UMD’s Maura Crowell Part of Group Proposing Expansion of NCAA Women’s Hockey Tournament

The group is looking to make some big changes, which includes expanding the field from eight teams to ten.

DULUTH, Minn. – The UMD women’s hockey coaching staff is part of a group of coaches across the nation who want to shake up the NCAA women’s hockey tournament.

In a story first reported by Matt Wellens of the Duluth News Tribune, the group is looking to make some big changes, which includes expanding the field from eight teams to ten. Also, after a controversial selection process this past season, the proposal will also include new procedures to determine seedings and brackets.

“When you have the second-ranked team playing the fifth-ranked team because it’s a bus trip versus a flight, that’s not right. And then our access ratio with just eight teams, that means 19% of our field, our women’s hockey teams, are making the NCAA tournament,” said Crowell.

Compare that number to the men’s hockey tournament, which has just over a quarter of their teams qualify for the postseason. Crowell adds that the time for expansion is long overdue with the ability to still be able to create a very competitive bracket.

“We’re trying to make sure we get things done when it’s appropriate, and we feel like that’s now. I don’t have a percentage per se on what are chances are, but I do believe we have a very compelling argument and I don’t think it’s going to go away. If we get a no, we’re not going to stop. It’s going to continue to be a conversation that we have,” Crowell said.

The proposal is set to be presented to the NCAA this summer.

Categories: College, Sports, University of Minnesota – Duluth