GENERAL INFORMATION

Background of Establishing Women’s Triathlon

What is an Emerging Sport for Women?

An emerging sport is a women’s sport recognized by the NCAA that is intended to help schools provide more athletics opportunities for women, sport sponsorship options for institutions and help that sport achieve NCAA championship status. Please click here for more information.

What is NCAA championship status?

NCAA championship status is achieved separately by each Division. In order to achieve NCAA championship status for Division I and II, there must be a minimum of 40 varsity NCAA programs for the specific sport. Division III NCAA championship status requires only 28 varsity programs for team sports.

What does the difference between an Emerging Sport and an NCAA championship sport mean for women’s collegiate triathlon?

  1. Institutions are allowed to use emerging sports to help meet the membership minimum sports sponsorship requirements as well as, in Division I and II, minimum financial aid requirements, and gender equity compliance standards for varsity sports.
  2. Bylaws require that emerging sports must gain championship status within 10 years or show steady progress toward that goal to remain on the Emerging Sport for Women list.
  3. Until women’s triathlon has been awarded NCAA championship status, the national championship cannot contain the words “NCAA” and will be called the Women’s Collegiate Triathlon National Championship.

How was women’s collegiate triathlon named to the NCAA Emerging Sport for Women list?

  1. The process of instituting women’s triathlon as an NCAA Emerging Sport started in 2009 by Brad Hecker and Jeff Dyrek.
  2. In April 2013, the Committee on Women’s Athletics voted to recommend that Division I, II, and III all sponsor legislation to add triathlon as an Emerging Sport for Women.
  3. Prior to the vote by the NCAA, a minimum of ten (10) letters of interest in women’s triathlon had to be signed by the president of the respective Institution. USA Triathlon exceeded this requirement by garnering twelve (12) letters of interest.
    1. These letters of interest are NOT contractual commitments by the intuitions to implement women’s triathlon programs. They merely state the interest and support of women’s triathlon as an NCAA varsity program.
  4. On January 16 (Division I) and January 18 (Division II and III), 2014, women’s triathlon was overwhelmingly approved by the NCAA Legislative Council at the 2014 NCAA Convention in San Diego, California.
  5. What is the difference between a club triathlon program and a varsity triathlon program?
    • NCAA varsity women’s triathlon programs are institutionally sponsored sports that are integrated, in all aspects, into the institution’s athletics department. These programs must abide by all NCAA and institution legislation. This legislation encompasses a variety of topics including recruiting restrictions, scholarships, amateurism, training hour limits, and anti-drug policies to name a few.
    • The collegiate club draft-legal, non-draft legal and mixed team relay races will not be affected or changed at the Collegiate Club National Championships.
    • Collegiate Club National Championships is in the spring, while NCAA varsity season (currently called the Women’s Collegiate Triathlon Season) is in the fall.

Do institutions have to pick whether they will have a Club or NCAA program? Is it one or the other?

No, these are two separately functioning programs and the institution of an NCAA program does not mean the end of the club program. Regarding the status of the club and NCAA programs, as well as student-athlete participation, are decisions that will be made by each collegiate institution.

What athletic scholarships are available for Women’s Triathlon student-athletes?

  1. The NCAA has approved for the following equivalency scholarship amounts to be awarded to women’s triathlon programs 
    • Division I - 6.5 equivalency scholarships
    • Division II - 5 equivalency scholarships
    • Division III - No athletic scholarships
  2. Women’s triathlon is an equivalency sport, meaning partial scholarships may be awarded to student-athletes.

GENERAL SEASON OUTLINE

When will Women’s Triathlon competition begin as an NCAA Emerging Sport?

The inaugural season of women's triathlon as an Emerging Sport was in the fall 2014. The first date of allowed competition is September 1, unless otherwise noted in the NCAA calendar.

What is the format and distances of women’s triathlon competitions?

  1. The format is sprint draft-legal.
  2. Each wave will have 75 to 90 student-athletes. 
  3. The distances for each discipline is as follows: 750m open-water swim, 20k bike and 5k run.
  4. The distances for each discipline can vary (swim can be up to 150m +/-, bike course can be up to 1k +/- and the run can be to 250m +/-.

Are there any equipment restrictions?

Yes, all women’s triathlon student-athletes must abide by the following equipment rules for competition.

  1. Bike
    • Traditional road bike
    • Drop handle bars
    • No aerobars that do not extend beyond teh front-most part of the brake levers/hooods.
  2. Tires
    • Diameter between 70cm max and 55cm minimum (including tire)
    • Both wheels of equal diameter
    • Have at least 12 spokes
    • Spokes can be round, flattened, or oval, provide width does not except 2.4mm
    • Maximum rim dimension 25mm on each side
    • Wheels not in compliance with above are allowed if they are included in the current UCI Non-Standard Wheel List.
    • No disc wheels allowed
  3. Helmet
    • Non-aero
    • Undamanged/unaltered
    • CPSC sticker intact

Are there guidelines for team uniforms?

  1. Yes, student-athlete’s uniform must follow the following guidelines
    • Must cover torso at all times
    • Be a 1 piece or swimsuit
    • If front zipper exists, it must remain up
  2. What graphics are allowed on a uniform?
    • Appropriate uniform graphics must be in accordance with all NCAA and institution legislation and policies.

How many events will constitute a women’s collegiate triathlon competition season?

  1. A minimum of four (4) and maximum of six (6) 

How will scoring be calculated?

  1. Scoring will be modeled after a cross country scoring system, where the lowest score wins. All triathletes who finish a race will be given an overall-finish place. However, at this time, only the first four (4) on any one team will be counted in scoring.
  2. An order for team-finish placing will be established by removing all triathletes behind the top four (4) finishers on each team. Consequently, teams not finishing at least three athletes will not be included in the order of team finish
  3. Team scoring will be calculated by totaling the points of the first three finishing triathletes on each team, the lowest number of points shall be the winner.
  4. Although the triathlons finishing after their 4th place teammate on a team to finish do not score points toward their team’s total, their places, if better than those of any of the first four (4) of an opposing team, serve to increase the team score of the opponents.

What will be the structure for regional qualifiers?

  1. Between September and October there will be three (3) regional qualifier events.
  2. The format will be a 750m open water swim, 20k bike, and 5k run.

Diameter between 70cm max and 55cm minimum (including tire)
Both wheels of equal diameter
Have at least 12 spokes
Spokes can be round, flattened, or oval, provide width does not except 2.4mm
Maximum rim dimension 25mm on each side
Wheels not in compliance with above are allowed if they are included in the current UCI Non-Standard Wheel List.
No disc wheels allowed
Diameter between 70cm max and 55cm minimum (including tire)
Both wheels of equal diameter
Have at least 12 spokes
Spokes can be round, flattened, or oval, provide width does not except 2.4mm
Maximum rim dimension 25mm on each side
Wheels not in compliance with above are allowed if they are included in the current UCI Non-Standard Wheel List.
No disc wheels allowed