The AIAW and USA Field Hockey joined forces to sponsor a national championship in 1975. For the first four years (1975-78), all colleges, irrespective of division, were eligible to compete in the one championship. In 1979, the format shifted to divisional championships, meaning that all Division II schools would have the opportunity to compete for a national championship against other Division II schools.
For five years, a national champion was crowned every year in Division II, including 1981 when there were two national champions as the NCAA also sponsored a tournament that year. The AIAW stopped sponsoring a tournament in 1982. In 1984, the NCAA stopped sponsoring a Division II national tournament, which meant all Division II and Division III schools competed for berths in one tournament.
The Division II schools were able to get their own tournament back in 1992, and since that year, they have crowned a national champion. Even though we will not crown a national champion on the field in the fall of 2020, we wanted to celebrate 41 years of national championships and the student-athletes by creating a virtual bracket to determine the fans' choice for the best team during the national championship era, from 1978-2019.
Voting will take place online starting January 2021, with the link shared over social media, including Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.