Women's Division III is a set of schools and conferences that sponsor women's hockey and abide by the National Collegiate Athletic Association's rules and regulations for Division III ice hockey.
- Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC)
- Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC)
- Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC)
- Northern Collegiate Hockey Association (NCHA)
- New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC)
- New England Hockey Conference (NEHC)
- Northeast Women's Hockey League (NEWHL)
- United Collegiate Hockey Conference (UCHC)
- Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC)
History[edit | edit source]
Women's Division III hockey started to develop with the 1997-98 season with the formation of the ECAC Alliance (with 12 teams) and the Midwest Women's Alliance (with 16 teams). With the exception of the 12 team Division I ECAC women's conference and a lone independent Division I team (Minnesota Golden Gophers) this was everything available at the varsity NCAA level. The ECAC Alliance and the Midwest Women's Alliance was a mixture of what would become Division I and III schools.
For 1998-99 the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference started play with 6 teams and the ECAC formed a strictly Division III league.
The Northern Collegiate Hockey Association formed a women's division with five teams for the 2000-01 season
The 2001-02 season saw the formation of the New England Small College Athletic Conference women's division and the ECAC West women's division. The NCAA began sponsoring a Division III Women's Ice hockey championship in 2002 after two championships were held under the American Women's Collegiate Hockey Association name.
By the 2016-17 hockey season the NCAA had 36 Division I schools, 61 Division III schools and one team playing as a Division II Independent. To put this in perspective, a woman playing as a senior in 2016-17 was born around 1995 with there only being the ECAC hosting a women's hockey division and their being no national championship tournament at any level.
All-time Division III Women's Conferences[edit | edit source]
Current[edit | edit source]
- Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) (2020-present)
- Middle Atlantic Conference (2017-Present)
- Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) (1998-Present)
- New England Hockey Conference (NEHC) (2015-Present (formerly ECAC East)
- New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) (2001-Present)
- Northeast Women's Hockey League (2017-Present)
- Northern Collegiate Hockey Association (NCHA) (2000-Present)
- United Collegiate Hockey Conference (2017-Present)
- Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) (2013-Present)
- NCAA Division III Independent (1999-Present) listing of Division III schools not affiliated with any conference
Former[edit | edit source]
- Colonial Hockey Conference (CHC) (2015-2020) replaced by Commonwealth Coast Conference
- ECAC East (2000-2015) renamed New England Hockey Conference when end affiliation agreement with the ECAC
- ECAC Alliance (1997-1998) made up of Division I and III schools forms ECAC Division III
- ECAC Division III (1998-1999) forms ECAC East
- ECAC West (2001-2017)