The NCAA will pre-select the hosting sites for the 2021 Regional and Super Regional rounds, JWOS confirmed on Monday.
A letter was distributed from the NCAA on April 2nd that outlined the process of the hosting sites being selected. JWOS viewed a copy of the letter on Monday morning.
According to the letter, more than a week of time is necessary to certify a hosting site as certified for COVID-19 testing and no less than three weeks is needed to ensure efficient functioning of the hosting site. Schools interested in hosting will submit bids; March 29th was the first day that bids were accepted and April 12th marks the deadline for such bids to be submitted.
While the Division 1 tournament bracket will be revealed on May 16th, following the completion of conference tournaments, regional hosting sites will be announced some three weeks earlier, during the week of April 26th. Teams will be considered for hosting opportunities irrespective of their program’s postseason qualification; a team that misses the NCAA tournament field but has been selected to host will continue in those hosting duties despite their own lack of participation.
Sixteen sites – featuring the traditional 4-team participation at each – will be selected to host Regionals, and the eight Super Regional hosts will be picked from that same group.
Ordinarily, the sixteen programs that host Regionals are determined based on a variety of metrics, including RPI, and are seeded by the softball selection committee.
Crowd sizes and capacity limits have not yet been determined, according to the letter, but notably, no mention was made of whether or not attendance restrictions will impact the consideration of a school’s hosting bid.
This is a developing story and will be updated. JWOS insider Eric Lopez contributed to this article.