INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — National tournaments will have fewer teams and fewer sites for preliminary rounds under the NCAA Division I Council’s proposal for fall sports that were pushed to the spring because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The council approved recommendations from the spring sports’ competition committees on Wednesday and will forward them to the Division I Board of Governors for approval.
For team sports, the field for national tournaments will be reduced to 75% of the normal number of teams. The Board of Governors has directed that the number of preliminary-round sites be reduced to support health and safety and operational management of the championships this spring.
Proposed structures for each spring sport:
Cross country: Jan. 30-March 5 regular season; 255 men’s runners and 255 women’s runners will compete at nationals March 15. The sport’s competition committee could revisit the schedule because of concerns about overlapping with track season.
Field hockey: Feb. 12-April 23 regular season; 12-team national tournament (10 automatic qualifiers, 2 at-large); championship match May 9.
Men’s soccer: Feb. 3-April 17 regular season; 36-team national tournament (24 automatic qualifiers, 12 at-large); championship match May 17.
Women’s soccer: Feb. 3-April 17 regular season; 48-team national tournament (31 automatic qualifiers, 17 at-large); championship match May 17.
Women’s volleyball: Jan. 22-April 3 regular season; 48-team national tournament (32 automatic qualifiers, 16 at-large); championship match April 25.
Men’s water polo: Jan. 16-March 13 regular season; six-team national tournament (all six are automatic qualifiers); championship match March 21.