The National Collegiate Women’s Gymnastics Championships will move to a four-team regional/super-regional bracket model for the 2018-19 academic year.
The Division I Competition Oversight Committee, which met last week in Indianapolis, approved the format change.
In this model, regional/super-regional competition will be conducted over three days at four sites around the country. Two teams at each site will compete in a play-in on the first day.
On the second day, eight teams will compete in two sessions of four, and the top two in each of those sessions will advance to the next day. On the final day, four teams will compete in one session, and the top two teams will advance to the finals site.
This model will reduce the number of teams at the championship site from 12 to eight, which will create an access ratio that is more in line with the sport’s current sponsorship. The model will maintain current seeding principles and will assign unseeded teams by geographic proximity.
The current postseason format requires teams to compete in sessions of six for regionals, semifinals and finals. The new format will include four teams in each session throughout the championship, which will reduce each meet by more than 90 minutes.
The Division I Competition Oversight Committee approved the request for adding six judges to the National Collegiate Men’s Gymnastics Championships qualifiers and final sessions. The change would increase the current four-judge panel to a five-judge panel on each of the six events.
This action will be reviewed and considered for final budget approval during the 2018-19 fiscal year and would be effective for the 2019 championships.
The NCAA Men’s Gymnastics Committee noted an increase in the number of ties in the past two years with the four-judge panels for the championships finals.
Twenty-six student-athletes were tied during the 2017 championships and 28 during the 2016 championships. The committee believes a five-judge panel will better differentiate the scoring of the routines and enhance the student-athlete experience.