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Selection dates, bracket size proposed by DIII Championships Committee

Formats for winter team sports, individual team sports recommended

The Division III Championships Committee on Tuesday proposed selection dates and bracket sizes for the 2021 NCAA winter championships.

All recommendations will move forward through the governance process, where they must be supported by the Division III Management Council on Oct. 19-20. 

“The Division III Championships Committee would like to thank the sport committees for providing their comments and suggestions about bracket composition,” said Kiki Jacobs, committee chair and director of athletics at Roger Williams. “These are difficult decisions that have to be made right now.”  

Two weeks ago, the committee voted to recommend that all winter and spring 2021 national championship brackets and field sizes (team and individual) not exceed 75% of their standard capacity. During the meeting, it reaffirmed this decision. 

Committee members emphasized the driving principles of filling out the brackets in each sport, protecting conference automatic qualification access to championships and providing access to schools unaffiliated with automatic qualification when warranted. However, brackets could be reduced if national sponsorship of a sport decreases.  

Men’s and women’s basketball

  • Selection announcement date: March 7 (automatic qualification deadline: March 6).
  • Bracket size: 48 teams.

Men’s ice hockey

  • Selection announcement date and automatic qualification deadline: March 14.
  • Bracket size: Nine teams.

Women’s ice hockey

  • Selection announcement date and automatic qualification deadline: March 14.
  • Bracket size: Eight teams.

Men’s and women’s swimming and diving

  • Selection announcement date: March 10.
  • Championship format: There will not be any in-person zone diving meets to qualify for the championships. (An alternate selections method will be determined.) Since individual team sports cannot exceed 75% of the standard participation, 239 women and 195 men will compete.

Men’s and women’s indoor track and field

  • Selection announcement date: March 7.
  • Championship format: All participants will compete at one predetermined site. Individual and relay event sizes will be reduced to no more than 75% in 2021.


  • Selection announcement date: March 1.
  • Championship format: Usually, 180 wrestlers compete at one predetermined site, but that number will not exceed 75%, or 135 wrestlers, in 2021. Selections will be based on competition at six regional qualifying events.