NWCA Division III Championships Update

The NWCA Leadership Group has been working on developing a non-NCAA championships event for Division III wrestlers prior to last week’s announcement, and the planning obviously kicked into overdrive with the cancellation of the 2021 NCAA Division III Wrestling Championships. Teams were surveyed for interest and likelihood of competing in such an event, and an official announcement of an NWCA Division III Championships should be coming shortly.

The current format under consideration is a two day event taking place March 12-13 in Iowa. The exact site is still to be announced, as several venues are under consideration. The goal is brackets of no more than 32 wrestlers at each weight. There will not be a qualification round, but a selection committee could be utilized to narrow the field of entries down to 32 in the event more than that number desire to compete at a given weight. Wrestlers will come from teams whose institutions allow them to compete. This is the tournament at which NWCA All-Americans would be named.

The NWCA Leadership group elected by the DIII coaches was not consulted before USA Wrestling made their announcement and had been working on the idea for the NWCA Division III Wrestling Championships for weeks in anticipation that the NCAA could cancel winter championships. USA Wrestling and the NWCA Leadership Group have since been in touch and are hopeful they can work together to provide the best possible experience for Division III wrestlers.

The tournament operating expenses are estimated at $75,00-100,000 overall for venue rental, officials, labor, awards, and COVID-19 protocols and testing. The Leadership Group is looking for larger sponsors and will shortly establish a link for anyone who would like to donate to help defray the cost of the event. In a typical year, the NCAA pays for the cost of the Championships, so funding for this even will have to come from other sources.

Last week was tough on wrestlers who thought they would finish this season without a championship tournament, but at least some of them should have the chance to compete for All-American awards.


  • Caleb Williams says:

    I hope something can be put together to allow a safe competition for all teams and wrestlers wishing to compete.

  • Mama says:

    USA wrestling also announced efforts to provide a tournament. I hope these 2 entities combined their efforts!

  • Robert Kaiser says:

    Will wrestlers that programs cancelled wrestling for this season do to the pandemic be able to compete in this tournament. Thank you for your anticipated response.

  • Aaron Sweazy says:

    USA Wrestling has more financial means to help and yes they should combine efforts. As for programs that canceled, I think that is dictated by their school, so their school opted out.

  • C Brown says:

    The only way this will work is if you allow any D3 wrestler to enter, Make it an open d3 nationals and charge each wrestler $150.

  • CC says:

    as an NCAA All-Region senior from the lower midwest, the selection committee comes as a concern for choosing the top 32 if more than 32 sign up. Will the selection criteria go based on current head to heads, previous year’s regional and NCAA finishes, or is it just who they think should be the top 32 athletes. I would love to be able to compete in the tournament if I’m not able to work my last opportunity at regionals

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