PHILIPPI, WV – The Alderson Broaddus women's rugby team will be moving into the National Intercollegiate Rugby Association (NIRA) in Fall 2020. The NIRA is the top governing body of the NCAA's collegiate women's rugby programs.
"We are moving in this direction because we feel it is the highest level of competition that we can move towards with our program, while also having very rigorous academic requirements for our players," said head coach Laura Miller.
The NIRA was originally founded in 2015 as the National Collegiate Varsity Women's Rugby Association. The NCVWRA had eight original members and was limited to NCAA institutions that sponsored varsity women's rugby programs. After a successful inaugural season, the NCVWRA changed their name to the NIRA.
"Since we started here, we have always been a varsity program, but we have competed in the National Small College Rugby Association, which is comprised of primarily club programs. We are moving into a league that is comprised of only NCAA-compliant teams, so the level of competition will skyrocket," said Miller.
Alderson Broaddus will become the 22nd member of the NIRA in Fall 2020. The league features three groups aligned according to NCAA membership.
This season, which will be their last season in the National Small College Rugby Association, The Lady Battlers dominated in their first tournament of the season by defeating the University of Pittsburgh B, Drexel, Stony Brook, and the University of Delaware B.