The NCAA Division II Management Council and Presidents on Friday confirmed that they plan to host all 7 of the division’s 2021 winter sports championships.
That includes the swimming & diving championships, which are scheduled from March 17-21 at the Crossplex in Birmingham, Alabama – a week later than originally scheduled.
The news comes in the wake of the NCAA’s Division III Committee announcing this week that all of its winter sports championships are canceled, as were previously its fall sports championships. Division I, home to the largest and best-known athletics programs, has said that they will hold their winter sports championships, but may reduce field sizes if not enough schools are participating.
Division II sponsors winter sports championships in:
- Women’s Swimming & Diving
- Men’s Swimming & Diving
- Women’s Indoor Track
- Men’s Indoor Track
- Women’s Basketball
- Men’s Basketball
The committee did approve a regional realignment in men’s and women’s basketball championships to rebalance with some regions having much lower participation numbers than other regions.
At the most recent completed NCAA Division II Championships in 2019, the Queens men and women each won their 5th-consecutive division championships. The 2020 meet was begun before eventually being canceled between the prelims and finals sessions of the second day of the meet because of the oncoming coronavirus pandemic. The Queens women were leading the team standings after one completed day of racing, while McKendree led the men’s meet with the defending champions Queens in 4th place.
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.