November 10, 2023

Road to the 2024 Collegiate Rugby Championship

November 9 - Qualification pathways are set for the 2024 Collegiate Rugby Championship, as National Collegiate Rugby returns to the Maryland SoccerPlex in Boyds, MD. April 26-28, 2024 to crown national champions across eight men’s and women's divisions.

For the 32-team men’s Premier Cup, open to teams from all divisions, the “Road to the CRC” opens Feb. 24 in Gainesville, FL., as the University of Florida hosts Sunshine 7s, the first of eight, open automatic qualifying tournaments spanning as many weeks and seven states.

March 2 features a doubleheader, with the Crimson Storm Classic in Bethany, OK, returning to the circuit for the third-consecutive year, and in Hempfield, PA, the long-running Frostbite 7s debuts as a qualifier. March 9, all eyes are on the University of Maryland, as Terrapins 7s returns for its sophomore season on the series. 

March 16, the 16-team Kansas City Collegiate Invitational returns to the qualifier circuit for the first time since 2019, when St. Bonaventure qualified for the last CRC in Philadelphia. March 23, the series returns to the hallowed confines of Stinson Rugby Field at the University of Notre Dame for the Fighting Irish Invitational. 

Following a week off for Easter break, the action picks back up April 6 for the third-consecutive Monumental 7s, hosted by the New England Free Jacks at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Quincy, Mass. It concludes Sunday April 13 with the 56th-annual Cherry Blossom Tournament hosted by Washington Rugby Club in Washington, D.C. 

Like men’s Premier Cup, men’s Small College also requires a robust series of open, national qualifiers. There are significantly more conferences than available bids in the 16-team division, so only the champions of the five largest conferences in the country will earn automatic qualification to nationals – Allegheny, Cardinals, Colonial Coast, MARC and NERFU. Everyone else must win one of nine regionally-placed automatic qualifiers that are being confirmed and will be added to the master tournament list shortly. 

In every other division, conference championships remain the primary qualification pathway, and at-large bids from the CRC selection committee are again on offer. In all four women’s divisions, and men’s Division I Club and Division II, those are the only two pathways to the CRC – through your conference championship or an at-large invitation.

All open national qualifiers and conference championships, as well as tournaments leading to at-large selection, must be contested by Sunday April 14, 2024 and be published on NCR’s master tournament list. Only results from tournaments on NCR’s master tournament list will be considered by the CRC selection committee. Commissioners must submit their conference championship details by Friday Jan. 12.

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