NCAA EMERGING SPORTS
COLLEGE RUGBY FOR WOMEN
In 2002, Division I Women’s Rugby was classified as an National Collegiate Athletic Association emerging sport. 2 years later, in 2004, Division II and Division III were also included. Currently, the NCAA has 5 women’s varsity teams. Of these teams on is DI, one DII and three are DIII. These colleges all offer women’s rugby at the varsity level.
In order to reach NCAA Championship status there must be forty schools that sponsor rugby as an NCAA sport across all three divisions.
There are mixed schedules of varsity and club rugby which is very important during the early stages of development as new teams are added. The existence of an NCAA Women’s Rugby Championship in turn, has no effect on the existence of the USA Rugby Collegiate Club National Championship.
The trend of adding women’s sports under the auspices of Title IX within the National Collegiate Athletic Association has helped to elevate women’s participation in sports which had previous emerging sports status such as water polo, rowing, bowling and ice hockey.
The following Colleges offer NCAA varsity rugby:
Eastern Illinois University
Southern Vermont College
West Chester University Of Pennsylvania