DIVISION I MEN'S NATIONAL INTERCOLLEGIATE CHAMPIONSHIP
The USPA Division I Men’s National Intercollegiate Championship (NIC) is part of the United States Polo Association's Intercollegiate/Interscholastic (I/I) polo program, which is dedicated to growing the sport by providing maximum exposure, recruiting collegiate and scholastic institutions, coordinating activities, and organizing competition. Supporting this mission, the I/I program has experienced tremendous growth in recent years, including the development of Division I and Division II polo, which increases the number of emerging teams competing in competitive games at every level. Division assignments are based on the strength of teams as determined by rosters, a team's regular season scores, and the strength of their schedule. Men's and women's teams from the same school are not required to play in the same division, allowing teams to participate at an appropriate level. Teams are able to move back and forth between the divisions from year to year to accommodate for student matriculation and annual roster changes.
A longstanding tradition, the first National Intercollegiate Championship for the John R. Townsend men's intercollegiate polo trophy was won by Princeton University in 1922. Celebrating its 100 year anniversary in 2022, the NIC provides an opportunity for collegiate players from all corners of the United States to come together and compete for the historic trophy.
In 2019, the men and women of Texas A&M University (TAMU) became the second team in history since the University of California Davis (UC Davis) in the 80s to complete a rare double-double in the world of intercollegiate polo. In 2022 the men and women of University of Virginia (UVA) also earned double awards on home turf at Virginia Polo Inc. in Charlottesville, Virginia, and will be searching for their own double-double this year.
In 2022, the University of Virginia (Jack McLean, Parker Pearce, Brennan Wells) faced-off against University of North Texas (Vance Miller III, John Dencker, Vaughn Miller Jr.). Exploding with four goals in the fourth chukker, the University of Virginia never looked back and played cohesive team polo to capture the coveted title 13-7. Read article here.
Returning to Virginia Polo Inc., five teams will compete for the Division I Men's National Intercollegiate Championship title including defending champions UVA vying for their thirteenth title. 2022 runners-up University of North Texas (UNT), will compete alongside TAMU seeking a return to the podium for the first time since 2019, with Cornell University and Southern Methodist University rounding out the competition.
Photo: 2022 Division I Men's National Intercollegiate Championship Winners: University of Virginia - Connor Finemore, Parker Pearce, Jack McLean, Brennan Wells, Vlad Tarashansky, Jim Deal. Presented by USPA COO & In-House Counsel Chris Green and pictured with Coach Lou Lopez. ©Oana Moore