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NCAA Cancels Championships for D-III Winter Sports

Andy Berg

The NCAA has announced the cancellation of all Division III winter championships for the 2020-21 academic year. 

According to a statement on the NCAA’s website, the cancellation is due to low participation numbers among member schools.

“The Championships Committee decision was based on the results of a winter declaration form distributed to members about their intention to compete this season in a capacity that would permit them to meet the minimum contest requirements to be eligible for championship selection by the established selection dates,” the association wrote in the statement. “The declaration form was sent to Division III athletics directors Jan. 19 and completed by 98% of the membership.”

The cancellation will affect both men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s swimming and diving, men’s and women’s indoor track and field, men’s and women’s ice hockey, and wrestling.

The committee said that it found participation numbers in all nine winter sports were below the established threshold to provide a national championship experience.

These established thresholds are 60 percent for men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s swimming and diving, and men’s and women’s indoor track and field, and 70 percent for men’s and women’s ice hockey and wrestling.

“Today, we made the difficult decision to cancel our Division III winter championships. While some institutions have been able to safely return to sport, the recent declaration form data show that more than half of our division has not returned to winter sport practice and competition to be in a position for NCAA national championship participation,” said Fayneese Miller, chair of the Presidents Council and president at Hamline. “This was a very difficult decision to make, and we are saddened to do so. However, none of our winter sports meet the Championships Committee’s established thresholds of participation to hold a championship. We are committed to ensuring that our student-athletes have the best possible experience, and, for us, this means having a meaningful number of competitions. We hope this is possible for our spring championship.”

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