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BRIDGEPORT, Pa. — Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the makeup and format of the Mid-Atlantic Water Polo Conference (MAWPC) schedule will be unique during the Winter of 2021.  Originally slated to occur in the Fall of 2020, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) men’s water polo season will be unlike any other in the history of the sport – a trait the MAWPC schedule will share.

The Teams:  Due to Northeast Water Polo Conference (NWPC) institutions Brown University, Harvard University, Princeton University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and St Francis College Brooklyn joining MAWPC programs Connecticut College and Monmouth College in not competing during the NCAA Winter 2021 season, the remaining MAWPC-East Region and MAWPC-West Region teams along with NWPC program Iona College will merge into the MAWPC.  The teams will be broken down into two sections – MAWPC-East and MAWPC-West – with the MAWPC-East consisting of both Northern and Southern sections.

For the Winter 2021 season the breakdown is:

MAWPC-West (6 Teams)

  • Gannon University
  • McKendree University
  • Mercyhurst University
  • Mount St. Mary’s University
  • Salem University
  • Washington & Jefferson College

MAWPC-East (North Section – 4 Teams)

  • Fordham University
  • Iona College
  • La Salle University
  • Wagner College

MAWPC-East (South Section – 4 Teams)

  • Bucknell University
  • George Washington University
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • U.S. Naval Academy

The Format: The format of the MAWPC season will be unique for the Winter of 2021 with West Region teams competing in a regular season schedule and championship to decide the top two programs which will make the MAWPC Championship on Saturday-Sunday, March 6-7 at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md.  The MAWPC-East schedule will also be unlike any other as the Northern Section teams and Southern Section teams will compete exclusively in their respective groups to determine the Top Four programs in each subset.  The top two teams from the North and top team from the South will meet on Saturday-Sunday, February 27-28, at a Southern Region institution to be determined with all four teams guaranteed to move onto the MAWPC Championship.  However, only six East teams will earn a trip to the Naval Academy on March 6-7 as the third and fourth place finishing teams in the North and South will clash on the same weekend at a Northern Region school to qualify two teams for the MAWPC championship with the remaining pair having their season completed.

The top six East Region teams and the top two from the West Region will then move onto to the Naval Academy to determine the league champion.  Due to not competing against the East Region teams during the regular season, the two MAWPC-West programs will be seeded into the MAWPC Championship field with seeding of the pair conducted via a vote of the league’s Governance Council.

The victor of the MAWPC Championship earns an automatic bid to the Winter 2021 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Championship slated for March 18, 20 and 21 on the campus of Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif.  A finalized format for the NCAA Championship is pending as the Golden Coast Conference, MAWPC, NWPC, Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF), Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) and Western Water Polo Association (WWPA) were all awarded automatic bids for a six team championship.  However, both the NWPC and SCIAC have elected not to compete in conference schedules, dropping the championship field down to four known bids (MAWPC, Golden Coast, MPSF, WWPA).  A determination from the NCAA regarding the championship field make-up is expected by mid-January.

Collegiate Water Polo Association