The NorPac Conference has evolved over the past 30 years from an initial California membership to the current east and west blend. In 1998, the growth and development of the NorPac as an NCAA Division I single-sport conference was assisted by a three-year grant from the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) and the NCAA, as well as a partnership with and support from the United States Field Hockey Association (USFHA). Through the grant opportunity, the restructuring of the conference included previous members Davis and Elkins College, Missouri State, Saint Louis University and current original members California, Pacific and Stanford. Both Appalachian State and Davidson accepted invitations to join in 2000, followed by Radford in 2001.
Longwood was added to the conference in 2005 as a provisional member while reclassifying to a Division I membership. After fulfilling NCAA reclassification requirements, Longwood became eligible for its first conference tournament in 2007 and hosted the 2008 championship. The NorPac Conference welcomed the reestablished UC Davis program as an eighth member in July 2008 and the Aggies started a full conference schedule and participated in their first league tournament in 2009.
Continuing to expand the conference, Liberty University is the newest member to join the league. Liberty announced sponsorship of an inaugural program in November 2010 and began competition as an independent in 2011. NorPac officially welcomed the Flames as the ninth member on July 1, 2012. Liberty joins Appalachian State, Davidson, Longwood and Radford in the East Division. California, UC Davis, Pacific and Stanford comprise the West Division.
The round-robin league divisional play will culminate with the conference championship tournament. In 2012, the tournament returns to Longwood with an 8-team bracket that will include the four West Division teams and the top four seeds from the East Division.
Since 1999, the NorPac Field Hockey Conference has received an NCAA play-in opportunity or a conference automatic qualification (2005). Stanford University also received an at-large bid to the 2011 NCAA championship. In over a decade, NorPac representatives are 9-3 in NCAA play-in games. This year’s league champion will host the winner of the Mid-American Conference Tournament on November 6, 2012.