IU men’s soccer and all other fall sports beyond football will conduct championships in spring

In 2003 Indiana fought St. John’s and a December Ohio snow storm on its way to a national championship at the NCAA’s College Cup.

Because of the less than ideal conditions often encountered during the men’s soccer NCAA Tournament, many believe that the season is more optimally suited for the spring.

Consider 2021 a trial run.

The NCAA Division I fall championships will be conducted in the spring as outlined in recommendations from the Division I Council and supported by the Division I Presidential Forum, the Division I Board of Directors decided Tuesday.

“The plan sent to us by the Division I Council provides the maximum number of opportunities to fall student-athletes to participate in NCAA championships while still being fiscally responsible,” said Denise Trauth, acting NCAA board chair, in a press release. “We look forward to the spring, understanding things will look a little different but knowing the competitions will be just as meaningful as in normal circumstances.”

The board last month directed the Division I governance structure to pursue a plan for moving championships to the spring.

The outline includes men’s and women’s cross country, field hockey, non-FBS football, men’s and women’s soccer, women’s volleyball and men’s water polo.

The plan for men’s soccer was developed by the Division I Competition Oversight Committee in conjunction with the sport committees. The changes include reduced bracket sizes with preserved automatic qualification for conferences. In team sports, the brackets will be filled at 75% of their normal capacities.

While the NCAA rulings impact the post season tournament, the timing of the regular season is still uncertain.

The Big Ten announced that it would resume its football season on the weekend of October 24.  In that release, the league indicated that further guidance on the other fall sports would be announced shortly.

According to the NCAA, contests conducted in the fall term for all fall sport championships that will be conducted in the spring will count toward selection into that respective championship. Sport committees are encouraged to consider all data available to them at the time of selections.

The oversight committees may need to revisit this topic if conditions warrant nearer the time the playing and practice seasons for these sports begin, but for now, the committees support providing maximum flexibility for selection purposes.

The NCAA Board of Governors has directed that all sites of each championship be predetermined and that the number of preliminary-round sites be reduced to support health, safety, and operational management of the championships this spring.

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