NCAA Rules Committee Proposes Team Diving, Competition Definition Changes

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

NCAA Rules Committee Proposes Team Diving, Competition Definition Changes

The NCAA Men’s and Women’s Swimming and Diving Rules Committed put forth a set of proposals at its most recent meeting last week that includes changes to the definition of a” bona fide competition” and the possible adoption of team diving.

Members of the committee met last week in Indianapolis. Their recommendations are to be discusses by the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel on July 19 before they can become official for the 2023-24 academic year.

The committee recommended eliminating the participation of noncollegiate athletes from the official program in college meets. Instead, they would be allowed to compete in exhibition events outside of the usual meet program.

“We want to create an experience that honors collegiate athletes competing in a collegiate environment, but still recognizing that the sport can be exciting and fun for others,” Jessen Book, chair of the rules committee and men’s and women’s swimming coach at Kenyon, said in a press release. “We want there to be a clear way to do both.”

The committee proposed a possible, optional addition of a team diving event. Each team would name three divers to combine to complete a six-dive list, comprising a dive from each group and no more than two from any of the various apparatuses (1-meter, 3-meter and platform). The event would be a scored final with the sum of the list equaling the team score.

“This is about creating opportunities,” Book said. “So, we look for places where we can make the sport better. It is not a mandate that teams must do this event. It is an option just like the 50-yard freestyle or the 100-yard individual medley events are.”

Other rule proposals include:

  • An experimental rule in which coaches can review video after the 30-minute protest window expires, with video supplied by the meet committee and “only (to) be used for educational purposes.”
  • An optional rule for use of underwater cameras to confirm swimming disqualifications
  • Expansion of the use of “tape, kinesiology tape and compression sleeves” to treat documented medical conditions, with certification by a medical professional
  • Clarification of swimwear standards for swimmers and divers, including on logo specifications on caps
  • Resolution of ties by a manner other than a swim-off (i.e. a coin toss) if both coaches allow
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