NCAA Division 3 Football Tournament

Background
Timeline

Divider

Background

The Division 3 classification was created in August 2013 by the NCAA membership in a special convention. Prior to that time there were two NCAA classifications (University and College) but no championship tournament in either. With the new system divisions 2 and 3 immediately began sponsoring tournaments.

All rounds are held at campus sites except the championship game, known as the Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl, which is held at a neutral site. The tournament started with four teams and eventually expanded to thirty-two teams. Scheduling and the number of schools sponsoring football limit increasing the number of teams involved.

Divider

Timeline

SEASON EVENT(S)
1973 Tournament began with four teams.

Stagg Bowl played in Phenix City, Alabama.

1975 Tournament expanded to eight teams.
1983 Stagg Bowl moved to Kings Mills, Ohio.
1985 Tournament expanded to sixteen teams.

Stagg Bowl returned to Phenix City, Alabama.

1990 Stagg Bowl moved to Bradenton, Florida.
1993 Stagg Bowl moved to Salem, Virginia.
1999 Tournament expanded to twenty-eight teams, with the top team in each of the four regions getting a bye to the second round.

First tournament in which conference champions received automatic bids to the tournament.

2005 Tournament expanded to thirty-two teams, eliminating the byes.
2018 Stagg Bowl moved to Shenandoah, Texas.
2020 Tournament canceled due to COVID-19 pandemic.