Originally formed as a six-team basketball alliance, the NCAA has become an icon in the world of college athletics as it has enjoyed considerable growth and success, while establishing itself as one of the nation's fastest growing conferences. Founded in 1985, the CAA is comprised of 10 institutions competing in 20 Division I sports and has ranked as the top non-Division I football league in the country for the past two seasons. The transformation from ECAC South to CAA took place on June 6, 1985 at the University of Richmond. A "Proclamation of Creation" was signed by representatives of the eight charter institutions and by members of the media assembled for the announcement. By the fall of 1986, the league gained automatic bids to NCAA Championships in men's basketball, soccer, baseball and women's basketball and formed an officials bureau. The CAA became just one of eight conferences to receive and an automatic bid to the NCAA Women's Soccer Championship starting in the fall of 1996 and set a new precedent in 1999 when it became the first Division I conference to establish a soccer officials assigner.
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