College Rugby Association of America (CRAA) Continues to Grow

The majority of women’s Division I colleges are remaining members of USA Rugby, which has filed chapter 11 bankruptcy, and partnering with the College Rugby Association of America (CRAA), home to men’s DIA rugby. This decision comes after a thorough and deliberative process conducted over the course of the past 6-8 weeks.

“We are excited to work with the Women’s D1,” CRAA President Paul Keeler enthused. “The women’s game is uniquely situated to grow our sport and the synergies we can create are a fantastic opportunity for the advancement of rugby.”

The conferences voted 8-0 in favor of the following resolution:

  1. The Women’s Collegiate D1 Conferences will move forward together as a group to create the Women’s Collegiate D1 Division.
  2. The conferences and teams of the Women’s Collegiate D1 Division will remain members of USA Rugby.
  3. The Women’s Collegiate D1 Division will seek to strategically partner with CRAA for additional services that will benefit the division, and may seek out other strategic partnerships in the future.
  4. The Women’s D1 Division will embrace the broad goal of partnering with other Women’s rugby divisions for the development and growth of the Women’s game.
  5. The Women’s D1 Division will accommodate current conference playing and championship seasons, in concert with the academic calendars of its members’ teams.

“I am very impressed with the level of clear-sightedness and professionalism with which the Women’s Collegiate D1 Rugby Conferences approached this process,” Ellen Owens, Pacific Mountain Rugby Conference Commissioner and President, explained. “We had a short time frame within which to act, but it was not done hastily.

“The Pacific Mountain Rugby Conference is very excited to be joining the other Women’s Collegiate D1 Rugby Conferences to create a unified division,” Owens added. “The revitalized division will be able to organize based on the specific needs of our conferences and universities to elevate the profile of our game and improve the rugby experience for all our student athletes.”

Thirty-seven colleges will compete in the fall championships, and 30 teams will play toward the spring championship. The only DI conference missing is the Midwest, which is joining National Collegiate Rugby (NCR).

“Division I women are making the right move,” Olivia Benzan-Daniel, Rugby Northeast Vice Commissioner, noted. “The CRAA has a lot of benefits to its membership, but I’m confident in these decisions because we are making them as a collective. It’s easy for seasonality and geography to keep us apart, but our commitment to our individual conferences and the women’s rugby landscape as a whole will put us on a path for success.”

DI CONFERENCES

Big 10 (8, fall):
Davenport Univ*
Univ Indiana
Univ Michigan
Michigan State Univ
Notre Dame Univ
Ohio State Univ*
Penn State Univ
Purdue Univ
*indicates a team that was added on a limited basis in fall ’19 with the intention of adding them as a full-time member in fall ’20

Blue Ridge (8, spring):
Clemson Univ
East Carolina Univ
James Madison Univ
Univ North Carolina
North Carolina State Univ
Univ South Carolina
Univ Virginia
Virginia Tech

Florida (4, spring):
Univ Central Florida
Univ Florida
Florida State Univ
Univ South Florida

Northeast (6, fall):
Boston College
Boston Univ
Univ Connecticut
Univ Massachusetts at Amherst
Northeastern Univ
Univ Rhode Island

Pacific Desert (8, spring):
Univ Arizona
Arizona State Univ
Brigham Young Univ
CSU Northridge
Grand Canyon Univ
UC Los Angeles
UC San Diego
UC Santa Barbara

Pacific Mountain (10, spring):
Chico State Univ
Fresno State Univ
Univ Oregon
Oregon State Univ
Stanford Univ
UC Berkeley
UC Davis
Univ Washington
Washington State Univ
Western Washington Univ

Rocky Mountain (10, fall):
Boise State University
Colorado State Univ
Univ Colorado Boulder
Montana State Univ
Univ New Mexico
U.S. Air Force Academy
Utah State Univ
Utah Valley Univ
Weber State Univ (pending admittance fall 2020)
Univ Wyoming

Texas (11, fall):
Angelo State Univ
Univ Houston (7s only)
LeTourneau Univ (7s only)
Univ North Texas
Univ Oklahoma
Sam Houston State Univ
Texas A&M Univ
Texas State Univ
Texas Tech Univ
Univ Texas (Austin)
Univ Texas at San Antonio

Independents (2, fall):
Princeton Univ
U.S. Naval Academy

*Midwest D1 notified the broader D1 group of their intent to join National Collegiate Rugby (NCR) and therefore did not participate in the DI resolution vote.

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