The SEC announced Monday it's delaying the start of men's and women's swimming and diving until October.

The SEC announced Monday that the men’s and women’s swimming and diving seasons will begin no earlier than Oct. 1 and will end no later than Jan. 25. 

Additionally, the conference established standards and rules that are to be followed this season. Competitions are limited to a dual-meet format and can only exceed more than two teams if alternative strategies are approved that will limit the number of participants while still ensuring social distancing guidelines. 

However, the SEC is not limiting the number of events that a school’s team can participate in. The number of events that the team members are entered in will be up to each individual school to decide. Regionalized competition outside of the SEC will be allowed as long as the opposing team adheres to the SEC Medical Guidance Task Force Requirements for COVID-19 Management

While no specific start date was mentioned, there won’t be any swimming and diving competitions in September. Last year, UF’s women’s swimming and diving team started their season on Sept. 26, while the men started their season on Sept. 27.

The new October to January schedule for the 2020-21 season will be two months shorter than SEC swimming and diving is used to. The swimming and diving season for the SEC typically begins in late September and continues through late March. 

Last season, the NCAA Championships for the women were set to begin on March 18, while the men were slated to start on March 25. Neither championship competition took place however due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the shut-down of SEC sports on March 12. 

This season will be the first time since the 2011-12 season that UF’s women’s swimming and diving team will not compete against another school before October. It will be the first time since the 2014-15 season for the men’s team.

Contact Sara Kate Dyson at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter @sarakatedyson.