slide 1

NOTE: Only paying subscribers have access to locked content. LEARN MORE.

Tracking: Women’s College Alignments for 23-24

  • 18 Jul 2023
  • 9453 Views
NCR rugby

Since the end of the U.S. college rugby season, National Collegiate Rugby (NCR) has been announcing changes – i.e., additions – to its women’s membership and the impending 2023-24 season. Conferences are being created and/or built out to absorb transfers from Collegiate Rugby Association of America (CRAA). The following is a review of that activity so far, but expect more announcements throughout the summer, which may or may not impact conference alignments.

MID-ATLANTIC

It’s a new NCR conference and will field Division II and Small College competitions. DII involves transfers from CRAA’s now-defunct Mid-Atlantic (MARC) and Capital conferences, and will likely be divided into two pools along geographic lines.

Former CRAA MARC DII teams joining NCR:

• Bloomsburg Univ.
• Univ. Delaware
• Drexel Univ.
• Kutztown Univ.
• Rowan Univ.
• St. Joseph’s Univ.
• Temple Univ.

Former CRAA Capital DII teams joining NCR:

• American Univ.
• George Mason Univ.
• George Washington Univ.
• Longwood Univ.
• Univ. Mary Washington
• Univ. Maryland
• Towson Univ.
• Virginia Commonwealth Univ.
• College of William and Mary

NCR’s Mid-Atlantic Small College division is a combination of the northernmost South Atlantic (SARC) members, the previously independent Catholic Univ. and Capital transfer Georgetown:

• Catholic Univ.
• Christopher Newport Univ.
• Georgetown Univ.
• Randolph Macon College
• Univ. Richmond
• Roanoke College

NEW ENGLAND WIDE

Read the full details here. Six teams are moving from CRAA to NCR’s DII; eight are staying with CRAA and feeding into a new D3 fall 15s championship; and another 13 are playing 7s and can choose between NCR and CRAA membership (so those alignments won’t be known until teams register for the 2023-24 school year).

NCR DII: Coast Guard, Eastern Connecticut, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Tufts, Vermont
CRAA D3: Brandeis, Mount Holyoke, Springfield, Smith, Wellesley, Wentworth, WPI, Yale
Developmental 7s (NCR or CRAA): Babson, Central Connecticut, Champlain, Connecticut College, Holy Cross, Johnson & Wales, Lasell, MIT, New Haven, Union, Wesleyan, Westfield, Williams

ROCKY MOUNTAIN

The Rocky Mountain conference operated more like a DI/DII hybrid in that teams played cross-divisional game to fill out the schedule. Those results of course had no bearing on the postseason pathways. There were three consistent DII teams that competed in the CRAA DII fall 15s championship season that have now realigned with NCR DII: Colorado School of Mines and Colorado College. Colorado Mesa Univ. is bumping up to the strong DI league.

SOUTH ATLANTIC

SARC has also expanded to offer DI, DII and Small College competitions. CRAA’s Blue Ridge teams are reuniting with Virginia Tech. The Hokies were a long-time member of this former CRAA league but departed last season in lieu of a fall 15s/spring 7s schedule. Virginia Tech competed as an independent in CRAA’s DI fall last year.

New DI SARC teams (read more):

• James Madison Univ.
• North Carolina State Univ.
• Univ. of North Carolina
• Virginia Women’s Rugby
• Virginia Tech

Interestingly, the DI SARC teams are also competing in CRAA’s DI spring season, so there’s opportunity for a team to win two 15s titles in one school year. That could be good news for teams like Howard Univ., which was planning on joining CRAA DI Carolinas after its DII spring runner-up season.

Five teams from the CRAA DII Carolinas conference will join SARC’s Division II (read more):

Appalachian State Univ.
• UNC Charlotte
• East Carolina Univ.
• UNC Greensboro
• Western Carolina Univ.

They’ll reunite with Coastal Carolinas Univ. and College of Charleston, which had already left the DII Carolinas for NCR.

Former Carolinas’ member Elon Univ. will join SARC’s Small College division.

TRI-STATE

The Tri-State conference is sending over its DII and small college teams: Read more. Included is the reigning CRAA DII Fall College 15s champion, Vassar College.

• Division II: Columbia Univ, Fairfield Univ, Fordham Univ, Marist College, Molloy College, Montclair Univ, RPI, Rutgers Univ, Stony Brook Univ, SUNY Albany, SUNY Maritime, SUNY New Paltz, Univ New Haven, Vassar College

• Small College: Drew Univ, Siena College

IMPLICATIONS

[Updated] The majority of the teams that competed toward CRAA’s DII fall 15s championship last year have realigned with NCR, at least for the impending fall season. [Teams can be members of NCR and CRAA if they so choose, and both organizations hold spring 7s championships.] These transfers now compete toward a 15s national title instead of a regional/seasonal one, and they fill out a DII map that was mostly concentrated in the Midwest (and pockets of the Northeast) last year.

We won’t know the full extent of the movements until the fall 2023 season begins, but expect an injection of strong DII teams into NCR this upcoming fall. An adjustment period awaits for the former CRAA Blue Ridge, Capital and Carolinas teams, which have competed toward spring 15s championships in the past. But it’s a change worth embracing.

So CRAA doesn’t have the numbers for a DII fall 15s championship, but it’s launching a new Division III 15s championship this fall. So far, we know the New England Wide conference is contributing eight teams. There’s little threat to CRAA’s spring 15s championships. And the DI Elite is moving its post-season to the spring and has added BYU to the official lineup.

Will continue to update this piece as details emerge.

Article Categories:
COLLEGE

All Comments

Leave a Reply