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Fall championships – the pursuit of excellence

Coordinating championships entails more than handing out trophies

The NCAA hosts 89 championships across 23 sports each year – 22 of which take place during the fall. From national office staff members to committee members and volunteers, many hands go into making championship events a success.

An average of 73 volunteers work on every fall championship to ensure the student-athletes competing have a memorable experience. Division I and III men’s and women’s cross country are the first fall championships; both will be held on Nov. 22. Division II and III field hockey and Division III women’s volleyball will crown their champions the next day.  

In December, champions from all three divisions will be decided in men’s and women’s soccer in addition to Division II men’s and women’s cross country (Dec. 6), Division II and Division III football (Dec. 20 and 19, respectively) and Division I and II women’s volleyball (Dec. 20 and 6).

Did you know?

The NCAA does not run the College Football Playoff or bowl games, aside from setting the playing rules of those competitions.

On Jan. 10, the fall championship season finishes with the final game of the Division I Football Championship Subdivision playoffs.

At each championship site, the NCAA honors one individual with the Elite 89 award. It is bestowed upon the male or female student-athlete at the championship with the highest cumulative grade-point average.

Each championship strives to positively impact the communities where the games take place as well. Division III works with local Special Olympics chapters to honor or engage with Special Olympics athletes during the championship. Division II’s partnership with Make-A-Wish gives member schools a chance to help make dreams come true for children with life-threatening medical conditions. 

At their core, NCAA championships provide an exciting and memorable experience for the thousands of student-athletes who compete. Because most of them will not compete after college as professional athletes, bringing home one of those coveted trophies is the highlight of their time as a student-athlete.