How do gymnastics regionals work? Everything to know about the event that leads up to the NCAA Championships

LSU v Florida
NCAA women's gymnastics championship 2024

The NCAA gymnastics regionals are all set to commence on Wednesday, April 3 at Crisler Center in Michigan. The regional hosts for the 2024 season are Arkansas, California, Florida, and Michigan.

The NCAA tournament starts with the regular championship season where several conference meets take place including the SEC Championship. The action then moves to the postseason followed by the regionals and ultimately concludes with the NCAA national championship Finals.

What are NCAA regionals?

LSU v Florida-NCAA Gymnastics Championship
LSU v Florida-NCAA Gymnastics Championship

The postseason in the NCAA Championships begins after the conference championships. Last weekend, Big 12, Pac-12, SEC, and several other conference champions were crowned. The gymnastics regionals follow a knockout format where the team who wins qualifies for the next round and the team who loses goes home.

How do gymnastics regionals work?

NCAA Gymnastics Championship 2024-Sloane Blakely in action
NCAA Gymnastics Championship 2024-Sloane Blakely in action

The regionals start with three days of competition for qualifications, a week before the championship starts. There are four regional hosts who are selected through a bidding process. The universities submit a bid in chunks of four years, and this year's hosts are Michigan, Florida, California, and Arkansas.

The hosts for the 2025 NCAA Championship are Alabama, Penn State, Utah, and Washington. Each of the four regionals features 9 teams. In total, there are 36 teams in the NCAA Regionals.

The first round of NCAA gymnastics regionals starts with a dual meet between the two lowest-ranked teams. The winner of the dual meet qualifies for round two, where two quad meets take place. The top two teams from each of the two quad meets advance to the regional finals. Teams ranked in the top 2 at the NCAA regional finals will book a place in the national semifinals, which take place a couple of weeks later.

The national semifinals also feature two quad meets similar to round two of regionals. The top two teams from each meet qualify for the NCAA Championship finals.

At last year's National Championships, Oklahoma secured the title with a score of 198.3875 while Florida Gators finished 2nd with 198.2375. Utah and LSU finished 3rd and 4th respectively.

NCAA Regionals qualification

NCAA Championship-Arizona v UCLA
NCAA Championship-Arizona v UCLA

The 36 teams that qualify for the NCAA gymnastics regionals are determined by the National Qualifying Scores (NQS). The NQS of a team is determined by taking the top six scores into consideration. While three of the six scores should be scored in an away meet, the highest score is not taken into calculation. The remaining 5 scores are averaged.

The top 16 teams via NQS rankings are seeded at the top in the four regionals. Teams ranked No. 1, 8, 9, 16 are placed into one region, No. 2, 7, 10, 15 are placed into the second regional, No. 3, 6, 11, 14 are placed into the third regional, and the rest 4 are seeded into the fourth regional.

Teams ranked 17-36 are placed according to their geographical locations. Teams closer to a particular host location are seeded into their region.

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