The DII College season is well underway in the Midwest, West, Mid-Atlantic, New England, Met NY and NY State areas, but until now the playoff structure for DII was unknown.
Though the college restructure laid out by USA Rugby doesn’t call for DII teams to join a conference until the 2012/2013 competitive cycle (which we should probably just call season, while we’re Americanizing things), the collegiate transition from unions to conferences will drastically affect the 2011/2012 playoff picture.
The country has been divided into four regions -- East, South, West Coast and Central. These regions will have four-team playoffs (rounds of 16 and 8) that will send a winner to the national semifinal, a la the DI playoffs of last season. The sites for the playoffs have yet to be determined, but a bidding process is expected to be announced “soon”.
How teams reach the regional playoffs is different in nearly every region. What is uniform is that conferences who have formed early, of which there are three, will send their champion directly to the national playoffs. Win the Southern Rugby Conference, Dixie Rugby Conference or Rugby Northeast, and you’re in the Sweet 16.
Two pilot Geographical Unions -- New England and the amalgamation of New York State and Met NY -- will send their champs directly to the national playoffs. The remaining 11 seeds will be awarded via territorial playoffs. Texas, another pilot GU, will have its teams compete in the TU playoff structure they traditionally have; the West.
The Pacific Coast gets the most bids of any TU with three. Southern California and the South get just one, while the West, Mid-Atlantic and Midwest get two a piece.
(The below regions are not unofficial)
Rugby Northeast (Conference) vs. New York (GU)
New England (GU) vs. Mid-Atlantic 2 (TU)
South (TU) vs. Southern Rugby Conference (Conference)
Mid Atlantic 1 (TU) vs. Dixie Rugby Conference (Conference)
Pacific 1 (TU) vs. SoCal (TU)
Pacific 2 (TU) vs. Pacific 3 (TU)
Midwest 1 (TU) vs. West 2 (TU)
Midwest 2 (TU) vs. West 1 (TU)