NCAA to allow use of Pairwise for tournament selections

Compiled by Staff

The NCAA Championships Committee has elected to authorize the NCAA Division III Men's and Women's Ice Hockey Committees to begin utilizing the Pairwise for tournament selection and seeding. The changes take effect for the upcoming season, and will initially run for a two year period. 

The use of the Pairwise may stand as a seismic shift in how the process is presently handled for the Division III Hockey Championships. For many years, the selection process has been governed by several selection criteria similar to the ones utilized in many other Division III championships, with the committees having reasonable liberty to use those criteria as they see fit.

The Pairwise system, which has been used in the Division I tournament for several seasons, removes those liberties. The Pairwise utilizes a computer program to compare teams across the board in real time using a similar, but not identical set of criteria to the current Division III selection process. The top eligible at-large teams from the ranking it generates would generally be the teams to advance into the NCAA tournament in addition to the automatic qualifiers. 

Supporters of the move have continually lauded the system's transparency and objectivity from its time in use for Division I. 

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