The X Factor: 2013 Zone Diving Qualifying

PHOENIX, Arizona, March 11. THIS week, the NCAA Zone Diving Qualifying events begin to take place at the NCAA Division I level.

For those that might not understand the set-up, divers must qualify through a separate meet instead of just meeting a set standard like swimmers. Since diving is subjectively scored, these zone meets drastically reduce the impact that any given set of diving coaches scoring diving at dual meets can have on the NCAA meet by forcing zone-cut divers to compete against each other regionally.

Based on the NCAA Championship Handbook, the following zone spots have been allocated to advance divers to NCAAs

Northeast Region (A): 5 men/6 women
March 15-17
Christiansburg, Virginia
Host: Virginia Tech

South Region (B): 5/10
March 11-13
Knoxville, Tennessee
Host: Tennessee

Central Region (C): 9/9
March 14-16
West Lafayette, Indiana
Host: Purdue

Midwest Region (D): 8/7
March 11-13
Houston, Texas
Host: Houston

West Region (E): 8/9
March 14-16
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Host: U.S. Air Force

NCAA qualification spots are based on a rich get richer and the poor get poorer scheme where zone divers earn more spots for their zone based on last year's success.

The following order of priority is used to determine who advances through zone qualifying to the NCAA Championships based on the allotted spots per zone:

1. Winner of Platform
2. Winner of Three-meter
3. Winner of One-meter
4. Second-place Three-meter
5. Second-place One-meter
6. Third-place Three-meter
7. Third-place One-meter
8. Second-place Platform
9. Fourth-place Three-meter
10. Fourth-place One-meter
11. Fifth-place Three-meter
12. Third-place Platform
13. Fifth-place One-meter
14. Sixth-place Three-meter
15. Sixth-place One-meter
16. Fourth-place Platform
17. Seventh-place Three-meter
18. Seventh-place One-meter
19. Eighth-place Three-meter
20. Fifth-place Platform
21. Eighth-place One-meter
22. Ninth-place Three-meter
23. Ninth-place One-meter
24. Sixth-place Platform
25. 10th-place Three-meter
26. 10th-place One-meter
27. 11th-place Three-meter
28. Seventh-place Platform
29. 11th-place One-meter
30. 12th-place Three-meter
31. 12th-place One-meter

Where things get a bit tricky is when someone doubles or triples up priority spots. Whenever a diver earns a priority spot, the rest of their performances from the weekend are skipped over to the next priority spot.

Simply put, if you have an allotment of eight divers in your zone, then you go down the priority listing until you have eight different divers.

For those chart junkies, here is a grid format of the above information that is presented in the NCAA Championship Handbook

Event Finish, One-Meter, Three-Meter, 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

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