Columbia County to host three collegiate soccer national championships
EVANS, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Columbia County is preparing to host three collegiate soccer National Championships this May and June.
The National Association for Intercollegiate Athletics is bringing its Men’s Soccer National Championship to Blanchard Woods Park on May 4- 10, according to a news release by Columbia County. The National Junior College Athletic Association will also bring its Division I Women’s Soccer National Championship and its Division II Women’s Soccer National Championship to Blanchard Woods Park on June 3 – 9.
The NAIA Men’s Soccer National Championship will see ten collegiate programs compete in a single elimination format. Forty total teams qualify for the NAIA National Championship event and the winners of each regional pod will qualify to come to Columbia County.
“The NAIA National Office, Opening Round site hosts, and Columbia County have been working hard to plan for a safe and healthy execution of the National Championship and are excited to be in a position to offer this opportunity to student-athletes again,” said Anthony Goetz, NAIA Men’s Soccer Sport Manager.
The NJCAA Division I Women’s Championship will bring twelve collegiate programs and each will participate in a group play format with the group winners advancing to the knockout phase. Nine region champions will be joined by three at-large selections.
The NJCAA Division II Women’s Championship will bring in an additional twelve teams, also participating in group play prior to the group winners advancing to the knockout phase. Eight region champions and four at-large selections will travel to Columbia County. This is the first-ever NJCAA Division II Women’s Soccer Championship as the new division was added in soccer in January 2019 and set to play for the first-time in the fall of 2020.
“It is an exciting time in Columbia County as we prepare to host three National Championships. Our team has been hard at work finalizing plans and logistics with the NAIA and NJCAA,” said John Luton, Columbia County’s Director of Community Services. “These events will bring a combined 34 teams and an estimated economic impact of $1.5 million to the area. We look forward to showcasing Columbia County and Blanchard Woods Park as we continue to build our reputation as a preferred destination for prestigious tournaments and events.”
Tickets for the NAIA National Championship will be available for purchase on Monday April 26th through naia.org/sports/msoc. Session tickets will be $10 each and must be purchased online. Ticketing for the NJCAA events will be released in the middle of May. Follow Columbia County Parks, Recreation and Events Facebook page for updates on these National Championships.
Anyone interested in volunteering for either of these events are asked to e-mail email@example.com.
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