WOMEN’S HOCKEY: NCAA announces expansion of tournament field to 11 teams
The NCAA Championship Oversight Committee announced the decision to expand the field on Nov. 10; the proposed format has yet to be approved.
The NCAA Championship Oversight Committee met in November to expand the National Women’s College Ice Hockey Championship from eight to 11 teams – a move that could affect Yale’s qualifying hopes going forward. .
Calls to expand the domain picked up again on October 25, when Kaplan Hecker & Fink LLP released Phase II of its NCAA Gender Equity External Review. The KHF report, which was commissioned by the NCAA, unfolded in two phases. The first was a review of gender equity in Division I basketball while the second was a review of the remaining 84 NCAA Championships. Each report identified disparities in NCAA men’s and women’s competitions and provided a broad list of recommendations for improving gender equality in college athletics.
“There are also fewer opportunities for female ice hockey student-athletes to compete in championships than for male ice hockey student-athletes,” the report said. “[The NCAA should] create a transparent process for reviewing proposals to increase the size of a championship range / field. “
The observation is derived from the size of the field of each tournament in relation to the total number of teams. On the men’s side of the competition, 16 of the 60 Division I teams compete in the postseason tournament, meaning the top 26.7% are on the pitch. On the women’s side, eight of the 41 programs are in the field, which means that only 19.5% of teams are progressing.
Galvanized by the recommendations made in the KHF report, several sports organizations – including the men’s and women’s college hockey programs, the American Hockey Coaches Association and the NHL Coaches’ Association – have taken to social media to make campaign for land expansion.
“Bulldogs Support @NCAA Expanding National Championship Field”, Yale Women’s Ice Hockey Team posted on twitter. He ended his tweet with a pillar from the social media campaign: â#CloseTheGapNCAA # TimeFor12Teams2022. “
As the campaign called for an extension of the tournament to 12 teams, the competition oversight committee ultimately opted for 11.
Although the size of the field will create an atypical format for a competition in brackets, the decision was made so that 27% of the women’s programs qualify for the tournament, according to the men’s counterpart.
“By expanding the medium, the National Women’s College Ice Hockey Championship will be consistent with the Division I men’s ice hockey championship in terms of access to the medium,” the NCAA said in a statement. declaration. “With 11 teams in the bracket, 27% of teams will have access to the Championship bracket.”
While the schedule is still ongoing, the expansion is set to take place this season, which could impact the Yale women’s ice hockey team as they prepare for their very first place in a tournament.
The Bulldogs find themselves nationally ranked for the first time in program history this season, and currently sit 6th in the USCHO survey. While the poll doesn’t guarantee entry into the tournament, it does give an idea of ââwhere the team might be ranked at the end of the season. Within the framework of the format proposed by the National Women’s College Ice Hockey Committee, the ranking will gain in importance.
“The first five seeds of the tournament will receive passes in the first round,” he added. proposal Remarks. âThree first-round games would be played on the campuses of three of the tournament’s top four seeds. “
The proposed format has gained the support of the Division I Competitions Oversight Committee and could go into effect this season if approved at the Division I Council meeting on December 15. If approved, the Bulldogs will look to further improve their ranking to secure a pass to the second round of the tournament.
Regardless of the format, the Bulldogs believe their team has what it takes to make the playoffs.
âOur team is looking really strong this year and I have great confidence that we can make our mark in the playoffs,â ’22 goaltender Gianna Meloni wrote to News. âI think we’ve faced some tough teams this semester already and we’ll be ready when the time comesâ¦ Our team will show we’re strong no matter how many teams get a playoff berth.
The Bulldogs will return to the ice on Dec. 8 for a home game against Boston University.