Big Ten Conference to Not Hold Swim Meets Until After January 1

Swimmers of the Big Ten Conference will not be able to swim in dual meets until second semester. Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

The Big Ten Conference Administrator’s Council has determined that with the exception of football, men’s and women’s basketball, and men’s and women’s ice hockey, there shall be no competition prior to January 1, 2021, in an email to swim and dive coaches obtained by Swimming World.

“The Administrators Council has determined that with the exception of football, men’s and women’s basketball and perhaps men’s ice hockey (and women’s ice hockey for those schools that sponsor it), there shall be no competition prior to January 1st,” the email states.

The Big Ten is the second power five Division I conference to make a decision regarding a swimming and diving season, after the Southeastern Conference announced they would only hold dual meets and no conference championship as of yet. There has been no indication on what the meets will entail in terms of spectator attendance and lane restrictions, or if teams will be limited on where they can travel.

The Big Ten Conference recently became the fourth power five conference to move forward with a condensed conference-only football season, following the lead from the SEC, ACC and Big 12, with decisions regarding the other sports seasons coming shortly. The Pac-12, which houses premiere swimming and diving teams Stanford, Cal, and Southern Cal, has made an agreement with the Quidel Corporation to allow for daily COVID testing, and could return to competition sooner than the original January 1 date.

There is still no word on if the NCAA championships will proceed as scheduled in March, but with the Big Ten only proceeding with meets starting in January, it could hinder the post-season. The Missouri Valley Conference has indicated they will hold a conference championship meet in April, which would likely leave those swimmers out of contention to make NCAAs. Currently, there is no public plan for a Big Ten swimming and diving championship meet.

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