NCAA DIII and DI men's tournament sites to merge in 2015?
compiled by D3hockey staff
The NCAA is considering holding all or part of the Division III men's ice hockey championship tournament on the same dates as the Division I men's tournament, according to minutes of a 2011 Division III Championships Committee meeting. Among the meeting minutes:
"Division III Men’s Ice Hockey – Term Extension Request. The men’s ice hockey committee requested that the term of Bruce Delventhal, director of athletics at Plattsburgh State University of New York, be extended for one year. Mr. Delventhal is the chair of the committee, and the committee indicated that allowing him to serve until September 1, 2012, would greatly help to facilitate the process of combining the Division III championship with the Division I championship. The NCAA Division III Nominating Committee supported this request.
Championship Date Formula Change. The committee accepted as information that the men’s ice hockey committee anticipates requesting a championship date formula change to facilitate a joint championship format with Division I men’s ice hockey in 2015."
These notes do not indicate that this merger is a foregone conclusion, but something that the committee is moving towards. The current announced DIII tournament sites carry through the 2014 season, but not beyond. It's also unclear if any other changes are in the works for the DIII tournament from its current format as last year the DIII title game was held two full weeks before the DI equivalent.
The NCAA is currently in the sixth straight year of using pre-determined neutral sites for its DIII hockey championship. In 2006 Elmira hosted the first neutral site championship, followed by UW-Superior the following year. It was then held at Lake Placid the next three years before returning west to the University of Minnesota's Ridder Arena this past year. It is currently scheduled to be held at Lake Place for the 2012-2014 seasons. 1993 was the only other year that the DIII tournament was held at a neutral site.
The neutral sites have always been held either in the same city as a DIII school or nearby. The DI championship, however, is often held in areas that are remote to any college hockey school. Some recent locations include St. Louis, Washington D.C., and Detroit. The next three championships are scheduled to be in Tampa, Pittsburgh, and Philadelphia.
Check back with D3hockey.com as we look to learn more information about upcoming changes.