th Place –
18. One-Meter – 7th Place –
19. Three-Meter – 8th place –
20. Platform – 5th Place –
21. One-Meter – 8th Place –
22. Three-Meter – 9th Place –
–Above this is the lowest spot that could still possibly get invited–

Zone E
(8 men/8 women)
Colorado Springs, Colorado, March 13th-15th
Teams ranked in the top 25 in this Zone:
Men – (#1 Cal, #5 Stanford, #6 USC, #8 Arizona, #17 UCLA, #24 Arizona St.)
Women – (#1 Cal, #5 Arizona, #5 USC, #7 Stanford, #21 Arizona St., #23 Utah)

Men’s Qualification

1. Platform – 1st Place –
2. Three-Meter – 1st Place –
3. One-Meter – 1st Place –
4. Three-Meter – 2nd Place –
5. One-Meter – 2nd Place –
6. Three-Meter – 3rd Place –
7. One-Meter – 3rd Place –
8. Platform – 2nd Place –
–Everyone above this line goes, no matter what–
9. Three-Meter – 4th Place –
10. One-Meter – 4th Place –
11. Three-Meter – 5th Place –
12. Platform – 3rd Place –
13. One-Meter – 5th Place –
14. Three-Meter – 6th Place –
15. One-Meter – 6th Place –
16. Platform – 4th Place –
17. Three-Meter – 7th Place –
18. One-Meter – 7th Place –
19. Three-Meter – 8th place –
–Above this is the lowest spot that could still possibly get invited–

Women’s Qualification

1. Platform – 1st Place –
2. Three-Meter – 1st Place –
3. One-Meter – 1st Place –
4. Three-Meter – 2nd Place –
5. One-Meter – 2nd Place –
6. Three-Meter – 3rd Place –
7. One-Meter – 3rd Place –
8. Platform – 2nd Place –
–Everyone above this line goes, no matter what–
9. Three-Meter – 4th Place –
10. One-Meter – 4th Place –
11. Three-Meter – 5th Place –
12. Platform – 3rd Place –
13. One-Meter – 5th Place –
14. Three-Meter – 6th Place –
15. One-Meter – 6th Place –
16. Platform – 4th Place –
17. Three-Meter – 7th Place –
18. One-Meter – 7th Place –
19. Three-Meter – 8th place –
–Above this is the lowest spot that could still possibly get invited–

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Anne

I went to the NCAA site to try to make sense of this and quickly gave up. Suppose I’m just looking to follow individual divers through this obstacle course. Will these events be on meet Mobile? Is there one website that will have live results of the various zone events?

Great explanation. While UCLA would love to have a Top 25 team on the men’s side, this is not a reality at this time. Our 17th place finish was on the women’s side, but most impressively, one of 7 PAC-12 conference schools on that list!

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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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