Automatic Qualifiers and At-Large Teams

The NCAA Division I Women's Lacrosse Championship is a 16-team, single-elimination tournament.  Eight conferences receive a berth via automatic qualification (AQ).  The remaining teams are selected at large.  The AQ conferences are:
American East Conference
Atlantic Coast Conference
Big East Conference
Colonial Athletic Association
Ivy Group
Mountain Pacific Sports Federation
A play-in process for non-automatic-qualifying conferences has been implemented to provide increased access to the championship. At least 50 percent of a championship bracket shall be allocated for automatic-qualifying or play-in conferences, based on the number of eligible conferences and size of bracket. Play-in conferences are determined by the NCAA Division I Women's Lacrosse Committee using the RPI from the most recent season. Conferences participating in the play-in games for 2010 are
Patriot league will host the Northeast Conference
Atlantic 10 Conference will host the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference
See conferences for members and current standings.

To qualify for the tournament, teams must play a minimum of 10 games, and games tied after regulation play must be decided in overtime.

The following criteria is employed by a governing sports committee in selecting participants for NCAA championship competition: won-lost record, strength of schedule and eligibility.

Primary Factors for Selecting At-Large Teams

To be considered for at-large selection, teams must have a .500 or better record against all opponents. In evaluating teams for at-large berths, the following factors are considered (in no specific order) by the Division I Women's Lacrosse Committee:
  • Rating Percentage Index (RPI), see current RPI percentages
  • Head-to-head competition
  • Winning percentage against common opponents
  • Strength of schedule (based on the 10 highest-rated teams on an institutions schedule) – see current SOS percentages
Total of RPI and SOS is found here.

Secondary Factors for Selecting At-Large Teams

In the event that an analysis of the primary criteria does not result in a decision by the selection committee, they will evaluate, in no specific order, (a) significant wins and losses and (b) late-season performance (last six games including conference tournaments, winning percentage and strength of schedule).

Input is also provided by regional advisory committees. However, coaches' or other polls or rankings are not used by the selection committee.
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