I have heard a lot of different things about what is going on with Nationals and the past few times at practice, it's been asked about and then shot down. I feel as though we all deserve to know what to expect and what to plan for in regards to the next couple of months. What exactly are we looking at in terms of Nationals coming up this spring?
The reason the topic is continuously "shot down" is because we do not know. It's all being worked out still. No one, not even Bill who's on one of the Committees, can predict what's going to happen 100% until USA Rugby works everything out. We all just have to be patient. I know it's frustrating because I'd like to plan my semester and tell friends and family, but we just have to keep working hard until a decision is made with the finalization of the territories and the at large bids. That is what we are striving for currently.
I know everybody is interested in information on USA Rugby National College Playoffs. Unfortunately, USA Rugby is in major transition this year. They are completely behind organizationally.
We still do not know if we qualify for Nationals. At this point, we do know USA Rugby is admitting 32 teams. USA Rugby is dividing the country into 4 regions. From our region, the Southeast Region, we will advance 8 teams; they are the winners of the following 5 conferences: Carolinas, Potomac, Rugby South, Tri-State, and True South. In addition to those 5 conference winners, there are 3 At-Large bids available. Bill believes we will qualify for one of those 3 At-Large spots. On April 6, if we qualify for Nationals, we will have a play-in match to determine who advances to USA Rugby’s Round of 16.
If we win our play-in match, we will advance to the Southeast Region Women’s Division I & II College Playoffs. I just learned today that they will be hosted at Annapolis, MD. While it does not have “cool factor” that a Florida venue would, it will be much cheaper and less time consuming. The dates of that venue are April 12-14.
If we win both matches Annapolis, we would move on to the National Semifinals in Stanford, CA on May 3-4.
I wish I had more information on qualifying, but USA Rugby is keeping everybody in the dark. I will post more information as I receive it.