The NCAA adjusted previous standards to follow international swimming rules. The change will affect men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams. The NCAA created the rule to increase congruity between the offseason during the summer and main season during school. This change will also help officials maintain consistency throughout different seasons. It affects lighting systems and diving dual meet format.
The NCAA added lights to the use of hand signals at the start of races to help deaf and hard of hearing swimmers. Lights and the lighting system must copy the audio commands given by the referee, and the timing must be fully integrated with the existing timing system.
The diving rule changes mostly impact the dual meet format and the scoring of those events. The following three rule changes affect dual diving meets:
When either team has three or fewer total participants per gender, the scoring of individual-event place values will be 7-5-4-3-2-1.
When either team has four or five total participants per gender, the scoring of individual-event place values will be 9-7-6-5-3-2-1, with only the best four contestants from each team scoring.
When both teams have six or more total participants per gender, the scoring of individual-event place values will be 16-13-12-11-10-9-7-5-4-3-2-1, with only the best six contestants from each scoring.
Men’s and women’s swimming and diving programs across the country hope that these changes will make the swimming seasons more similar.
* Originally published on October 9, 2017, by Sara Komer