The North Dakota High School Swimming and Diving All State and Honorable Mention Teams were initially selected through a process that began with the start of the season and culminated with the nomination of athletes by their head coach. Nominations were based on the following criteria: Talent, Leadership, and Attitude displayed by the athlete throughout the course of the season. Coaches selected their two teams by ranking their twenty-four choices without voting for their own athletes. The selection was limited to swimmers and divers in grades 9-12. This process started in the 1982 season and continued through the 1995 season. It was in 1996 that the teams became performance-standard based.
Today, North Dakota All-State Swimming and Diving uses a formula (established 11/16/2013) of averaging the 2nd place finals time for the last 5 years to obtain the 1st Team standards and the 2nd Team standards are 102% of the 1st Team standards. The time/score must be achieved in one event during a meet for the given year to qualify. The meet must also be approved by the NDHSAA (no time trials, alumni meets, intrasquads, etc.). Only individual events are considered and grades 7-12 are eligible. The qualifying athlete must also be in good standing/eligible for competition at the conclusion of the state meet.