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NCR Hosts Small College & CRC 7s Championships

  • 10 Mar 2022
CRC May Madness 7s Rugby

National Collegiate Rugby (NCR) is hosting two 7s events for its women’s teams this spring. The small colleges have advocated for their own 7s national championship, which will occur the weekend of April 30 in Pittsburgh, Pa. Participation does not preclude a team from also qualifying for the organization’s marquee event – CRC May Madness 7s on May 28-30 in New Orleans – which features two separate competitions for the women.


Thus far, nine of the NCR small-college conference championships (listed below) will serve as automatic qualifiers (AQs) for the 7s national championship in Pittsburgh:

• April 3: Upstate New York
• April 9: Allegheny (Clarion, Pa.), Mid-America (Clayton, Mo.), Rugby Northeast (North Easton, Mass.), Ohio Valley, South Atlantic (Cleveland, Tenn.)
• April 10: Colonial Coast (Beverly, Mass.), Eastern Pennsylvania
• April 16: Great Waters

There’s variety in how these conferences are building to their respective 7s championships. Some have robust series with multiple tournaments per weekend for their members (Ohio Valley and EPRU). Others are participating in competitions that build unity in a wider region (Rugby Northeast, Colonial Coast). For those leagues with a larger geographic spread, the conference championships might be the first time certain teams see each this spring, which is also exciting.


CRC May Madness 7s Rugby

Photo courtesy NCR



On Memorial Day Weekend (May 28-30), New Orleans welcomes back the CRC 7s. The Shrine on Airline stadium and adjacent LaSalle Park will fill with college and high school  7s tournaments. The main event will receive six hours of live CBS Sports coverage and additional live-streaming. Notably, there’s a dedicated two-hour block on Sunday (6-8 p.m. CST) that will feature women’s matches only. Championships, 3rd place matches and pool finals (Champion Cup [5th], Survivors Cup [9th], Challenge Cup [13th]) will air. That’s in addition to two quarterfinals matches on Saturday.

RELATED: CRC Spotlights Women’s Rugby

For the women’s colleges, there are two divisions: Premier and DI Club. The Premier is more of an invite/inquiry-based competition, but there are two qualifiers set for the women:

• April 2: Boise State @ Boise, Idaho
• April 9: Life University @ Marietta, Ga.

Remember: Any college team is able to participate regardless of their 15s championship affiliation, so teams from CRAA, NIRA and ACRA are welcome alongside current NCR members to compete. That’s how teams like Lindenwood and Life (which have already qualified due to their 1st and 2nd place finishes at the 2021 event) are able to participate.


CRC May Madness 7s Rugby

Photo courtesy NCR


The DI Club competition is driven mostly by the NCR DI conference championships (listed below). There are 12 automatic qualifier seeds and another four for at-large teams.

• April 2: Great Lakes (Allendale, Mich.)
• April 3: Upstate New York
• April 9: Ohio Valley (Cincinnati, Ohio), Rugby Northeast (North Easton, Mass.)
• April 23: Midwest (Cedar Falls, Iowa), Great Waters (Oshkosh, Wisc.), Mid-America (Columbia, Mo.)
• April 30: Allegheny (South Euclid, Ohio)


CRC May Madness 7s Rugby

Photo courtesy NCR


There are a few conferences that are still sorting their championship details, so edits are forthcoming. But with the transparency of the qualifying pathways, the public can not only follow along as the event fills out, but NCR administrators are also able to work with interested teams that might not have a local qualifier nearby. For example, South Atlantic teams that attend the Premier AQ at Life are tagged for DI Club qualification. Stay tuned as the brackets will fill out.

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