BRIDGEPORT, Pa. -- Heading out to the Northern Division Championship this weekend at Harvard University's Blodgett Pool on Saturday-Sunday, November 9-10, in Cambridge, Mass.? Here is some information on what fans need to know for attending the championship or possible streaming coverage.
One of two division championships occurring in the Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) this weekend with the 12-team Southern Division tournament set for Friday-Sunday, November 8-10, at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., the Northern Division Championship will pit top seed/host Harvard againt No. 2 seed St. Francis College Brooklyn, No. 3 seed Brown University, No. 4 seed the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, No. 5 seed Iona College, No. 6 seed Fordham University and No. 7 seed Connecticut College to determine three items:
1) The Northern
Division Champion and the final order of finish in the seven-team
2) Which three Northern Division squads automatically claim berths at the CWPA Championship on Friday-Sunday, November 22-24
3) Which teams are eligible for four At-Large bids to the CWPA Championship to join the top five-finishing teams from the Southern Division Championship and three qualifying Northern Division teams at the 12-team league title tournament at Brown later this month
In terms of information teams and fans need to know to attend or view this weekend's championship, the Collegiate Water Polo Association has you covered:
- Who will be home? The higher seed is home, unless the team is playing Harvard. Harvard will always wear dark caps as the host institution.
- Is there an admission fee? No, it is free.
- Will the games be streamed? Harvard University will stream the Northern Division placement games on Sunday, November 10, (Game 8, Third Place, First Place) but can not provide coverage of the seven games on Saturday, November 9. As a matter of principle, the league mandates that a home team can not stream only its games from a varsity divisision championship, so there will be no coverage of any games on Saturday as not all the games can be covered by the Harvard video staff. Fans can acquire access to watch the three streams on the Ivy League Network page at http://www.ivyleaguedigitalnetwork.com/packages. The cost for a one-day pass is $9.95, which is probably the best deal of the available options.
- Do cards and flagrant misconducts carry over to the Northern Division Championship? Yes, all red cards and flagrant misconducts will carry over to the Northern Division Championship. Similiarly, a red card in a team's final game at the Southern or Northern Championships will carry over to the Collegiate Water Polo Championship.
- Parking? There are no known issues with parking for this weekend's championship. However, fans should be aware there could be a fee for parking by the football stadium. To locate Blodgett Pool on campus, check the Harvard University website Directions page.
- Who makes the league's Collegiate Water Polo Association Championship tournament at Brown University? Before we answer that question, we should address one issue. The Collegiate Water Polo Championship (formerly known as the "Eastern Championship") is now a 12-team event, an increase of four teams over previous incarnations of the event. In prior years, the tournament was an eight-team event with the top-four finishing squads from both the Northern and Southern Divisions earning spots in the field. Seeding occurred based on an alternating pattern with the No. 1 seed being awarded to the top finishing team from the previous year champions bracket. The second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth seeds alternated between the divisions with the champion of the previous year's Eastern Championship runner-up division claiming the No. 2 seed. For example, using last year's CWPA Championship results as a model, the Northern Division earna the No. one, three, five and seeds, with the Southern Division taking the No. two, four, six and eight seeds due to St. Francis College Brooklyn winning the 2012 CWPA Championship at Princeton University with a 10-9 defeat of Bucknell University in overtime.
- But what about this year's championship? Unlike last year, the 2013 tournament slated for Friday-Sunday, November 22-24 at Brown University will be a more inclusive event with 12 teams earning a chance at claiming the CWPA Championship and the league's automatic berth to the NCAA postseason. Voted in by the Varsity Governance Council, comprised of athletic administrators from around the league, the new men's championship format expands the league tournament to 12-programs. However, unlike previous 12-team varsity league championship tournaments for the women which seeded the champions from the Western and Southern Divisions at No. one and two based on a head-to-head matchup of the two squads, with nine of the remaining 10 programs for the championship bracket selected at-large, with the CWPA Division III Champion earning a seed between the third to 10th positions, the men's CWPA Championship field will be built slightly differently.
- What is the format for the Collegiate Water Polo Championship? Regular season and division championship play will both have value for the men, unlike past championship seasons when a team could finish last in a division during the regular season by earn its way to the CWPA Championship by finishing among the Top Four at its division championship tournament. Now, the regular season results of division and non-division play will have an impact on a team's chance of making the championship field as only the top three finishers in the Northern Division and the top five from the Southern Division are guaranteed to have a shot at capturing the league tournament. The other four teams for the men's CWPA Championship will be based on at-large selections from the remaining 11 league programs by the Varsity Governance Council based on head-to-head comparisons among the fourth-to-seventh place finishers in the Northern Division and the sixth-to-12 place finishers from the Southern Division. This means that four Northern Division programs and seven Southern Division teams will vie for four slots into the championship tournament.
- How will seeding be done for the Collegiate Water Polo Association Championship? Seeding for the field will be unique from any past CWPA Championship as the top three finishing programs from the Northern and Southern Divisions will make up the Top Six seeds. There is an emphasis on the value of claiming a division crown as the No. 1 position will belong to the previous year's CWPA Championship division, the Northern Division. Similar to previous CWPA tournaments the first six positions in the field will alternate between the divisions with the top three Northern Division squads holding the No. one, three and five slots, with the Southern Division top three competing out of the No. two, four and six positions. The fourth and fifth place finishers from the Southern Division are guaranteed slots in the field, but will fall into the mix with the four at-large teams for seeding between No. 7-to-12.
- Who seeds the Collegiate Water Polo Association Championship? The at-large picks will be completed by the Varsity Governance Council of Lauren Packer Webster (Assistant Director of Athletics, Mercyhurst University), Dave Fontaine (Director of Athletics, Utica College), Gary Brown (Assistant Director of Athletics, Harvard University), Chris Hennelly (Assistant Director of Athletics, George Washington University) and Kim Fierke (Director of Athletics, Hartwick College), as the group can examine the regular season division, conference and non-conference results of squads to determine the four best teams from the remaining 11 programs that earn a berth to the CWPA Championship. Under this format, based on the results of play up to the point of the seeding process, the CWPA Championship could be comprised of potentially seven teams from the Northern Division and five from the Southern Division (three Northern Division automatics, five Southern Division automatics, the remaining four teams from the Northern Division) to nine teams from the Southern Division and three from the Northern Division (three Northern Division automatics, five Southern Division automatics, four of the seven remaining Southern Division teams at-large) based exclusively on the regular season and division championship results. Final seeding will be completed during the period of November 11-to-15 following the Northern (at Harvard University) and Southern (at the U.S. Naval Academy) championships, two weeks prior to the CWPA Championship at Brown.
- When are the At-Large teams announced? The league will announce the At-Large teams no earlier than Tuesday, November 12 to allow time for the seeding committee to review the teams. More information will be posted on the league website once the nine automatic teams earn their way into the field.
|Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.|
|Saturday, November 9, 2013||Game No.|
St. Francis College Brooklyn
|3:00||Loser Game 1||vs.||Loser Game 2||4|
|vs.||Winner Game 1||5|
|6:00||Winner Game 2||vs.||Winner Game 3||6|
|7:30||Loser Game 3||vs.||Loser Game 2||7|
|Sunday, November 10, 2013||Game No.|
|9:00||Loser Game 1||vs.||Loser Game 3||8|
|10:30||Loser Game 6||vs.||Loser Game 5||Third Place|
|Noon||Winner Game 5||vs.||Winner Game 6||First Place|
|The win/loss records from Games 4, 7 & 8 determine Fifth through Seventh place|