Adding a Team: Fact Finding in Final Stages

A recommendation for a new UC Davis women’s athletic team is pending while a campus working group completes its analysis of the criteria. The final stages of the analysis involve a detailed assessment of the facility enhancements that each of the possible teams would require.

Athletics officials said the fact finding effort is expected to wrap up at the beginning of April. It’s anticipated that the working group will be ready to make its recommendation to the chancellor at that time.

Meanwhile, the response from people interested in supporting the teams in consideration has been very encouraging, the officials said.

The deadline for pledges of support has been extended until Monday, April 2. Please contact Rob Norris (assistant athletics director for development) at for information on making contingent pledges.

Athletics officials announced in November that the campus would provide additional varsity athletics opportunities for women, starting in the 2018-19 academic year, in order to stay in compliance with the federal government’s Title IX. It requires athletics rosters to accommodate women and men in numbers that are substantially proportional to the percentage of female and male students comprising the undergraduate student body.

In 2011-12, women accounted for 55.1 percent of the undergraduate population, and by 2016-17 this number had grown to 59.3 percent — compelling the athletics department to add a women’s team or teams.

The working group solicited nominations, and, in this Feb. 16 update, announced four options considered “to be most viable at this juncture.” Two options would add single, large teams, while each of the other options would add two teams to achieve a sufficient number of new opportunities.

Here are the teams and team combinations, listed alphabetically:

  • Beach volleyball and rugby
    • Roster sizes — Beach volleyball, 12-20; rugby, 25-35
    • Number of Division I programs — Beach volleyball, 55; rugby, 8
    • Notes — Beach volleyball is sponsored by the Big West Conference; UC Davis already excels in club rugby.
  • Equestrian
    • Roster sizes — 25-55
    • Number of Division I programs — 17
    • Note — Equestrian is complementary to some notable academic strengths of UC Davis.
  • Fencing and rugby
    • Roster sizes — Fencing, 14-22; rugby, 25-35
    • Number of Division I programs — Fencing, 25; rugby, 8
    • Note — UC Davis already excels in club rugby.
  • Rowing
    • Roster sizes — 55-70
    • Number of Division I programs — 88
    • Note — Women's rowing had varsity status at UC Davis as recently as 2010.

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