|New England Small College Athletic Conference|
NCAA Division III Conference
|Founded:||1955 as all-sport conference (1999 for men's ice hockey, 2001 for women's ice hockey)|
|Number of teams:||10 (Men), 9 (women)|
|Defending champions (men):||Wesleyan Cardinals (2020)|
|Defending champions (women):||Amherst Mammoths (2020)|
The all sport conference started in 1955 when Amherst, Bowdoin, Wesleyan and Williams reached an agreement to form an informal affiliation. In 1971 Bates, Colby, Hamilton, Middlebury, Trinity, Tufts and Union College joined on and the conference was officially formed. Union left the conference in 1977 and Connecticut College joined in 1982. The conference is informally known as the "Little Ivies" as the schools have a reputation for high academic standards and selective admissions. All of the member schools place in the top 15% of the 2016 US News and World Report and Forbes Magazine university rankings.
The Men's ice hockey conference started with the 1999-2000 season when all of the members jumped from ECAC East.
The Women's conference was started for the 2001-02 season when all of the members jumped from ECAC East.
The only change in in either conference since its' founding in 1999 was the 2001 addition of the men's Tufts Jumbos representing Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts. The school presently does not sponsor women' ice hockey.
The next closest thing to a change has been that Amherst College had announced in 2016 that it was abandoning its nickname the "Lord Jeffs". The nickname had become a source of division within the campus community as Lord Jefferson Amherst was a British general who openly supported giving the Native American population blankets infested with smallpox during the French and Indian War. The school's teams played without a nickname until being renamed the Amherst Mammoths.
The men's ice hockey conference was started with the 1998-99 season when all of the members left the ECAC East when the NESCAC announced it would start to sponsor men's ice hockey.
Men's Conference Seasons
- 1998 Conference is formed with 9 members who are all sport members of the conference
- 2001 Tufts Jumbos join the conference
- 2016 Amherst College announces that the school is discontinuing the use of the Lord Jeffs nickname after protest on school over the name.
The women's conference was formed for the 2001-02 season when all of the members joined from the ECAC East when the NESCAC announced it would sponsor women's hockey.
Women's Conference Seasons
- 2001 Conference is formed with 9 members who are all sport members of the conference.
- 2016 Amherst College announces that the school is discontinuing the use of the Lord Jeffs nickname after protest on school over the name. The team goes through the 2016-17 season without a nickname before choosing the name Amherst Mammoths as the new nickname.