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© 2019 US Women's Rugby Foundation. All rights reserved.

Copyright © 2019 U.S. Women's Rugby Foundation. All Rights Reserved.

RESOURCES & PARTNERS

NCAA EMERGING SPORT INITIATIVE

DEFINITION

 

Rugby is the only full contact sport for women in the NCAA and is currently classified as an Emerging Sport. 

What does it mean to be an NCAA Emerging Sport?

NCAA Emerging Sports Status is a ‘placeholder’ the NCAA grants new sports that are seeking full NCAA status. The Emerging Sport designation allows the sport to grow its membership to at least 40 varsity programs prior to being granted full NCAA championship status.

 

What other sports have Emerging Status?

Other current Emerging Sports on the NCAA list include: Equestrian (18 years on the list), Sand Volleyball (4 years) and Triathlon (2 years).

 

What is NCAA Women’s Rugby membership currently at now and how is it growing?

Since 2002, the expansion for women’s rugby as an Emerging Sport has grown to 20 member institutions. Member schools span all three divisions and represent diverse geographical areas of the United States – although 73% of the membership hailing from the East Coast.

Full championship status occurs when an Emerging Sport, supported and overseen by the Committee on Women’s Athletics (CWA) achieves 40 member institutions - each school must agree to treat rugby in a fully compliant manner as a varsity sport.

The progress and successful integration of Rugby into the NCAA as an Emerging Sport is paramount to the growth of women’s rugby in the United States.

 

RESOURCES

TIMELINE

2019

  • Dropped: Central Washington University
    Origin: Joined D-1 Elite

2018

  • Added: Queens College of North Carolina D-II, Colby Sawyer D-III
    Origin: Elevation of club programs​

2017

  • Added: LIU-Post D-II, Mount St. Mary’s D-I
    Origin: Elevation of club programs

2016

  • Added: Notre Dame College D-II, Molloy College D-II, Castleton College D-III Origin: Elevation of club programs

2015

  • Added: Dartmouth D-I, Sacred Heart D-I, University of New England D-III, Central Washington University D-II
    Origin: Elevation of club programs

  • Dropped: Eastern Illinois University

  • First National Tournament hosting all NCAA teams is played at Brown University

2014

  • Added: Army DI, Brown University D-I, American International College D-II
    Origin: Elevation of club programs

2013

  • Added: Harvard D-I
    Origin: Elevation of club program

2010

  • Added: Quinnipiac University D-I
    Origin: No club team previously, development through new on-campus SA recruitment

2006

  • Dropped: Southern Vermont University

2004

  • Added: West Chester University D-II
    Origin: Elevation of club program

2003

  • Added: Bowdoin College D-III, Norwich University D-III, Southern Vermont D-III
    Origin: Elevation of club program

2002

  • Added: Eastern Illinois University D-I
    Origin: Elevation of the club program

  • Rugby is added to the NCAA ES list