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There has been a lot of questions about different D3 teams lately and one school over another. Many stating that there player wanted to be on a competitive team. Since 2014 the number of bids have been somehwere around 56 teams. If you are interested in playing into the regionals and CWS, you need to understand how teams get those bids.

There are three pools:

A- Conferences that have 7 or more teams get an automatic bid. Some of these conferences have tourneys to decide others decide using the regular season winner. Usually somewhere in the low 40's. In 2014 there were 40 pool A bids. 

B - All independents schools not affiliated with a conference and schools in conferences with less than 7. There are usually somewhere around 2 bids.

C - At large bids. Schools are competing nationally for these spots. Teams are ranked in there region and a committee compares these teams to decide who gets the bids. But you are only up for consideration if you are not blocked by another team in your region. if you are ranked 2 in your region and the team ranked one never gets off the board, you will not be considered. has a good explanation.

D3 CWS is not always about selecting the absolute best teams for the CWS and Regionals it is about access. Some not so good teams make it to regionals through the Pool A bid while some very Good teams stay home. SOS is an important part of the regional rankings. In some conferences and regions of the country it is very hard to develop a strong SOS, because of Geography. Many good teams end up beating up on each other or there is one very bad team in their conference that they have to play multiple times. 

I hope this is useful to those looking at the D3 path. 



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Thanks BLD, great explanation. 

This was maddening to me early on when my son started playing D3 ball on a very competitive national team. We would get stuck in a Regional with 3-4 top ten nationally ranked teams and they were arguably the second best team in the country a couple of years ago and were left at home because they ran into the best team in the country in their Regional. You just never saw this in D1 ball where they would seed Regionals nationally, which they do not do in D3 ball. 

In the end, for me it is all about "fit" and finding the best place to play and have a good academic/athletic balance, which of course both our sons found, which is hard to do. I will add that conference tournament and Regionals/CWS games are so different from regular season games it is really special to be on a team that consistently in these types of games. If really is more fun playing for a winning program than a loosing one, which is something to think about for players looking at divisions and teams. 

Great post! 


Last edited by BOF

Though some bad teams make it through and some very good teams stay home, people should know that the D3 teams that REGULARLY  go deep into the regionals and possibly beyond are really very competitive.  We're talking about a very high level of college baseball.  Though I wouldn't  compare such teams to teams that go deep at the D1 level,  we are still talking some very serious ball.   You shouldn't  think of playing for teams of that caliber as an easy thing to pull off. 

Last edited by SluggerDad

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