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NCAA staff | November 6, 2018

What is the DII Festival?

Division II is the only NCAA division that conducts “National Championships Festivals,” Olympic-style events in which a number of national championships are held at a single site over several days.

The concept was developed in the early 2000s as a way to provide student-athletes with a championships experience that exceeds what they normally would enjoy in their conference or NCAA postseason events.

The festival idea, in fact, was a response from then-NCAA President Cedric W. Dempsey, who in 2000 challenged each of the three divisions to create more awareness and excitement around the NCAA championships program, particularly for sports that don’t regularly experience the limelight of a select few.

MORE: 6 things that make the DII Festival a unique sporting event

Division II’s membership answered the call, staging the first festival in spring 2004 in Orlando. Since then, the festival has maintained its standing not only as an enhanced championships experience but also as a unique identifier for the Division II brand.