Upstate New York Collegiate Rugby Conference commits to NCR

The Upstate New York Collegiate Rugby Conference has announced it will join National Collegiate Rugby (NCR) beginning with the 2020-21 season.

The Upstate NY conference, founded in 2014, is made up of women’s teams from 29 colleges and universities. Teams previously competed at two levels in fall 15s: a hybrid division, made up of Division 2 (USA Rugby) and Small College (NSCRO) teams; and an exclusively NSCRO division. Colgate University was NSCRO national runner-up in 2016.

The conference also hosts a spring NSCRO 7s championship. In 2017 Colgate won the NSCRO national championship, and University of Rochester was the national runner-up in 2019.

NCR has announced that it will be divided into Open and Small College divisions. The Open division will be composed of teams previously in Division 1 and Division 2, and Small College-eligible teams seeking a higher level of competition. Small College division eligibility is based on enrollment of fewer than 3500 female students.

“While many decisions still need to be made in light of both the evolving college rugby landscape, and ongoing pandemic, we are confident that NCR will provide value to all of our schools regardless of size and competition level,” said conference president Clarence Picard. “NSCRO has led the way in supporting women’s rugby through championship and all-star events, and we’re happy that our larger schools will now share in these opportunities.”

The Upstate NY conference is currently in the process of scheduling for the fall 15s season, and plans to add a spring 7s series in 2021. The conference has also competed at the NSCRO Women’s All Star 7s Championship the past three years. The Snow Leopards won bronze medals in 2018 and 2019.

This fall the conference welcomes the return of SUNY at Buffalo after a two-year hiatus. Additionally, D’Youville College joins as a brand-new program, and Cornell University joins from the Ivy League. The conference members are:

Alfred University, Canisius College, Clarkson University, Colgate University, Cornell University, D’Youville College, Hamilton College, Ithaca College, LeMoyne College, Niagara University, Paul Smith’s College, Rochester Institute of Technology, St. Bonaventure University, St. Lawrence University, SUNY Binghamton, SUNY Brockport, SUNY at Buffalo, SUNY Buffalo State, SUNY Cortland, SUNY Fredonia, SUNY Geneseo, SUNY Oneonta, SUNY Oswego, SUNY Plattsburgh, SUNY Potsdam, Syracuse University, Union College, University of Rochester, William Smith College