D1A Restructures Playoff Format For 2019

D1A Rugby: D1A Restructures Playoff Format For 2019
Photo Credit: D1A Rugby
  • Playoffs will be split into Eastern and Western Brackets- winners face off in National Championship.
  • Three of the four playoff rounds to be hosted at centralized locations.
  • Conference winners are automatic qualifiers and the remaining spots go to at large bids.
  • Playoffs begin April 13th.

LAFAYETTE, CO- The D1A executive committee has announced a restructure of the D1A Playoffs. D1A’s playoff structure will now see teams compete in geographically locked brackets for Eastern and Western teams, with the winner of each bracket playing each other for the National Championship. The changes were made in order to minimize the financial burden on team travel and to sustain a fair and competitive pathway to the title game.

“We look forward to another addition of the D1A Men’s Collegiate National Championships,” said D1A Commissioner Kevin Battle.  “We are continually evolving to try and create the best experience for our student athletes, fans and alumni while being respectful of time and financial resources.”  

The qualification process for the playoffs remains largely the same, with conference winners receiving an automatic bid. With the Liberty Conference highest ranked team, Iona, and their conference champion, American International both formally declining to participate, the Liberty conference will abstain from the 2019 bracket.

The breakdown of each bracket will see conference winners represented, four in the East (Big Ten, Mid-South, Rugby East, Red River) and three in the West (California, PAC, Rocky Mountain). The remaining slots for each bracket will be filled by the highest ranked teams, according to the D1A Top 20, in each region.    

Last year’s playoffs saw a reshuffling of semifinal match-ups, a move made in order to lessen the financial burden of teams. This playoff re-arrangement aims to directly address the issue and eliminate any future need for reseeding to occur. To assist in this, three of the four playoff rounds will be hosted in centralized sites. By virtue of this change the lower ranked seeds will only have to travel to the higher ranked seed during the opening rounds. Opening rounds will also be the only occasion when seedings may change in order to mitigate financial burden associated with traveling. No reseeding will go into effect without the consultation of the D1A committee, conference commissioners and participating teams.

Locations for the 2019 playoffs are expected to be announced in the coming weeks.

Round of 16: April 13

Quarterfinals: April 20

Eastern and Western Championships: April 27

National Championship Game: May 4