March 17 — National Collegiate Rugby announced new enrollment maximums for schools participating in men’s Division II and Small College. The new enrollment limits received strong support from the respective Competitions Committees and will be effective for the Fall 2023 season.
In Men’s Small College, the enrollment limit will be reduced from 4,500 male students to 3,500 male students. The new rule aligns the men’s eligibility rules with the women’s Small College enrollment requirements, and better reflects the enrollment distribution of male and female students in colleges and universities.
Using current male enrollment levels, fewer than 20 Small College clubs will move to Division II in 2023. This restructure does not require any conference reorganization at this point, as NCR has always recognized hybrid leagues. However, the new Division II teams will only be eligible to participate in the Division II national playoffs. All affected teams will be provided a national pathway regardless of their conference size.
The NCR Competitions Committee has established an enrollment limit of 10,000 male students for eligibility in the Division II competition. This new requirement provides greater delineation between Division II and Division I-AA programs and strengthens the competitive parity of Division II play.
Under current enrollment levels, four Division II schools will be required to participate in the Division I-AA national playoff pathway in 2023. Like Small College, NCR does not expect any immediate conference reorganization and will provide championship pathways for the affected teams.
The new eligibility rules will be added to the Eligibility Policy prior to the start of the 2023 season.
All school enrollments are sourced from the U.S. Department of Education Equity in Athletics Data Analysis (EADA).