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DIII reduces number of required contests

Minimums needed for championship selection and sports sponsorship lowered by 33% in all sports for the 2020-21 school year

The minimum number of contests required for sports sponsorship and championship selection in Division III have been reduced by 33% in all sports for the 2020-21 academic year.

The Division III Administrative Committee approved the reductions during a videoconference Thursday in response to recommendations from the Division III Membership and Championships Committees. The minimum number of required participants will stay the same.

“We hope that a reduction in contest minimums will provide flexibility to our member schools as they work to reopen during what is a very uncertain and complex time. We understand this won’t fix everything for everyone, but we believe it is the right move at this time and we will remain flexible moving forward,” said Tori Murden McClure, chair of the committee and Spalding president.

The Administrative Committee concluded that reducing the minimum number of contests required for sports sponsorship and championship selection will help institutions remain in compliance, provide much-needed guidance as institutions map out what competition schedules will look like and will reduce the administrative burden associated with seeking relief in the form of waivers as institutions continue to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a recent survey of the Division III membership by the Division III Commissioners Association, 85% of participants supported a reduction of contest minimums. This reduction also will provide institutions with flexibility to design a competition schedule that fits into revised academic calendars that will likely come as a result of the pandemic.

The committee noted that both the Membership and Championships Committees are committed to flexibility in making decisions in this rapidly changing climate. The intention right now is to conduct fall championships as scheduled.

The Administrative Committee is the governing body in Division III that is empowered to act between the quarterly meetings of the Management and Presidents Councils. The committee has five members, including the chair of the Presidents Council, the vice chair of the Presidents Council and the chair of the Management Council.

Here are the revised sport-by-sport contest minimums for the 2020-21 academic year:

  • Men’s cross country: 3.
  • Women’s cross country: 3.
  • Field hockey: 8.
  • Football: 5.
  • Men’s soccer: 9.
  • Women’s soccer: 9.
  • Women’s volleyball: 11.
  • Men’s basketball: 12.
  • Women’s basketball: 12.
  • Men’s ice hockey: 12.
  • Women’s ice hockey: 12.
  • Men’s swimming and diving: 5.
  • Women’s swimming and diving: 5.
  • Men’s indoor track and field: 3.  
  • Women’s indoor track and field: 3.  
  • Wrestling: 5.  
  • Baseball: 17.  
  • Men’s golf: 4.  
  • Women’s golf: 4.  
  • Men’s lacrosse: 7.  
  • Women’s lacrosse: 7.  
  • Rowing: 5.  
  • Softball: 16.  
  • Men’s tennis: 7.  
  • Women’s tennis: 7.  
  • Men’s outdoor track and field: 4.  
  • Women’s outdoor track and field: 4.  
  • Men’s volleyball: 11.