The NCAA announced Wednesday evening it has canceled its Division III winter championships because of low participation numbers among member schools.

The sports affected are basketball (men's and women's), hockey (men's and women's), swimming and diving (men's and women's), indoor track (men's and women's) and wrestling.

"While some institutions have been able to safely return to sport, the recent declaration form data show that more than half of our division has not returned to winter sport practice and competition to be in a position for NCAA national championship participation," Fayneese Miller, chair of the Presidents Council and president at Hamline, said in a statement. "This was a very difficult decision to make, and we are saddened to do so. However, none of our winter sports meet the Championships Committee's established thresholds of participation to hold a championship. We are committed to ensuring that our student-athletes have the best possible experience, and, for us, this means having a meaningful number of competitions. We hope this is possible for our spring championship."

MIAC teams can start conference competition Saturday, but St. Olaf and Carleton will not play any winter sports. Macalester has opted out of MIAC play in men's and women's basketball, and St. Catherine's will not play a MIAC schedule in women's basketball or hockey.