NCAA approves women’s hockey tournament expansion
On Wednesday the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I Competition Oversight Committee approved the expansion of the women’s hockey tournament from eight teams to 11 teams.
The expansion as strongly supported by University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) women’s hockey head coach Maura Crowell, who was calling for the tournament to be expanded to 12 teams.
It is time for the @NCAA’s National Collegiate Women’s Ice Hockey Championship to expand. Here’s why: https://t.co/9yUJVhTNok (Ice Hockey, page 72) #CloseTheGapNCAA #TimeFor12Teams2022 pic.twitter.com/bWhF7p1Wdz— Maura Crowell (@MauraCrowell) November 4, 2021
According to a release by the NCAA, the Women’s Ice Hockey Committee will decide whether the new bracket format is implemented in 2022 or 2023 during a meeting scheduled for next week.
Currently 41 schools have women’s programs. With 11 teams in the bracket, 27% of the teams will have access to the championship bracket. Division I men’s ice hockey is sponsored by 60 schools, with a 16-team field (27%) getting to play for a national championship.