NCAA formally proposes smaller national tournament brackets for D-III men’s, women’s hockey

The NCAA Division III Championships Committee on Tuesday proposed selection dates and bracket sizes for the 2021 NCAA winter championships, which include men’s and women’s hockey.

All recommendations will move forward through the governance process, where they must be supported by the NCAA Division III Management Council on Oct. 19-20.

“The Division III Championships Committee would like to thank the sport committees for providing their comments and suggestions about bracket composition,” said Kiki Jacobs, committee chair and director of athletics at Roger Williams, in a statement. “These are difficult decisions that have to be made right now.”

Two weeks ago, the committee voted to recommend that all winter and spring 2021 national championship brackets and field sizes (team and individual) not exceed 75 percent of their standard capacity.

During the meeting, it reaffirmed this decision.

According to, “committee members emphasized the driving principles of filling out the brackets in each sport, protecting conference automatic qualification access to championships and providing access to schools unaffiliated with automatic qualification when warranted. However, brackets could be reduced if national sponsorship of a sport decreases.”

For men’s hockey, the selection announcement date and automatic qualification deadline is March 14 with a nine-team bracket, down from 12.

For women’s hockey, same deadline, but a bracket size of eight teams instead of 10 is proposed.