Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 8/17/12
From Press Release
The NCAA has recommended to expand the Division I championship field for women’s lacrosse from 16 to 26 teams beginning in 2013, with half of the berths being filled by conference automatic qualification. The remaining 13 berths would be at-large, determined as they are now, but the current system of play-in games would be eliminated.
All 13 conferences would have automatic qualifiers: the ACC, ALC, America East, Atlantic 10, Big East, Big South, Colonial (CAA), Ivy League, MAAC, MPSF, NLC, Northeast, and Patriot League.
The top eight teams will be seeded in the bracket and will host first- and second-round games. The top six seeded teams will receive byes into the second round and serve as hosts for a neutral-site first-round game May 10. The first-round winners then play at the top-six seeded teams May 12. The teams seeded seventh and eighth will also host, but they will have to play a first-round game May 10.
The quarterfinals are at campus sites May 18 or 19, with the four winners advancing to the finals May 24-26.
The NCAA has also recommended increasing the number of regions from the current four to five to provide more flexibility in determining tournament match-ups.
Expansion for lacrosse is consistent with the Executive Committee’s charge to ensure that equitable opportunities exist in light of a similar bracket expansion for the FCS football championship.