Colonial Athletic Association releases plan for 2020-21 conference tournaments

Field Hockey Championship
Mark Campbell/Courtesy of Delaware Athletics
The CAA released a plan outlining conference championships including dates, locations and teams that can participate.

BY
Managing Sports Editor

The Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) is set to shake things up for this upcoming athletic year. In a statement sent out Tuesday morning, the CAA will allow every team an automatic bid into it’s sports respective conference tournament in the 2020-2021 season.

“With many regular‐season schedules curtailed due to safety and cost concerns related to the COVID‐19 pandemic, the conference’s athletic administrators felt it was important to give all student‐athletes the experience of competing for a CAA championship,” the CAA said.

The CAA also released a first set of dates and locations for the conference championships. Both are subject to change.

According to the CAA’s statement, men’s and women’s soccer and women’s lacrosse will all play a regional bracket before entering the later rounds of the tournament.

“The conference will divide its tournaments in men’s and women’s soccer and women’s lacrosse into regional brackets for the first round and quarterfinals before moving to a more central geographic location for the semifinals and championship game,” the CAA said in the statement.

Men’s lacrosse will take on a similar format with the exception coming in the earlier rounds.

“Men’s lacrosse will conduct two quarterfinal games hosted by the higher seeds, with the winners advancing to a central site for the semifinals and title game,” the CAA said.

The remaining conference tournaments will take place in a central location. Dates and locations were not announced for football’s conference tournament.

Tournament seeding will be determined by either a committee of athletic administrators and CAA staff or conference standings. If a full slate of conference games is played by all respective teams, then the conference standings approach will be used.

The use of conference standings will come down to how teams in the conference want to schedule their seasons. The recently adopted Extreme Flexibility Model of the CAA requires teams to play a minimum amount of games to stay NCAA-sponsored but does not require teams to compete within the conference.

Under this current schedule, the University of Delaware’s athletic facility will host the field hockey tournament at Rullo Stadium on Nov. 5-6 and Nov. 8. The university has hosted field hockey’s conference tournament the past four seasons.

Last season, field hockey won its eighth straight CAA title and cross country placed second as a team at the conference meet. The Blue Hens had a total of eight teams qualify for their respective conference tournaments.

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