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Corbin McGuire | | February 13, 2021

DII affirms plans to host winter championships

Jay LaPrete | NCAA Photos DII women's basketball

The Division II Management Council and Presidents Council on Friday affirmed plans to host all the division’s 2021 winter championships.

The Division II Championships Committee recommended the division move forward with hosting its seven winter championships after reviewing participation data and upcoming schedules across those sports. Nearly all finals sites will remain the same, except for the women’s basketball and wrestling championships. The women’s basketball championship will be held at the Columbus (Ohio) Convention Center, and the wrestling championships will be at the America’s Center in St. Louis.

The Management Council approved a variety of other recommendations from the Championships Committee related to this year’s winter and spring championships, including adjustments to the 2021 basketball regional alignment, on which the Presidents Council took final action. The other changes approved fell within the Management Council’s authority and were presented to the Presidents Council as information-only items.

Winter Championships

The Management Council and Presidents Council approved adjusting regional alignments for the 2021 Division II men’s and women’s basketball championships to better balance the number of active teams in each regional while trying to maintain geographic proximity for the schools in the regional. Prior to the approval, three regionals had 15 or fewer active teams, while three others had 36 or more active teams. The one-year regionals, which can be seen in the table below, keep seven of the eight regionals between 27-33 active teams.

Regional Advisory Committees, which assist in the evaluation of teams during the selection of championship participants, were also adjusted to reflect the new regional alignment.

Regions 2021 Conferences/Active Teams Total Active Teams
After Adjustment (Before)
Atlantic MEC/12 G-MAC/12* PSAC/3 Independent/2 CIAA/0 29 (17)
Central MIAA/14 NSIC/16       30 (42)
East ECC/6 CACC/7 NE10/1     14 (14)
Midwest GLIAC/12 GLVC/15       27 (39)
South GSC/13 PBC/12* SSC/3     28 (25)
South Central LSC/16 GAC/12*       28 (30)
Southeast SAC/13 CC/11 SIAC/9*     33 (36)
West RMAC/14* PWC/11 GNAC/2 CCAA/0   27 (13)

*Conference is now in a different region as part of the one-year adjustments approved Feb. 5 by the Division II Management Council and Presidents Council.

Additionally, the Management Council approved a recommendation to eliminate the minimum number of contests required for selection for this year’s Division II Men’s and Women’s Indoor Track and Field Championships (three contests with 10 participants) and instead require one qualifying mark.  

The rationale to reduce the minimum selection criteria centered on how COVID-19 has restricted Division II schools’ access to indoor tracks. The qualifying marks established for the indoor championships must still be met.

Spring Championships

The Management Council approved changes to the format and the dates of selection and regional competition for the Division II 2021 baseball and softball championships.

Championships for both sports in 2021 will consist of one round of regional competition to advance to the finals, eliminating the super-regional round. The regional competitions will be completed over a single weekend in a double-elimination format to determine which team advances to the finals site.

The format changes came in part because of recommendations from the COVID-19 Advisory Panel to consolidate preliminary-round sites, along with one-year bracket reductions for the 2020-21 championships approved in December by the Division II Administrative Committee. Division II baseball’s bracket size was reduced from 56 to 42 for its 2021 championship; softball was reduced from 64 to 48.

Additionally, as a result of the consolidation, baseball and softball’s selections and regional-round dates will be moved back to provide schools more opportunities for regular-season games. The competition dates for the finals sites did not change.  

Baseball’s championship dates will now be as follows:

  • Selections: May 23.
  • Regionals: May 27-30.
  • Finals: June 5-12 in Cary, North Carolina.

Softball’s championship dates will now be as follows:

  • Selections: May 16.
  • Regionals: May 19-21.
  • Finals: May 27-31 in Denver.

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