WINTHROP, Mass. – The New England Women's Hockey Alliance (NEWHA) received official notice from the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) on Aug. 1, 2019 that it has officially been approved for active NCAA Division I membership, effective for the 2019-20 academic year.
"The New England Women's Hockey Alliance (NEWHA) has been in the planning stages for several years, and now to be recognized by the NCAA as a Division I Women's Ice Hockey Conference allows us to compete with the other four conferences at the same level," commented Commissioner Robert DeGregorio, Jr. "In addition, to the NEWHA Conference regular season championship, NEWHA post season tournament, the NEWHA teams are now eligible to qualify for the Division I NCAA Women's Frozen Four.
Starting with the 2021-22 season, active Division I membership allows the NEWHA champion to be eligible for a bid to the National Collegiate Women's Ice Hockey (Division I) Championship.
Per NCAA guidelines, the women's ice hockey National Collegiate Championship is a combined championship opportunity open to all Division I and Division II programs that sponsor the sport and play the requisite number of contests against Division I/II opponents.
"This has created another opportunity for more women's ice hockey student-athletes to participate in this emerging sport for women. I know that the NEWHA student-athletes and coaches are excited and are thankful for this opportunity," said DeGregorio.
The NEWHA is comprised of two NCAA Division I institutions and four NCAA Division II institutions. Members of the include Franklin Pierce University (N.H.), Long Island University (N.Y.), Post University (Conn.), Sacred Heart University (Conn.), Saint Anselm College (N.H.), and Saint Michael's College (Vt.).
NEWHA administrators convened at the National Hockey League headquarters in New York City last July to finalize and solidify its status as an official NCAA conference and discuss organizational details. These individuals were joined by representatives from the NHL, College Hockey, Inc., the Northeast-10 Conference, and College Hockey America for discussion regarding the growth of women's ice hockey and ways to further competitive opportunities for women.
The NEWHA season kicks off on Sunday, Sept. 29 when Franklin Pierce University takes on the University of New Hampshire in Durham, N.H. For the full slate of league games, visit https://newha.prestosports.com/composite.