NCAA Division III approves 10-region realignment model for cross-country ::: USTFCCCA


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Courtesy: USTFCCCA Communications
July 8, 2021  

The NCAA Division III Men’s and Women’s Cross Country Track and Field Committee, as well as the Division III Championships Committee, recently approved a 10-region realignment model for cross-country which will come into effect. effective September 1, 2021.

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE FULL LIST OF ASSIGNED REGIONS

Gone is the old eight-region model that has lasted for at least the past 40 years. In fact, 1981 was one of the first years that eight regions were used in Division III of the NCAA. The most recent iteration included the Atlantic, Central, Great Lakes, Middle East, Midwest, New England, South / Southeast, and West.

Welcome the new improved 10-region model, which includes East, Great Lakes, Metro, Mid-Atlantic, Mideast, Midwest, Niagara, North, South and West.

CLICK HERE TO SEE A MAP OF THE NEW REGIONS

This means that the Great Lakes, Middle East, Midwest, and West regions all remained (albeit with a new look), while the Atlantic, Central, New England, and South / Southeast were divided with East, Metro, Mid-Atlantic, Niagara, North, and South all taking new places.

Here is the reasoning behind the realignment:

Since 2007-08, men’s and women’s cross country has grown by over 30 establishments per gender, leaving some areas extremely large and others quite small. The new system of 10 regions equalizes the number of teams per region, which helps to remove one of the biggest obstacles we face in cross country: finding courses capable of hosting regional meets with up to to 70 teams.

The 10-region model was adopted after looking at several models and divides regions primarily based on state borders, with only four states split across regions (Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, and Pennsylvania). Conference affiliation was not a major factor in regional lines and when it comes to data points for selections, it can provide the committee with more data points to consider.

Division III as a whole is undergoing a larger regional realignment with most of its largest sponsored sports (similar to cross-country) dropping from eight regions to 10, so the regional cross-country roster schedule matches well to these other large-scale changes in the Division.

Each of these 10 regions will train on Saturday, November 13, when the 2021 NCAA Division III Regional Cross Country Championships take place across the country. Championship venues have already been announced for seven of the 10 regions, while three are still in contention (East, Metro and Midwest).

The 2021 NCAA Division III Cross Country Championships will take place a week later – Saturday, November 20 – at the EP “Tom” Sawyer Park in Louisville, Kentucky.

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