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Florida DIAA Partnering with CRAA

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Florida DIAA Partnering with CRAA

Florida State vs UCF in the 2022 Florida Conference final. Photo Mark Chambers.

The Florida DIAA men's collegiate league will partner with the Collegiate Rugby Association of America (CRAA) and will play bowl games at CRAA's spring championship weekend.

The Florida DIAA conference played as an independent conference last season, with no connections to any other. As a result, their champion, Florida State, didn't play in any playoff or postseason. This was not a source of ire for the teams in the Florida Conference because they expected it. However, conference Commissioner Kirk Swanner did tell Goff Rugby Report that they were looking for a way to play challenge matches and bowl games but weren't too worried about playing in an actual playoff.

This summer, CRAA announced it would be working with the ACR DIAA leagues for a spring playoff. With those conferences in the CRAA fold, CRAA reached out to the Florida teams to see if they wanted to reach some sort of agreement on a partnership.

Once it became clear that the Florida Conference was not looking for a playoff scenario, the subject of bowl games came up, and the Swanner said that was much more to their liking.

"They offered bowl games at their championship event in May which is what we are looking for," said Swanner. 

How that will work in 2022-23 is that the top two teams in the Florida Conference will play bowl games at the Championship Weekend in May. The conference semifinals are slated for April 1, which means that the winners will have about a month to fundraise and plan for the bowl games. Meanwhile, it hasn't been confirmed who they will play in those bowl games, but with four conferences—Lonestar, Gold Coast, Heart of America, and Pacific Western—part of the spring playoffs, there should be plenty of teams eager to get in one more challenging game.