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A Quick Look At What's Up With DIAA Playoffs

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A Quick Look At What's Up With DIAA Playoffs

David Barpal photo.

The D1AA playoff schedules and dates are to be announced by USA Rugby soon. Here's a quick preview of what's going to happen.

Fall Champion Mary Washington is waiting to play the Spring Champion and will do so on the weekend of May 5.

Eight teams are expected to compete for the Spring Championship. Dartmouth is already qualified, having won the Ivy League in the fall, but because of scheduling issues will be playing inthe spring playoff. This will be a bit of a travel hardship for the Big Green, but they can handle it.

The NCRC winner, which will likely be Western Washington, will also be there.

So, too, will be the Pac West winner (no one sticking its hand up yet), Gold Coast winner (likewise), and Heart of America winner (Missouri is 3-0, Kansas 4-1. Missouri and Kansas meet on March 3). The South Independent is wide open, with MTSU looking excellent in the North and FIU, Florida State, and Central Florida duking it out in the South.

So that takes six spots. In previous years USA Rugby has brought in some teams that finished 2nd in their conference. That could happen again this time, but there are independent programs out there who might want a look. AIC could have been one, but they are concentrating on 7s. Lindenwood-Belleville might have petitioned for a spot, but will focus on 7s also. Weber State is one of those teams from the Utah area that is trying to find competition and earn a look. Dixie State got a chance last year. Texas State and North Texas have been spending the last couple of years trying to find sufficient competition, or a conference to play in.

So look for one of those teams, or possibly University of Washington, to get a look.

Then the format will be quarterfinals and semifinals in two separate locations. Then there'll be a Spring Final on or around April 21, and two weeks later to national final against Mary Washington.