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About Division I men’s NCAA hockey

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What does “NCAA” stand for?
What does the NCAA do, and how does that relate to hockey?
What is the relationship between college hockey conferences and the NCAA?
What is the relationship between the NCAA and USCHO?
How many players can be on a team?
What do I need to do (or not do) to preserve NCAA eligibility?
How many games can a team play? What games/tournaments are exempted?
If a game in a tournament goes beyond five minutes of overtime, does the outcome of the game count for NCAA considerations?
How many teams are in the NCAA hockey tournament? How are those teams selected?
Who makes up the NCAA Tournament selection committee?
Where and when is this year’s NCAA Frozen Four being held? What about this year’s regional tournaments? How can I get tickets?
Your PWR/RPI algorithm is not working properly, and my team should be higher. Can you update/fix it?
What is the difference between D-I, D-II and D-III?
What is the difference between club and varsity?
When and where are the annual NCAA meetings? NCAA ice hockey meetings?

Q: What does “NCAA” stand for?

A: National Collegiate Athletic Association.

Q: What does the NCAA do, and how does that relate to hockey?

A: The NCAA is a governing body for intercollegiate sports. Schools register to be members of the NCAA. The NCAA helps regulate playing rules and eligibility rules. All legislation must pass through a number of levels, from committees, to Management Council, to Board of Directors. The voting members of the various levels are comprised of representatives from the member schools. The NCAA staff itself does not create legislation. The staff acts as an organizer and a liaison, and it helps organize and run championship events. The NCAA enforces the rules; it does not create them.

Q: What is the relationship between college hockey conferences and the NCAA?

A: As members of the NCAA, the schools in each conference must adhere to certain rules and regulations. They are also under the rules and regulations of the conferences in which they participate.

Q: What is the relationship between the NCAA and USCHO?

A: There is no direct relationship. USCHO is an independent media organization.

Q: How many players can be on a team?

A: Men’s hockey teams are limited by NCAA rules to 18 scholarships. Some conferences and schools impose further restrictions, including the number of players that can go on road trips. There is no NCAA-imposed limit to the amount of players that can be on a roster.

Q: What do I need to do (or not do) to preserve NCAA eligibility?

A: Generally, do not sign or pro contract, accept money, or sign with an agent. The rules, however, can get more complicated than that. For all eligibility issues, visit the NCAA’s Eligibility Center.

Q: How many games can a team play? What games/tournaments are exempted?

A: NCAA teams are allowed to play 34 games during the regular season, not including conference postseason tournaments and the NCAA tournament. Conferences may impose further restrictions. Some in-season tournaments, special games and games played in Alaska are exempted from the 34-game limit.

Q: If a game in a tournament goes beyond five minutes of overtime, does the outcome of the game count for NCAA considerations?

A: Any game played to a conclusion, under any circumstances, counts as that outcome for NCAA purposes. While it is true that most regular season games end after five minutes of overtime, if one team must win to advance to a second round of a tournament, the outcome of the game is official and “counts” for both teams. A team losing 10 minutes into overtime has a loss, just as if it had lost in regulation time. If tournament organizers choose to end the game after five minutes of overtime and play a shootout, then the game is recorded as a tie for NCAA purposes.

Q: How many teams are in the NCAA hockey tournament? How are those teams selected?

A: For more information, see our tournament selection FAQ.

Q: Who makes up the NCAA Tournament selection committee?

A: See the NCAA Tournament page for the level in which you are interested: (Men’s Division I, Men’s Division III, Women’s Division I), Women’s Division III)

Q: Where and when is this year’s NCAA Frozen Four being held? What about this year’s regional tournaments? How can I get tickets?

A: See the NCAA Tournament page for the level in which you are interested: (Men’s Division I, Men’s Division III, Women’s Division I), Women’s Division III)

Q: Your PWR/RPI algorithm is not working properly, and my team should be higher. Can you update/fix it?

A: Most likely, our algorithm is working properly. If there is a problem, please give us some specifics and we can investigate the situation. To understand what PWR is and how it works, please see our PWR explanation.

Q: What is the difference between D-I, D-II and D-III?

A: Division I and II schools can award athletic scholarships. Division III schools cannot. Division I schools also generally have larger operating budgets than the other two levels.

Q: What is the difference between club and varsity?

A: A varsity program competes at the NCAA level (either Division I, II or III) and is guided by the rules of the NCAA governing body. A club program does not fall under the jurisdiction of the NCAA, though there is a national club organization which holds a championship and has a set of rules similar to the NCAA’s. Club programs are not considered a part of the school’s athletic department.

Q: When and where are the annual NCAA meetings? NCAA ice hockey meetings?

A: The location of the annual NCAA ice hockey meetings vary. They are usually held in June. The NCAA convention is usually in January. There are different levels in the NCAA hierarchy (committees, cabinets, Management Council, Board of Directors) that meet at different times of the year.

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