Automatic Qualifiers and At-Large Teams

The NCAA Division III Women's Lacrosse Championship is a 31-team, single-elimination tournament selected from three pools.  Teams must play a minimum of eight NCAA varsity games to be eligible for the tournament, and games tied after regulation play must be decided in overtime.

There are 18 berths (Pool A) allocated to conferences that quality for automatic qualification (AQ). They are:
Capital Athletic Conference
Centennial Conference
Colonial States Athletic Conference Commonwealth Coast Conference
Empire Eight Conference
Liberty League
Great Northeast Athletic Conference
Little East Conference
Middle Atlantic States Conference
New England Small College Athletic Conference
New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference
New England Women's Alliance
North Atlantic Conference
North Coast Athletic Conference
Old Dominion Athletic Conference
Skyline Conference
State University of New York Athletic Conference
The Commonwealth Coast Conference
USA South Athletic Conference
See conferences for members and current standings.

Four berths (Pool B) are reserved for true independents and teams from conferences that do not receive an automatic qualification.  Nine berths (Pool C) are reserved for teams remaining from automatic-qualifying conferences that did not win their AQ berth.

There are no set minimum or maximum berths from one region. 

Region 1 consists of schools from Connecticut, Delaware, DC, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Vermont. Region 2 consists of schools from New York and Pennsylvania. Region 3 consists of schools from Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, North Carolina, Ohio, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. Region 4 consists os schools from Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Primary Factors for Selecting At-Large Teams

Pool B and Pool C berths are determined on a national basis by the Division III Women's Lacrosse Committee by using regional selection criteria.  However, note that in-region competition includes, in addition to actual in-region competition, all competition within a 200-mile radius.  All of the following primary criteria are considered, but not in priority order:
  1. Won-lost percentage against regional opponents
  2. Strength of schedule (opps' and opps' opps' win pcts)
  3. In-region head-to-head competition
  4. In region results vs. common regional opponents
  5. In-region results vs. regionally ranked teams
  6. Opponents are considered ranked if they are ranked at the time of the selection process
  7. Conference postseason contests are included
  8. Contests versus provisional members in their 3rd and 4th years shall count in the primary criteria. Provisional members shall remain ineligible for rankings and selection.

(1) - (2) rankings are listed here.

Secondary Factors for Selecting At-Large Teams If the evaluation of the primary criteria does not result in a decision by the committee, the following secondary criteria will be evaluated, and some include results versus opponents from other classifications (i.e., provisional teams, NAIA, and the other two NCAA divisions).

  • Overall Division III strength of schedule (opponents' and opponents' opponents' winning percentages)
  • Division III Opponent's Opponent's Record
  • Out-of-region head-to-head competition
  • Overall Division III won-lost percentage
  • Results vs. common non-Division III opponents
  • Results vs. Division III teams ranked in other regions
  • Overall win-lost percentage
  • Results vs. common out-of-region opponents

To be considered for Pool B or Pool C selection, an institution must play at least 50% of its competition against Division III in-region opponents. 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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